Australia’s Santos joins OGCI zero methane initiative

  • : Emissions, Natural gas
  • 24/02/21

Australian independent Santos has signed the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions initiative, which seeks "near-zero" methane emissions by 2030 from signatories' operated oil and gas assets.

The project, which now has 23 signatories, was launched in March 2022 by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) — a group of 12 major oil and gas companies.

Santos has operations in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the US. The company produced 92.2mn bl of oil equivalent in 2023 and has set a target of net zero emissions across scopes 1 and 2 by 2040 for its equity share.

The company is also looking to develop three carbon capture and storage (CCS) hubs offshore Australia, which could have a total future storage capacity of up to 35mn t/yr of CO2 — though Santos did not provide a timeframe. Its Moomba CCS project is 80pc complete and the first CO2 injection is expected in the middle of this year.

Santos today also formally endorsed a World Bank initiative to eliminate routing flaring from oil operations by 2030. Santos will "will develop and implement plans to achieve its commitment under this initiative", it said. It will also report "flaring and improvement progress" to the World Bank on an annual basis, from 2025.

The recent UN Cop 28 climate summit, in November-December 2023, placed scrutiny on oil and gas producers' emissions reduction plans. Companies representing over 40pc of global oil production pledged to cut emissions — including methane to "near zero" by 2030. The summit saw renewed focus on methane emissions, although the frameworks are voluntary.


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Q&A: Over 100 entities trading Australia's ACCUs


24/05/22
24/05/22

Q&A: Over 100 entities trading Australia's ACCUs

Sydney, 22 May (Argus) — The Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) market has developed significantly in recent years, with demand moving away from the federal government to the private sector. Argus spoke with the country's Clean Energy Regulator's (CER) chair and chief executive David Parker and executive general manager Carl Binning about that transformation. Edited highlights follow: Demand for ACCUs had been typically driven by the federal government through carbon abatement contracts awarded in auctions but the market is becoming more diverse with rising volumes cancelled for voluntary purposes and an expected increase in surrenders under the safeguard mechanism . What's the approximate number of participants actively trading ACCUs now? Parker: There's more than 100 entities trading actively in the market. That's both on the demand side and the supply side. Some of them are in both. How does that compare with a few years ago? Binning: It's growing year on year. Parker: Around 20-30pc growth in successive years. What's the role of the government in purchasing ACCUs now? Parker: We no longer do the purchasing side [through auctions]. The government now has that function through the Department [of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water] but they can do other things. Binning: The government transferred the ERF [Emissions Reduction Fund] funding to the Powering the Regions Fund and that fund has a mandate to purchase ACCUs. But at this time there is no government direction to purchase . The CER still has a purchasing function to build up volumes under its cost containment reserve, which can only be accessed by safeguard facilities that exceed their annual emissions baselines and are unable to buy ACCUs from other sources. In that case, they would need to pay more than A$75 during the next fiscal year . This is more than double the current prices for ACCUs but how would that cost containment reserve work exactly if spot prices reached that triggering level? For instance, would a single company be able to buy all or most volumes if it bid first? Parker: Good question, we don't know the answer. Binning: The government is currently consulting on the design of the cost containment measure. One of CER's main works is the implementation of a new registry replacing the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU). Is this going to solve some of the transparency limitations of the current registry? Parker: I'm very much in favour of transparency. We'll do as much as we possibly can in terms of putting out data, subject to the legal constraints. Binning: The Chubb review has been implemented in three stages. That created the capacity to make a rule under the legislation which enables more data to be published. And the government has accepted the recommendation, so we would expect some time over the next 12 to 18 months for some rules to be made to make that data available. And as David said, as a regulator, we welcome the shift towards greater transparency. What sort of data should we expect to see publicly available for the first time? Binning: I think some project level data. One of the challenges with the integrity debate is that we have data that is not accessible to the marketplace. So where there are on-ground checks being done, for example, making some of those checks more transparent and visible to the marketplace will give it confidence. Should we expect to have access to individual ACCU transfers between accounts, as we currently have for large-scale generation certificates in CER's REC registry or even ACCU holdings of individual account holders? Parker: We hope so. We do publish some information on that but it's aggregated information. Binning: One of the challenges with the ANREU registry is distinguishing between intermediaries in the marketplace that are holding ACCUs to further sell them versus entities that may be holding ACCUs to pass on to safeguard facilities for compliance purposes. Safeguard entities are large corporations, so they often have quite a significant number of related entities. Over time — and you'll see in the next quarterly market report — we're trying to get better at understanding those holdings that are held by related entities for the safeguard mechanism, so we get a stronger sense of how much of the demand has been taken up through the new safeguard mechanism. I think progressively we'll get better at that, but it's not as simple as it might be said. Is the new registry still expected to be operational in the second half of 2024, with the new carbon spot exchange coming online by the beginning of 2025 ? Parker: We hope so. We are about to put out a consultation paper on what the market wants to see in the exchange traded platform. Binning: Our consultation is about understanding the role of an exchange traded fund in complementing all the other markets that are emerging — including futures markets and secondary markets — whilst we still progress the registry, which underpins the whole thing. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

