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Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

We have long been committed to reducing climate-changing gas emissions –results show the effectiveness of our low-carbon strategy.

by Eni Staff
07 February 2020
7 min read
byEni Staff
07 February 2020
7 min read

Increased energy efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions

Improving carbon efficiency and reducing GHG emissions, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda objectives for combating climate change and increasing access to energy, are the key drivers of Eni’s decarbonization strategy.

The goal of reducing emissions has been divided into short- and medium-term targets. In the short term, Eni intends to reduce emission intensity in Upstream operated assets by 43 per cent in 2025 compared to 2014 through the elimination of process flaring, the reduction of fugitive methane emissions and the implementation of energy efficiency projects. These initiatives also contribute to the goal of improving our carbon efficiency index by 2 per cent per year between 2014 and 2021, equivalent to an overall improvement of 13.2 per cent over the entire period.

Reduction of GHG emission intensity index (upstream) 2025: -43% vs 2014 -20% vs 2014
Reduction of hydrocarbons' volumes sent to process flaring Zero process flaring by 2025 -16% vs 2014
Reduction of fugitive methane emissions (upstream) 2025: -80% vs 2014 -66% vs 2014
Improved carbon efficiency index 2021: -2% a year vs 2014 -18% vs 2014
Investments to reduce GHG emissions (100% of operated activities) in the 2019-22 period about 0.7 billion €

In the medium term, Eni aims to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030 on direct emissions from Upstream operations valued in equity, by continuing to reinforce GHG emission-reduction activities and offsetting residual emissions through primary and secondary forest conservation projects, which will have a positive socio-economic effect on local communities. 

Eliminating process flaring

Eni seeks to minimise gas flaring – the practice of gas combustion during oil production – which can occur either for safety reasons or when there is no infrastructure available to market the gas. The latter is referred to as process flaring, which Eni has committed to eliminating by 2025, five years ahead of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) 2030 initiative, headed by the World Bank, that Eni has been part of since 2003.

Eni has been engaged in specific programmes for reducing process flaring since 2007, primarily through producing electricity for local populations and distribution for domestic consumption or export. Where this has not been possible, Eni has created reinjection systems in natural gas reservoirs. In 2018, flaring emissions accounted for 27 per cent of Eni’s Upstream GHG emissions (of which approximately 21 per cent were from process flaring) – an 8 per cent reduction compared to 2017 – thanks to the success of projects for improving and reducing process flaring and operations to control and optimise the practice of emergency flaring. In 2018, Eni invested €39 million into Flaring Down projects, particularly in Nigeria and Libya, and new investments are planned to reach the 2025 target. 

Reducing methane emissions

One of Eni’s Path to Decarbonization drivers is the maximisation of natural gas use as an energy source in order to reduce emission intensity. However, to ensure sustainable use of this resource, it is essential to minimise methane emissions produced along the gas production chain. Within Eni’s operations, methane emissions are primarily concentrated in the Upstream value chain (98 kilotonnes – equal to 94 per cent of Eni’s total emissions) and are caused by unburnt methane from flaring and process venting or by maintenance and fugitive emissions, such as unintentional gas leaks from plant valves or flanges. The latter are the main cause of total Upstream methane emissions and in 2015, Eni announced a monitoring campaign for fugitive emissions with the goal of reducing them by 80 per cent between 2014 and 2025.  

To date, around 70 per cent of Eni’s Upstream assets (calculated on the basis of production levels) have already been covered by Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) monitoring programmes, which led to a reduction in absolute terms of almost 2 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2eq) in 2018. Meanwhile, Eni’s membership of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CACC) Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, a public-private partnership led by UNEP, continues – within which we are developing suitable plans for controlling methane emissions.

Furthermore, in 2018 a collective target to reduce Upstream methane intensity (defined as the ratio between total methane emissions and the production of natural gas sold) was announced by members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI). This partnership has declared a target figure of 0.25 per cent by 2025 and an ambition of 0.20 per cent, compared to the baseline intensity of 0.32 per cent established in 2017.

Our commitment to energy efficiency

The carbon efficiency index aims to measure the intensity of direct and indirect GHG emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) of Eni’s main operations, measuring their degree of efficiency in a decarbonization context. The goal extends to all industrial assets operated by Eni, with an annual improvement target of 2 per cent over the period 2014 to 2021. This target relates to the overall Eni index, allowing us flexibility to manage trends within individual business divisions.

Investing to reduce emissions and save energy

In 2018, Eni invested around €10 million in energy-efficiency projects, which, once in full operation, will yield energy savings of 313 ktoe/year, amounting to a reduction in emissions of around 0.8 million tonnes of CO2 eq. In the Upstream sector, structural and operational interventions to make energy production processes more efficient have made it possible to make a further 19 ktoe in energy savings, equivalent to 22kton CO2 compared to those achieved previously (729 kton CO2 compared to the 2014 baseline). For the other industrial sectors, works carried out in 2018, once at full operation, will provide further savings of around 18 ktoe, equivalent to 42 ktons of CO2 eq of direct emissions avoided, in line with planned savings. This commitment to improving energy performance is also demonstrated by the inclusion in Eni’s HSE regulatory system of tools aligned with ISO 50001 certification schemes. Currently, around 60 per cent of Eni’s global energy consumption comes from industrial installations already ISO 50001 certified and more than 90 per cent coverage is expected by 2022.

Indirect emissions

Eni pays particular attention to the emissions impact associated with its activities along the entire value chain – from the supply chain of goods and services for the production process up to the environmental impact caused by the disposal of finished products. Regarding emissions from purchases of electricity, steam and heat from third parties (Scope 2), Eni’s are quantatively negligible (around 0.7 million tonnes CO2 eq), because in most cases electricity generation is carried out through its own installations.

Eni reports all other indirect emissions (Scope 3) using internationally recognised methods (IPIECA) and is committed to representing its own emissions impact throughout the entire energy value chain of the products it markets. In the Oil & Gas sector, the greatest impact in terms of emissions is associated with the final use of the products sold (the combustion of natural gas and oil products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene), which Eni quantifies on the basis of the production of hydrocarbons sold in the Upstream business.

Increased efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions

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