Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

OGMP 2.0 is a multi-stakeholder partnership that brings together oil and gas companies as well as international organisations, governments and non-governmental organizations to improve the accuracy and transparency of reporting of methane emissions, which is key to methane mitigation in the oil and gas sector.

OGMP was first launched in 2014 under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and was ratcheted up in scope and ambition in November 2020 to become OGMP 2.0. It is the only comprehensive measurement-based reporting framework covering all material sources of methane emissions, from both operated and non-operated assets across all segments of the value chain. This allows asset managers to directly deploy capital efficiently towards emission reduction, and allows investors, regulators and other stakeholders to credibly differentiate performance on an emissions basis.

OGMP 2.0 directly engages oil and gas companies that have the agency to act on the problem of methane emissions. It supports them to better understand their emission profiles and, most importantly, to use this knowledge to mitigate these emissions in a cost-effective way, focusing on the most material sources. The goal is to drive deep methane reductions across the industry over the next decade, guided by actionable emissions data, in a manner transparent to governments, civil society and investors.

Data collection through OGMP 2.0 is one of the key components of UNEP’s International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) to address the methane challenge. IMEO collects and reconciles data from multiple sources, including company reporting through OGMP 2.0, to generate a public dataset of methane emission levels and sources.

OGMP 2.0 member companies commit to reporting annually on their methane emissions (Scope 1) using the most accurate methods and science-based measurement frameworks, as opposed to using generic emission factors. Reported emissions are on an operated and non-operated basis across all assets. This includes not only a company’s operated assets, but also its joint ventures.

OGMP 2.0 establishes five reporting levels, with the highest level (Level 5) requiring that companies reconcile their source-level (Level 4) emission inventories with measurements at the site level.

Companies also commit to establishing a methane reduction target by 2025 (see above) and report on progress towards this target. The target should be included in the company’s implementation plan, which describes the company’s pathway to reaching the highest level of reporting. The implementation plan should be submitted together with the annual emissions report, which is due every year on 31 May.

While companies do not need to announce their target immediately upon joining the initiative, they are encouraged to engage OGMP 2.0 team on their implementation plan well ahead of the 31 May deadline to receive feedback on their draft plan. Companies can revise their implementation plans to reflect adjustments and improvements in their emission portfolios and submit the updated plan together with their annual report by the 31 May deadline.

OGMP 2.0’s formal governing body is the Steering Group. It consists of representatives from all member companies as well as non-company members including the European Commission, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Clean Air Task Force and UNEP. In addition to the Steering Group, technical task forces are established when needed to produce guidance and strengthen coordination.

The Steering Group, which makes decisions by consensus, is responsible for approving changes to the OGMP 2.0 Reporting Framework and governance structure, as well validating any deliverables produced by the technical task forces. It meets at least twice a year to discuss high-level issues relevant to OGMP 2.0, to receive updates on progress of the task forces and approve their deliverables, and to discuss OGMP 2.0 trends and achievements.

The technical task forces are established when needed to produce guidance – e.g., on reporting, quantification methodologies for specific sources, and uncertainty and reconciliation.

The number of task force representatives is limited to approx. 10 company and non-company members. However, all member companies are represented in one of the two mirror groups (one for upstream, and one for midstream and downstream) that meet regularly to discuss and provide feedback on all technical deliverables. The mirror groups provide an opportunity for all companies to engage at the technical level by submitting comments for the technical task forces to address.

UNEP hosts OGMP 2.0 and provides secretariat functions, including:

  • Organizing and running Steering Group and task force meetings and overseeing the development of technical outputs;
  • Reviewing companies’ annual reports and implementation plans;
  • Providing feedback to companies and aggregating data for OGMP 2.0’s annual report included in IMEO’s annual report;
  • Managing communications with OGMP 2.0 members and external stakeholders;
  • Facilitating the recruitment of new member companies;
  • Organizing and running the annual OGMP 2.0 Implementation Conference and the quarterly technical experience-sharing workshops.

  • Define and disclose a methane reduction target (either intensity or absolute).
  • Submit an implementation plan on the pathway to the Gold Standard.
  • Report annually on methane emissions from operated and non-operated assets, updating the implementation plan if needed.

