2Celsius launched the report Regulating Methane Emissions: From Weak Commitments to Strong Implementation, which presents the shortcomings of the European Methane Regulation, but also assesses the situation in Romania, the second largest EU gas producer.

Study: Methane regulation. Moving forward from weak commitments to
strong implementation in
Romania (Click on the image to open the study)

The report, authored by energy expert Otilia Nuțu, was launched at a 2C conference in Bucharest organised to create a framework for fugitive methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in Romania, a topic rather ignored locally.

“Trust must be built between all market players because, at the moment, there is a total lack of credibility. Let’s not just look at what happened, for example, with the offshore law: the public does not trust that it will have more gas in the pipes, the state does not trust that it will collect enough money, the companies do not trust that they will be able to make profit, therefore, nothing happens and everyone has something to lose. The same will happen with the regulation on methane emissions, it will simply not be enforced if they are not seen by the industry and by the people as credible and fair,” asserts Otilia Nuțu.

The need to regulate and limit methane emissions was highlighted by guests at the event, Dr. Roland Kupers, adviser to the International Methane Emissions Observatory of the United Nations Environment Program, explaining that we need careful monitoring of emissions for a good understanding of the phenomenon and invited companies and operators to voluntarily join OGMP 2.0.

“We wanted to launch this discussion at national level, with all interested actors, because there is no talk in the public space until the moment when it will deal with a topic that is very important globally and important for Romania, which is one of the the main EU oil and gas producers. Methane is a powerful gas from a climate perspective, and Romania needs a roadmap and extensive discussions between government, industry, researchers and civil society to address this proactive issue. I am encouraged by the wide participation in the conference and the interest shown in the participants and I am confident of continuing the discussions with specific consultations, so that Romania can move quickly in the right direction and even have an ambitious position at European level regarding regulation on methane “, said Mihai Stoica, Executive Director at 2Celsius.

The European Union has pledged to meet a collective target of reducing global methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020, and the new version of the Methane Emissions Regulation will be adopted in early 2023.

Reducing methane emissions will bring major challenges nationwide, in all segments of the Romanian oil and gas industry: production, transportation, storage, distribution and supply. At the same time, it is one of the oldest infrastructures in Europe and is responsible for about 13% of total energy methane emissions in the European Union. According to Eurostat, at European level, Romania is responsible for almost a fifth of the fugitive emissions from the gas and oil industry.

The recommendations proposed in the report focus on leak detection and repair (LDAR) and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).

The report can be consulted on the association’s platform, in Romanian and in English.

The conference was organised by 2Celsius with the support of the International Energy Agency UK, as part of its efforts to promote the rapid reduction of global methane emissions in line with climate change recommendations and targets under the Paris Agreement.