The global natural gas industry will soon be subject to a “radical transparency” push in terms of methane gas emissions, a Shell director said at an online event attended by Kallanish Energy on Monday.
Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s Integrated Gas & New Energies director, said at the Gastech Virtual Summit that the industry needs to do more to tackle its methane emissions, if they don’t want to be exposed.
“If people don’t want to attack their methane emission because they simply don’t believe in the urgency, they should get ready for radical transparency because it won’t be long before satellites can measure the methane leaks and emissions from operational assets,” he said.
“Then it doesn’t matter what you put in your annual report anymore, the whole world will be able to see what you do,” Wetselaar said.
The director said Shell’s progress in reducing methane emissions has been “very successful,” while the coalition of companies he helped championing is also making “real progress.”
Yet, in the global industry “we’re not even halfway there,” he said. Overall, Wetselaar thinks companies should be taking methane emissions and leaks very seriously, with more urgency.
“If not because you believe in it, then do it because you’re going to be exposed,” he added.
Talking about the impact of the pandemic in the O&G industry, despite the demand destruction and low commodities prices, he said oil and gas peak demand hasn’t arrived yet.
“We think that will be some time from now. There will be a recovery in demand before you actually reach peak demand. When you reach peak demand, it would look a lot like what we saw this year in the Covid response, price setting will become a very different game. It will be very unpredictable,” he said.
Shell wants to make sure it builds a significant low-carbon energy business before the industry achieves peak demand. “We can transition from being an international company to being an energy company. We will still be in oil and gas. It will be in low-cost oil and gas, so we can continue to make money even in that world,” he added.
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