The offshore methane emissions reduction programme was established in January 2018 and formalised in August 2019 in a covenant. Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and NOGEPA (Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association) signed the covenant, in which the Dutch offshore oil and gas industry pledges to halve methane emissions within two years.
In the covenant, the goal is to reduce the combined emissions of existing offshore production platforms from 8,562 T CH4/y in 2017 to 4,281 T CH4/y (50% reduction) by December 31, 2020. The best available technology (BAT) is taken as the starting point in the development of the reduction programme. The reduction potential and the cost-effectiveness of the measures are also examined. To achieve the 50% reduction goal, a cut-off of €20 per tonne of CO2 equivalent was established. This cost efficiency level matched with the CO2 price at the time of establishing the covenant. A further increase to €100 per tonne of CO2 equivalent would result in an additional 10% in reduction potential.
For further methane emission reduction, electrification of the offshore production platforms is an effective option. NOGEPA has identified the conditions that are critical for the sector to achieve electrification of the key offshore production platforms:
• Generic investment relief of 40%
• Legislative framework to ensure the connection of offshore production platforms to the offshore energy grid
• Established connection conditions, including tariffs
• Compensation for uneconomic costs of electrification