- Natural Gas is the key to a low–carbon future
- Turkmenistan is preparing the 4th national report on climate change and is on the way to joining the Global Methane Pledge
- International institutions are ready to cooperate with Turkmenistan in the field of green development
On 15 June 2023, Ashgabat hosted an International scientific and practical conference “Energy perspectives, new technologies and environmental aspects in the development of hydrocarbon resources”.
“The holding of this conference is particularly timely, since Turkmenistan pays special attention to environmental issues, and in particular to the reduction of methane and associated gas emissions during the development of oil and gas fields. Being a responsible participant in the global processes of countering climate change, Turkmenistan supported the initiative and concept presented at the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in November 2022, during which President Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted that Turkmenistan plans to achieve zero growth in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and in the long term significantly reduce annual emissions, both by own financial resources, and with the technical support of international organizations”, Murat Archayev, Deputy Chairman of the State Concern “Turkmen Gas”, said at the opening of the plenary session.
During the conference, speakers from the Turkmen side spoke about country’s endeavors to contribute to global methane emissions reduction actions and about active cooperation in this direction with international organizations and partners.
Natural Gas is the key to a low–carbon future
The significance of natural gas as a cornerstone of the transition to low-carbon development is one of the primary ideas expressed in the reports of many speakers at the event.
According to forecasts of world industry think tanks, the coal industry will cease to exist in Europe in the next decade, and the phase-out of nuclear energy will continue. And that’s where gas will be needed to meet demand.
By 2040, total global gas production is expected to grow to about 590 bcf/d, compared with almost 340 bcf/d in 2015.
Asia, the Middle East and North America in the period from 2020 to 2040 will account for two-thirds of this growth of the 207 Bcf/d of growth.
However, the oil and gas sector in 2020, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, accounted for up to 24% of methane emissions – a powerful greenhouse gas. And at the same time, methane is the primary component of natural gas, which in turn serves as an affordable, reliable and cleanest energy source.
The adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan on climate Issues Magtymguly Akmuradov, who served as the Minister of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan in 2005-2009, rightly noted “when we talk about the problem of methane emissions, the question of technologies always arises. We need new technologies that would reduce methane emissions into the atmosphere. At COP-26 in Glasgow, it was decided that developed countries should help developing countries through the provision of new technologies.”
Unfortunately, this process has not yet begun, Akmuradov stressed. According to the expert, the Regional Center for Technologies Related to Climate Change in Central Asia initiated by Turkmenistan can become a platform for the transfer of adaptation technologies and mitigation.
Turkmenistan is preparing the 4th national report on climate change and is on the way to joining the Global Methane Pledge
In order to implement its obligations under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), Turkmenistan has prepared three national communications on climate change.
Currently, work is underway to complete the fourth communication, which will probably be finalized before the end of the year. In addition, an analysis and assessment of the vulnerability of various sectors of Turkmenistan to climate change was carried out.
In 2022, Turkmenistan prepared a nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, which was submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat.
Turkmenistan has set a rather ambitious goal – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 compared to the level of 2010. In this context, the NDC envisages a number of measures for mitigation contribution, adaptation contribution, the plan for the implementation of the Paris Agreement in Turkmenistan.
At the COP-26, Turkmenistan stated that it welcomes the commitments under the Global Methane Pledge and expressed interest in a detailed study of the proposed initiative, the country’s obligations under it and possible international cooperation in its implementation.
Mentioning the GMP, Akmuradov drew the attention of the conference participants to the position of Turkmenistan on joining this initiative.
The expert stressed: “Turkmenistan is responsible for fulfilling its international obligations arising from projects, programs and international agreements, especially in the UN format. That is why, in order to know for sure that Turkmenistan will be able to fulfill these commitments, this kind of work is being carried out. In this context, in order to continue practical actions to assess the possibilities of Turkmenistan’s accession to GMP, as well as to carry out practical measures to assess methane emissions, their possible elimination and possible subsequent monetization, on 2 June 2023, the President of Turkmenistan established an intersectoral commission to reduce methane emissions. The commission’s primary responsibility is to evaluate methane emissions in the country and in the oil and gas industry, to develop strategies to minimise methane emissions, and to consider joining Global Methane Pledge.”
