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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
by Eni Staff
07 February 2020
7 min read

Increasing energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions

The improvement of operational efficiency and the reduction of GHG emissions are fundamental levers of Eni's decarbonization strategy, defined in accordance with the objectives of fighting climate change and access to energy set by the United Nations' 2030 Agenda.

In particular, Eni has defined strategies and operational targets for 2035 and 2050, which outline the evolutionary and integrated path of the individual businesses, including that of obtaining an 80% reduction in net emissions from the entire life cycle of sold energy products by 2050, which include Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (over the 70% threshold indicated by the IEA in the SDS scenario compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement) and 55% of the emission intensity.

In addition, Eni has confirmed and further extended the intermediate decarbonization targets: net zero carbon footprint for 2030 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions from Upstream activities and net zero carbon footprint for Scope 1 and 2 emissions from all Group activities by 2040. In addition, Eni has further targets related to GHG emissions, detailed below.

Zero process 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 process flaring and Eni has undertaken to eliminate it by 2025, five years in advance of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) initiative promoted by the World Bank, which Eni signed up to in 2003.

Eni has been active in specific process 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 2019, the volumes of hydrocarbons sent to process flaring, equal to 1.2 billion Sm3, decreased by 15% since 2018, and by 29% since 2014, as a result of the contribution of specific flaring reduction projects (Libya, Nigeria, Turkmenistan) and the fall in production that affected some fields with associated gas flaring during 2019. In 2019, Eni invested 31 million euros in flaring down projects, in particular in Libya and Nigeria.

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 (64 ktonne CH4, equal to 97% of Eni's total) and are determined by the portion of methane not burned by flaring, operating venting or maintenance and fugitive emissions, i.e. unintentional gas leaks from plant components such as valves or flanges and unburnt methane from flaring and process venting. The Upstream methane emission intensity index (0.10% in 2019) decreased by 37% since 2018.

In 2019, Upstream methane fugitive emissions were equal to 0.55 MtCO₂eq, down 44% compared to 2018, thanks to the continued implementation of monitoring and maintenance campaigns (Leak Detection And Repair-LDAR) which consist of in-field detection of any methane leaks and planning of appropriate maintenance activities. Through these programmes, it is possible to almost completely control fugitive emissions, with benefits in terms of emission savings and operating safety. To date, 89% of Upstream-operated production is already covered by LDAR programmes.

In absolute terms, in 2019, Eni achieved a reduction of over 2.3 MtCO₂eq of fugitive methane emissions Upstream compared to 2014, and will reach the 2025 target of 80% reduction six years early.

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 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 2019, the index was 31.41 tCOeq/kboe, down 7.4% compared to 2018 (33.90 tCO₂eq/kboe) due to positive Upstream results and a reduction in the emission intensity of refineries. This reduction means the 2021 target has already been achieved but Eni intends to pursue an average improvement of 2% per year for the next few years.

Investing to save emissions and energy

In 2019, Eni continued its investment plan both in projects aimed directly at increasing energy efficiency in assets (over 8 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 303 ktep/year (mostly in the Upstream sector), to be added to the system, to which 25 GWh/year of savings from electricity and steam purchases is added. The benefit in terms of reducing emissions is equal to approximately 0.8 million tonnes of CO₂eq. The commitment to improving energy performance can also be seen in the inclusion of management tools coordinated with the ISO 50001 certification schemes in Eni's HSE regulatory system.

The commitment to bring the most energy-consuming sites under the certification of the energy management system, as well as the transition to the new 50001:2018 standard continues. The biggest commitment will be made in the Upstream sector, with energy assessment programmes aimed at identifying opportunities for improvement and deployment of management systems, which are already operational in other businesses at the relevant industrial sites.

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 related associated GHG emissions are directly accounted for. Scope 2 emissions, however, fall within the operational efficiency improvement target (see energy efficiency paragraph). As for all other indirect emissions (so-called Scope 3), the estimates were calculated by applying the previously consolidated methodologies (IPIECA), which provide for an analysis by category of activity.