New Initiative to Grade Methane Intensity of Upstream Gas
A not-for-profit partnership between the US Rocky Mountain Institute and Systemiq, called MIQ, was launched December 2 to incentivise producers to cut the methane intensity of their gas.
The first independently audited certification of its kind, it aims to co-ordinate existing voluntary schemes and regulations.
By monitoring platforms' emissions performance among other metrics it aims to attribute a grade to the gas, ranging from A to F. The data will be as granular as possible, to allow buyers to select gas with the cleanest footprint. Once the gas is in the grid it will be mingled with gas from other sources and sold at the local hub. But the bilateral contract will assign the input volume to the offtaker, as happens with some renewable electricity contracts, who will pay according to the rating.
The MIQ certification will be assessed against the MIQ standard in an independent, third-party audited system. MIQ said it will now continue to work with the sector – including non-governmental organisations, regulators and governments – to finalise the MIQ standard. It hopes to announce a pilot next year.
The grading system examines three factors: methane emissions intensity at a facility level; monitoring technology deployment; and company practices. "This three-pronged approach will ensure credibility, transparency, and flexibility to evolve as technologies and best practices improve," it said.
"Gas buyers are also increasingly seeking guarantees about the provenance of LNG imports. MIQ certification will enable buyers to verify the methane emission performance of gas entering the LNG streams, pre-liquefaction. The standard is also being extended for emissions to be assessed across the entire LNG process," it said.
MIQ has signed a memorandum of understanding with Green Certificate Company (GCC) to become the MIQ certificate issuing and registry partner. GCC, which has been around for 20 years, is the central issuer for the I-REC Standard, providing renewable energy certification for consumers around the globe.