WEO Week: Sectoral transitions to new energy industries

Methane abatement

Methane abatement technologies include equipment and operational techniques that can be applied across oil and gas value chains to reduce emissions.

Oil pipeline in front of mountains

Key findings

Oil and gas sector methane emissions, historical and in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030


Drop in methane emissions from oil and gas industry in 2020 due mainly to lower production rather than prevention of leaks

Oil and gas operations worldwide emitted just over 70 million tonnes of methane into the atmosphere in 2020. Converted into equivalent amounts of CO2, assuming that one tonne of methane is equivalent to 30 tonnes of CO2, these methane emissions are comparable to the total energy-related CO2 emissions of the European Union. This methane emissions figure for 2020 is around 10% lower than estimates for 2019. A large portion of this drop occurred because of the fall in oil and gas production over the course of the year – especially in countries and regions where production has a high emissions intensity.