G20 seeks to ease climate funding to cities


24/05/21
24/05/21

G20 seeks to ease climate funding to cities

Sao Paulo, 21 May (Argus) — Climate funds need to make it easier for countries and especially individual cities to access resources, a G20 working group said in Brazil today. Experts, representatives of G20 member countries and financial organizations gathered in Rio de Janeiro to discuss ways to leverage financing to face extreme climate events. The two-day event was hosted by the G20 — which Brazil presides over this year — the country's finance minister, global network Finance in Common (FiCS) and the Brazilian NGO climate and society institute (iCS). Delegates agreed that climate funds — especially the green climate fund, the adaptation fund, the global environment facility fund and the special climate change fund, which will hold a combined $30bn in the next five years — need to allow better access for cities to combat climate change. That means easing bureaucracies and identifying bottlenecks, according to Ivan Oliveira, deputy secretary for sustainable development at Brazil's finance ministry. Guaranteeing funding for climate projects can take many years, Oliveira said. But "climate change requires climate funds to deliver quickly," he added. FiCS' chairman Remy Rioux — who is also the chief executive of France's development agency — pointed to the different accreditation processes for different climate funds as hindering climate financing. A single accreditation process would ease access, he added. "We will do our best to find innovative financial solutions for climate resilience and resilient infrastructure," he said. Climate projects should also be able to tap into multiple funds more easily, Oliveira said. Rioux also called for the creation of an international guarantee fund to back individual national banks should they need resources to combat climate change. Additionally, local governments should be able to deal directly with climate funds, instead of having to work through the federal government, he added. The director of Brazil's development bank Nelson Barbosa also noted that a lack of financial guarantees and exchange rate volatility hinder banks and country's ability to access climate funds. The G20 working group will present a report with suggestions to address these issues in July, in Belem — the capital of northern Para state — Oliveira said. The city will also host Cop30 in 2025. Rio Grande do Sul Brazil's federal government is discussing a line of credit to southern Rio Grande do Sul state, which has been hit by heavy rainfall and historic flooding since late April, Barbosa said. "A special line of credit will be needed for reconstruction," he said. "We already have lines for adaptation and mitigation and now we have to think about lines to take care of losses and damages. Reality has arrived, and development banks have to deal with the effects of the climate." But he did not give further specifics on the measures. On Monday, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for the creation of an international fund backed by "people that pollute the planet" to aid Rio Grande do Sul. He has in the past called on rich nations to fund global efforts to mitigate climate change. Rains in Rio Grande do Sul have left 161 people dead, 85 missing and over 581,600 people displaced, according to the state's civil defense. Rebuilding the state will cost over R19bn ($3.7bn), according to the state government. By Lucas Parolin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Brazil biomethane parity prices R2.43-2.79: Correction


