Energy giant TotalEnergies announced today a series of new methane emission reduction targets, aiming to cut its operated emissions by 50% by 2025, and 80% by 2030, on a 2020 basis. The company also aims to keep methane intensity below 0.1% across its operated gas facilities.

Along with the new targets, TotalEnergies announced the launch of a new drone-based methane detection and quantification campaign across all its upstream Oil & Gas operated sites worldwide.

The new targets follow the launch of the Global Methane Pledge by over 100 countries at the COP26 climate conference in November, with commitments to cut global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels. Rapid reduction in methane emissions is seen as one of the most effective near-term actions that can be taken in order to help achieve the global climate goal to limit warming to 1.5°C. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, with as much as 80x the warming power of CO2. Given its much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere, however (10-12 years, vs 50-100 years for CO2), near-term reductions in methane emissions can have a meaningful climate impact over the next few years.

TotalEnergies stated that it has already cut its methane emissions from operated sites in half between 2010 and 2020.

The company’s new drone-based emissions detection and quantification system uses Airborne Ultralight Spectrometer For Environmental Applications (AUSEA) technology developed by TotalEnergies, the French National Research Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and University of Reims Champagne Ardenne. Using a miniature dual sensor mounted on a drone, the system can detect methane and carbon emissions and identify their source at all types of industrial facilities, both onshore and offshore.

The system has been tested in sites at countries including Nigeria, Italy, the Republic of the Congo and the Netherlands, and will be rolled out this year at all upstream Oil & Gas sites operated by TotalEnergies. The system will also be extended to other company activities, including TotalEnergies’ refineries.

Namita Shah, President, OneTech of TotalEnergies, said:

“TotalEnergies is committed to moving towards Zero Methane. Considered to be currently the most accurate technology in the world to detect and measure methane emissions, AUSEA will help us to refine our emissions calculations, and to take stronger measures to reduce our emissions even further in order to achieve the targets we have set.”