Methane emissions. There is an agreement between the EU Council and the European Parliament

The EU Council and Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on a regulation on monitoring and limiting methane emissions in the energy sector, the Council announced.

“The regulation introduces new requirements for the oil, gas and coal sector to measure, report and verify methane emissions, and introduces mitigation measures to prevent these emissions, including detecting and repairing methane leaks and limiting venting and flaring . as global monitoring tools to ensure transparency of methane emissions from oil, gas and coal imports to the EU,” we read in the press release.

The Council and Parliament have agreed on detailed deadlines and frequency for monitoring, reporting and inspecting potential sources of methane emissions.

What will change?

Operators will – in accordance with the proposed regulations – be required to submit reports to the competent authorities determining the level of methane emissions from the source (within 18 months after the entry into force of the regulation, the determination of the level of source methane emissions for the operated facilities (within 24 months), direct measurements of the level of methane emissions from sources, supplemented by installation-level measurements (within 36 months and before May 31 of each subsequent year) and direct measurements of methane emissions from sources for non-operated assets (within 48 months and before May 31 of each subsequent year).

Mine operators will be required to submit reports containing annual data on methane emissions from the source (over a twelve-month period) for mine operations, and to monitor inactive and abandoned mines, it was also announced.

Inspections

The regulation imposes an obligation to carry out periodic inspections to check whether entities comply with the requirements set out in the regulation.

The first inspection would be carried out no later than 21 months after the date of entry into force of the Regulation. The period between inspections would be based on an assessment of the risks to the environment, human safety and public health and should not exceed three years. If a serious violation of the requirements of the regulation is found, another inspection must take place within one year.

The purpose of leak searches and remedial investigations is to identify sources of methane leaks, including other unintended methane emissions, and to repair or replace appropriate components, the report said.

The interim agreement uses a risk-based approach, distinguishing between Type 1 surveys for leak detection and repair (lower accuracy to detect large leaks) and Type 2 surveys (higher accuracy to detect small leaks) based on minimum detection limits and minimum leakage thresholds and the distinction between above-ground components, underground components and components below sea level and below the seabed.

Under the proposed rules, the Commission should establish, by means of an implementing act, the minimum detection limits at standard temperature and pressure within 12 months.

Whenever possible, repairs or part replacements should be made immediately after the leak is discovered or as soon as possible on the first attempt, but no later than within thirty-five days for a complete repair. Leaks below a certain threshold should be closely monitored, the report said.

Data collection

The first phase of implementation will focus on collecting data and creating a global methane emissions monitoring tool and rapid response mechanism. In the second and third phases, exporters to the EU must apply equivalent monitoring, reporting and verification measures by January 1, 2027, and adapt the maximum methane limits specified in the regulations by 2030.

The authorities of each Member State will have the power to impose administrative sanctions if these provisions are not respected.

The interim agreement assumes that Member States must maintain and regularly update an inventory of all wells. Evidence of zero methane emissions must be provided for wells permanently plugged and abandoned less than 30 years ago and, if possible, for other wells.

The proposed regulations assume that mitigation plans must be maintained and regularly updated to repair, rehabilitate, and permanently shut down inactive sources.

Mines that have been closed or abandoned for less than 70 years are subject to the obligations of the regulation, with the exception of mines that have been completely submerged for more than 10 years.

The interim agreement must now be approved and formally adopted by both institutions.

Source: Do Rzeczy

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