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Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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

by Eni Staff
12 May 2021
7 min read
by Eni Staff
12 May 2021
7 min read

Carbon neutrality by 2050

In 2021, Eni defined its new strategy to relaunch its short, medium and long-term strategic targets, which outline the evolutionary and integrated path of the individual businesses and that will lead Eni to carbon neutrality by 2050. Eni pursues a strategy that, by 2050, aims to achieve the net-zero target on GHG Lifecycle emissions Scope 1, 2 and 3 (Net GHG lifecycle emissions), and the associated intensity (Net Carbon Intensity) referred to the entire life cycle of the energy products sold by Eni. The intermediate decarbonization targets were also confirmed and further extended:

  • -25% of Net GHG lifecycle emissions (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) @ 2030 vs. 2018 and -65% @ 2040;
  • -15% of Net Carbon Intensity of energy products sold @2030 v 2018 and -40% @2040;
  • Net Zero Carbon Footprint Upstream for Scope 1 and 2 emissions from upstream activities by 2030, with a new target of halving it by 2024 compared to 2018;
  • Net Zero Carbon Footprint Eni for Scope 1 and 2 emissions from all Group activities by 2040.

The medium/long-term targets refer to a perimeter that includes both Eni controlled assets and those operated by third parties, and are accounted for on an equity basis.

The total decarbonization of Eni products and operations will be achieved through existing technologies: increasing the capacity of renewable sources, circular economy projects, digitalisation of operations and customer services, developing CCS (Carbon Capture Storage) technology projects, as well as natural or artificial carbon capture projects to absorb residual emissions.
In addition, REDD+ initiatives will be implemented to protect forests, with the offsetting of more than 6 million tonnes of CO₂ per year by 2024 and more than 40 million by 2050, and bio-refinery capacity will be doubled to around 2 million tonnes by 2024, with a 5-fold increase by 2050. Added to this, blue and green hydrogen projects will be developed to power Eni's bio-refineries and other highly energy-intensive industrial assets.

In relation to short-term targets, Eni has historically been committed to reducing its direct emissions and starting in 2016, was among the first in the sector to define a series of targets to improve the GHG emission performance of the assets it operates, with specific indicators illustrating the progress made so far in terms of reducing GHG emissions into the atmosphere.

Zero routine flaring

Eni is minimising flaring, the practice of burning gas from oil production, which can occur both for safety reasons or where there is no infrastructure available to market the gas. The latter is called routine flaring and Eni has undertaken the commitment to eliminate it by 2025, five years in advance of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) initiative promoted by the World Bank, which Eni joined in 2014. Eni has been active in routine flaring reduction programmes since 2007, with specific gas development projects, such as electricity production for local areas, distribution for domestic consumption or export. Where these practices are not possible, Eni has created field reinjection systems.

In 2020, the volumes of hydrocarbons sent to process flaring, equal to 1.03 billion Sm3, decreased by 14% compared to 2019 (39% compared to 2014), thanks also to the completion of flaring reduction projects in Angola (zero flaring at West-Hub).

Reduction in methane emissions

Eni has a continuing commitment to optimise its monitoring and reporting processes to reduce methane emissions from its operated assets. Methane emissions are mainly concentrated in the Upstream sector (51 ktonne CH4, equal to approximately 92% of Eni's total) and are mainly determined by fugitive emissions, i.e. unintentional gas leaks from plant components such as valves or flanges. The remaining emissions are related to the portion of unburnt methane from fuel consumption, flaring and from operational maintenance venting.

In 2020, Upstream methane fugitive emissions were equal to 0.28 MtCO₂eq, down 50% compared to 2019, also thanks to the continued implementation of LDAR (Leak Detection And Repair) monitoring and maintenance campaigns, carried out on a periodic basis and now covering around 60 assets. The overall reduction compared to 2014 is 90%, confirming the early achievement of the 80% reduction target set for 2025.

Participation also continues in the public-private partnership, led by UNEP, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CACC) Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, with which Eni develops appropriate methane emission control plans.

Furthermore, as part of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) partnership, a collective target was announced in 2018, for the reduction of Upstream methane intensity (defined as the ratio between total methane emissions and natural gas production sold) which provides for achieving a value of 0.25% by 2025 and a target of 0.20%, compared to the value of 0.32% in 2017.

The commitment to energy efficiency

Since 2018, Eni has monitored the emission intensity of its industrial activities through a specific index, which expresses the intensity of Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per unit of energy production, thereby measuring the degree of efficiency in a decarbonization context. A progressive improvement target of 2% per year was placed on this index compared to the 2014 index value. The target refers to the overall Eni index, maintaining appropriate flexibility for the trends of individual businesses.
In 2020, the index was 31.64 tCO₂eq/kboe, down by over 23% compared to 2014.

Investing to save emissions and energy

In 2020, Eni continued its investment plan both in projects aimed directly at increasing energy efficiency in assets (10 million euros) and in development and revamping projects with significant results on the energy performance of assets. Activities carried out during the year will allow fuel savings of 287 ktep/year (mostly in the Upstream sector), with a benefit in terms of reducing emissions equal to approximately 0.7 million tonnes of CO₂eq.

Indirect emissions

Eni pays particular attention to the impact of emissions from its activities along the entire supply chain, from the supply of goods and services for production processes, to the environmental impact linked to the use and disposal of finished products, as demonstrated by its commitments for 2050, communicated to the market at the presentation of its new strategy in February 2020.

In line with the main reporting standards, Eni reports indirect emissions associated with its activities along the entire value chain, applying consolidated methodologies (GHG Protocol, IPIECA).

Indirect emissions from purchases of electricity, steam and heat from third parties (so-called Scope 2) are quantitatively negligible for Eni (approximately 0.7 MtCO₂eq), since for the most part, electricity is generated through its own installations and the associated GHG emissions are accounted among Eni’s direct emissions. Scope 2 emissions, however, fall within the carbon efficiency improvement target (see energy efficiency paragraph). As for all other indirect emissions (so-called Scope 3), the estimates were carried out by applying recognized sectorial standards (IPIECA), which provide for an analysis by category of activity.

The Scope 3 emissions included in the GHG Lifecycle Emissions indicators, on the other hand, refer to a broader perimeter that includes all indirect emissions associated with the energy products sold by Eni, including purchases from third parties.

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