Fully disclosed: The declaring of emissions of every cargo load of LNG under the Qatar-Singapore deal could prove to be a new standard of transparency for the oil and gas sector | Photo: Rivieramm.com

Singapore-Qatar LNG to detail emissions in an industry first

A new LNG deal signed between Qatar and Singapore will set an industry first by detailing the emissions from each cargo load of the fuel delivered under the 10-year term. The LNG will be delivered by Pavilion Energy, which in March won a tender that required bidders to help develop a methodology to quantify the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. The firm will detail the shipments’ emissions all the way from the gas well and the transportation to the import terminal. 

However, even though its CEO has expressed the “strong willingness of Pavilion Energy to pursue decarbonization and offset strategies”, the deal curiously does not impose any obligation to offset the emissions. Yet, the move could set a new industry benchmark and pave the way for other LNG retailers, such as the US, Russia and several OPEC members, to start detailing emissions from their natural gas operations despite the fuel being cleaner than coal

India: Adani, Hindalco, Vedanta & Jindal Power amongst winners of coal block auctions 

India’s latest round of auctions for 30 coal blocks has attracted 78 bids, out of which the most prominent names are also the country’s largest industrial groups, viz., Stratatech Mineral Resources (owned by the Adani Group), and India’s top copper and aluminium producers, Vedanta and Hindalco. The three have won bids for the Dhirauli coal mine in Madhya Pradesh [geological reserves of 586.39 million tonnes (MT) of coal], Radhikapur West mine in east Odisha (312 MT) and Chakla mine in Jharkhand (76 MT), respectively. The revenue sharing percentage with the Centre will be 12.5%, 21% and 14.5% for the three, in that order. 

Curiously, Andhra pradesh’s Mineral Development Corp has also won a bid for the small, Brahmadiha coal block in Jharkhand, which has reserves of only 5 MT, and the firm will share a whopping 41.75% of its revenue from the block with the Centre. Jindal Power, too, has won the Gare Palma IV/1 coal mine in Chhattisgarh (reserves of 84 MT) and the mine is expected to produce 6 MT of coal per year at peak capacity. Its revenue sharing agreement with the Centre has been set at 25%. 

Equinor aims for net-zero emissions by 2050 despite targeting more oil and gas output

One of Norway’s largest petroleum companies, Equinor, has announced that it will target net-zero emissions by 2050 and expand its share of wind energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The move is amongst the several Equinor has made in recent months — including a $1 billion stake sale in its wind energy portfolio to BP in September — that have made it one of the most progressive oil and gas drillers with respect to climate action. 

However, its new CEO has indicated that the firm will target a 3% annual increase in its oil and gas output through to 2026, although it is expected to prepare for a drop in demand for the fuels post-2030. The country’s oil and gas industry has also been dragged to the Supreme Court of Norway (after victories in lower courts) over its attempts to start drilling in the Arctic ocean, as environmental activists argue that such operations would exacerbate climate change and violate current and future Norwegians’ constitutional right to a healthy environment. 

Meanwhile, Italy-based Enel, which is Europe’s largest utility, has increased its ambition for greenhouse reduction by 2030 from 70% to 80%. It has already reduced its net emissions by 36% between 2007 – 2019. Malaysia’s Petronas, the state-owned driller that is the world’s fourth largest LNG exporter, is also targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Japan eyes switch to Hydrogen to achieve net-zero target 

Japan is reportedly eyeing an investment of nearly $425 billion in building infrastructure that would grow its Hydrogen consumption, as it seeks to move away from coal on its path to net-zero emissions by 2050. The country’s power-intensive industries of cement, steel and heavy duty transport depend heavily on fossil power at the moment, but under its 2050 target — and its limited capacity for renewable energy generation — industry experts have suggested that the world’s fifth-largest polluter employ Hydrogen as a cheaper, energy-denser alternative. 

Similar efforts are on in the European Union’s heavy industries where “green hydrogen” — hydrogen that is obtained from electrolysis of water using renewable energy — is being explored in place of coking coal to slash emissions.

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