24/05/21
24/05/21

Brazil biomethane parity prices R2.43-2.79: Correction

Corrects CNG truck round-trip freight rates in 8th paragraph. Sao Paulo, 21 May (Argus) — Biomethane parity prices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, Brazil's two largest hubs, ranged between R2.43-2.79/m³ (49-56¢/m³) on 23 February, according to the market's first price indicators launched by Argus . That represents the marginal price that can be charged by biomethane producers from gas distributors, reflecting daily Cbio carbon credits assessments and weighted averages of natural gas prices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It is the first specifically calculated Brazilian biomethane price indicator in a market that has often lacked transparency. Biomethane producers traditionally have determined their prices on a case-by-case basis, depending on a series of factors such as the consumer's need for the green attribute, which fuel the biomethane gas will substitute and logistics costs. Initially, the biomethane sector looked to LPG prices for reference, as industry machinery only needs small alterations to substitute one fuel for the other. But the LPG market is much more consolidated and stable in its supply than biomethane. The international crude industry and Brazilian real-dollar exchange rates also influence the market, leading to distortions that do not reflect the renewable natural gas (RNG) market's true conditions. Market participants are still learning the ropes of the biomethane sector, as all of its production and supply structures are new in Brazil, according to Hugo Nery, chief executive of landfill company Marquise Ambiental, part of the joint venture that controls the 110,000 m³/d GNR Fortaleza biomethane plant. All biomethane plants certified by hydrocarbons regulator ANP within Brazil's national biofuels Renovabio policy are eligible to issue Cbio carbon credits, which is a compliance market for fossil fuel distributors to compensate their sales' impact. But this segment is still much smaller than it could be for biomethane manufacturers, according to biomethane producer Gas Verde's chief executive Marcel Jorand. Still, Cbios are the most liquid alternative to pricing the green attribute of biomethane in Brazil, with other certification models still in preliminary stages and not openly traded. Producers are adopting their own solutions to biomethane transportation challenges. Marquise Ambiental's strategy is to build its new biomethane plants near distribution networks, Nery said. GNR Fortaleza was the first plant in Brazil to inject biomethane directly into a distribution network and supplies 20pc of Ceara state's gas demand. On the other hand, biomethane generators Gas Verde and Zeg Biogas supply their customers through CNG truck deliveries. Argus ' CNG truck freight rates, based on Sao Paulo costs, show that each cubic meter of gas delivered on a 150km (93.2-mile) round trip cost R0.005/km on 23 February. Gas Verde and Zeg Biogas eye opportunities for longer-distance deliveries, using LNG trucks that have more range compared with CNG truck freights, or injecting gas into pipelines. Biomethane producers are finding demand for RNG outstripping supply available to the market. Zeg Biogas expects to start up a 30,000 m³/d biomethane plant in Minas Gerais state on the second half of the year. The company aims to explore the off-grid market in the region and expects to sign four additional contracts this year and increase its production capacity, according to chief executive Eduardo Acquaviva. Gas Verde, which owns Brazil's largest biomethane plant in Seropedica, Rio de Janeiro state, with 204,000 m³/d of capacity, also expects to expand. The company will transform nine biogas-fired thermal power plants into biomethane generators in the next 18-24 months. By Rebecca Gompertz Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

UK will not bank ‘surplus’ from third carbon budget


24/05/21
24/05/21

UK will not bank ‘surplus’ from third carbon budget

London, 21 May (Argus) — The UK overachieved on emissions reduction targets under its third carbon budget, but it will not carry forward the emissions ‘surplus' to the next carbon budget, the government said today. A carbon budget is a cap on emissions over a certain period. The UK's third carbon budget covered 2018-22, while the fourth carbon budget covers 2023-27. UK emissions over 2018-22 stood at 2.15bn t/CO2 equivalent (CO2e) — 319mn t/CO2e below the third carbon budget cap. Emissions on average over the period were 47pc lower than emissions in 1990 — the baseline year. "By the end of the period in 2022, UK net greenhouse gas emissions were 50pc lower than base year emissions", the government said. The country is also on track to overachieve during the fourth carbon budget, it added. "The government decision not to carry forward the surplus keeps the UK within its ambitious target with no additional headroom to emit greenhouse gases over the coming years", the government said. The UK has made progress on cutting emissions, including phasing out coal. But the surplus was largely down to external factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the independent advisory Climate Change Committee (CCC) found previously. The UK has a legally-binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It also has targets to cut emissions by 68pc by 2030 and 77pc by 2035, both from the 1990 base level. The CCC warned in February that the government should not carry forward any surplus from the third carbon budget, to avoid weakening action on decarbonisation. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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