KUALA LUMPUR, 27 June 2023 – PETRONAS in collaboration with ASEAN energy operators, governmental agencies, and international organisations, launched the ASEAN Energy Sector Methane Leadership Program (MLP) and announced methane abatement flagship projects in collaboration with Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC). The event took place at the Methane High-Level session on 26 June during the Energy Asia 2023 conference, which spans from 26 to 28 June, 2023, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, highlighted the significance of ASEAN's collective voice, stating, “I am particularly heartened to learn of the private sector's collaborative efforts through the Methane Leadership Program. As noted, human capital will be crucial in helping Malaysia achieve its NDCs and the Global Methane Pledge, which aligns well with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
The ASEAN Energy Sector Methane Roundtable was established in October 2021, with the objective to promote collaboration on methane emissions management in the oil and gas sector. Through the six-monthly roundtable series, we recognised the importance of upskilling the key practitioners in the sector to address information asymmetry and the need of capability building on cost-effective solutions on methane emissions abatement.
This periodic engagement is now reaching a new milestone with the launch of the ASEAN Energy Sector Methane Leadership Program (MLP). This new 18-month initiative, delivered through masterclasses and workshops, will focus on capacity and capability building to strengthen ASEAN energy companies’ plans, targets, and financing options for reducing methane emissions. The effort is in support of Global Methane Pledge that 150 countries have signed up to. The MLP provides a platform for the ASEAN oil and gas industry to demonstrate practical action and signal commitment to reducing methane emissions; create awareness for a sustainable change; inspire others to act and encourage greater accountability from all stakeholders.
Tan Sri Tengku Muhammad Taufik, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of PETRONAS, marked the occasion as a momentous milestone, stating, “This is a significant milestone, demonstrating our collective leadership and commitment to actions in managing methane emissions more effectively across the ASEAN region.”
Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Energy, acknowledged the regional commitment to actions on methane emission reduction goals, remarking, "This initiative demonstrates the region's dedication to the Global Methane Pledge and how multilateral support, leveraging global best practices, can provide expertise and financing to help reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030".
The MLP partners constitute several stakeholders with common goals; ASEAN Centre of Energy (ACE), ASEAN Council on Petroleum (ASCOPE), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC), Methane Guiding Principles (MGP), PERTAMINA, PETRONAS, PTTEP, The World Bank, United Nations Environment Programme International Methane Emissions Observatory (UNEP IMEO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Department of Energy and United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
PETRONAS and JOGMEC also announced collaboration on methane abatement flagship projects, covering methane quantification surveys, viable solutions towards achieving zero routine flaring, and potential future collaboration on an electrification hub. These projects are in support of the increased demand on stable supply of low carbon energy, Malaysia's commitment to the Global Methane Pledge and are aligned with PETRONAS’ commitments to the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring initiative by 2030 and UNEP Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0). The Chairman and CEO of JOGMEC, Ichiro Takahara, quoted, "As an energy-demanding country, we believe that methane emissions management is important in terms of stable supply of clean energy”.
Methane emissions management is a key agenda at the Energy Asia 2023 conference, which includes the fourth ASEAN Energy Sector Methane Roundtable held on 27 June. In addition, the MLP will commence immediately with a Technical Workshop on ASEAN Deep Dive on Methane Emissions Management, co-hosted by PETRONAS, USAID and EDF from 27 to 28 June, in conjunction with Energy Asia.
The Methane Programme at Energy Asia represents a significant advancement towards stronger international collaboration for methane abatement, and it is designed to empower ASEAN companies to reduce methane emissions through regional project collaboration, financing, and knowledge sharing on conducive policies and regulations, while encouraging the sharing of best practices.