“Turkmenistan is not one of the 40 nations with the highest methane emissions, according to statistics from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, which aggregated data from numerous sources to produce a complete and consistent set of data on greenhouse gas emissions from 1850 to 2017,” the expert noted.
The fact that Batyr Djumayev, the deputy chairman of the Turkmen Oil State Corporation, mentioned at the event may serve as a useful illustration to the statements. Today, practically all of the associated petroleum gas produced by the company is used in the gas lift technique of oil extraction, and the amount of associated petroleum gas burned on candles and torches is kept to a bare minimum.
Methane emissions during regular operation, scheduled maintenance work during extraction, transit, and storage are expected to be greatly decreased in the future as a result of full modernization of all technological equipment.
International institutions are ready to cooperate with Turkmenistan in the field of green development
The Ashgabat forum was attended by international institutions working in the field of green energy transition, such as the Global Institute for Green Growth, the International Observatory on Methane Emissions (UN), who expressed their proposals for partnership with Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan became a member of GGGI (Global Green Growth Institute) on 6 March 2022. The Global Green Growth Institute is a treaty-based inter-governmental international development organization headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The organization promotes green growth, a growth paradigm that is characterized by a balance of economic growth and environmental sustainability.
In February of this year, the head of the organization met with the Deputy Chairman Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and Representatives of the Ministries of Energy, Economy and Finance, Agriculture and Environmental Protection to discuss bilateral partnerships in order to accelerate the transition to “green” growth in Turkmenistan.
GGGI has received the consent of the Government of Turkmenistan to work in two priority areas: methane emissions reduction and a readiness project for the Green Climate Fund.
With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the Institute has planned a technical mission to Turkmenistan in the period from June 15 to 27, 2023 with the aim of deeper
stakeholders engagement and scoping projects in areas of mutual interest.
The UNEP International Methane Emissions Observatory is also ready to join the work on reducing methane emissions in Turkmenistan. To do this, it is proposed to improve the transparency of the oil and gas sector, to conduct direct measurements at facilities to better understand the sources of emissions and mitigation opportunities, and in the near future to target the biggest emission sources, to help create Methane Alert and Response systems.
Representatives of UNDP, USAID, and ADB shared information about projects implemented in Turkmenistan on sustainable “greening” of the energy sector.
UNDP, one of the most important and long-term partners of Turkmenistan, provides technical assistance to the country for the energy transition, which materializes in the form of the first renewable energy facilities, the development of a regulatory framework, and capacity building in the field of energy efficiency. UNDP’s further support in Turkmenistan will include the development of NDC implementation plan, a national adaptation plan, water sector sustainability, and the development of Multi-Hazard early warning system (MHEWS).
ADB and Turkmenistan are currently preparing a country partnership strategy for 2024-2028, which will outline the Bank’s goals in the country’s energy sector. These include the promotion of renewable energy sources and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including support for international actions to address methane emissions. Potential areas of support will be investments in energy efficiency and renewables, low carbon pilot projects, support for reforms, etc.
The International Scientific and Practical Conference “Energy perspectives, new technologies and environmental aspects in the development of hydrocarbon resources” is part of a series of events held annually by Turkmenistan under the OGT brand (Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan).
During the panel discussions of the conference, more than 40 reports were made by delegates of international companies, universities, research centers from Austria, Great Britain, USA, China, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, UAE and international organizations.
The covered topics included:
- New Technologies And Energy Transition: A Glance To The Future
- Green Gas – premium price
- Update on greenhouse gas emissions, measurement, and reporting
- Reducing methane and CO2 emissions to meet net zero and monetization
- Underground gas storage and CO2 reinjection into reservoir
- How to reduce flaring, venting and leaks
- The role of R&D in the development of oil & gas industry
- International experience and initiatives: existing areas of technical & financial support in promoting clean energy
///nCa, 15 June 2023
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