OGMP 2.0 member companies recognise the importance of rapid action to reduce methane emissions across the industry. Therefore, all member companies are required to establish a company-wide methane emission reduction target that reflects ambitious goals. Additional targets – including for non-operated assets / joint ventures – with further ratcheting are encouraged but not required.

Companies can decide to establish an intensity target or an absolute target:

  • Companies that set an upstream methane intensity target will report, for example, the sum of all gas marketed or conveyed over the period, to aid in calculation of methane emission intensity. For midstream and downstream segments, other parameters will be used to calculate the emission intensity (e.g., transmitted gas, distributed gas, length of the pipeline, regasified gas, withdrawal gas, etc.). Each company is to provide the information reflecting the denominator used in their intensity target.
  • Those companies that set an absolute reduction target should also report their baseline year and reference year for calculating the absolute reduction in methane emissions.

Targets should be reflective of broader oil and gas sector goals. UNEP promotes the following goals relating to the oil and gas sectors:

  • 45% reductions in methane emissions over estimated 2015 levels by 2025, leading to 60-75% reductions by 2030;
  • or, alternatively, a “near zero” emission intensity, such as the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) collective average target for upstream operations of 0.25% by 2025.

These are intended as aspirational targets for the industry as a whole. Companies are free to adopt existing company targets or new targets that best represent their ambition and particular portfolio.

Companies can review their targets in case of investments, divestments, new assets and changes in the quantification methodology. In the case that the target is modified, an explanation is required in the revised implementation plan.

Should the quantification methodology change, companies are encouraged to review the emissions related to the reference year, considering the new methodologies and learnings during their methane journey. Reduction targets should show actual emissions variations.  

OGMP 2.0:

  • Provides companies with credible means to demonstrate that they are progressing towards methane reduction targets and their commitment to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Global Methane Pledge, an EU-US-led effort gathering about 150 countries committed to reducing global methane emissions by 30% by 2030;
  • Helps ensure that emissions are being reduced to the greatest extent possible and in a cost-effective manner, avoiding their climate impact;
  • Provides governments, investors and the general public with assurance that companies meeting OGMP 2.0’s Gold Standard are responsibly managing their methane emissions. This will help credibly inform policy and investment decisions;
  • Creates an important community of practice, where companies leverage and accelerate the technical knowledge and experience to transition from simple, generic emission factors to measurement-based reporting, at the occasion of regular technical experience-sharing workshops and the annual OGMP 2.0 implementation conference;
  • Provides companies with an opportunity to participate in the production of technical guidance, which might ultimately become industry guidance, and ensures that it is implementable by the industry, as well as to team up on complex topics, such as uncertainty and reconciliation or Level 4/5 measurement technologies and approaches;
  • Facilitates continuous improvements in the accuracy and granularity of reporting by member companies, thanks to OGMP 2.0’s guidance, detailing how to meet the reporting requirements for the most material sources of emissions;
  • Aids improving operational efficiency and safety in the member companies;
  • Provides member companies an opportunity to represent the industry voice in IMEO’s advisory council and to be continuously challenged and advised by key stakeholders (e.g., UNEP, European Commission, EDF).

To join OGMP 2.0, companies sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNEP to formally express their adherence to the OGMP 2.0’s Reporting Framework. Companies are first asked to fill in the company-related information in the MoU template. The completed MoU is then sent for UNEP signature, which usually takes around two weeks.

Once the MoU is counter-signed by the company, it officially becomes an OGMP 2.0 member.

Interested companies are encouraged to reach out to Giulia Ferrini, OGMP 2.0 Programme Manager (giulia.ferrini@un.org), Monika Oczkowska (monika.oczkowska@un.org) and Gabriella Lorance (gabriella.lorance@un.org) OGMP 2.0 Coordinators. 

There is no fee associated with joining OGMP 2.0. However, member companies commit staff time to meet OGMP 2.0’s reporting requirements, participate in the work of OGMP technical task forces and mirror groups, and attend Steering Group meetings.

Once a company joins OGMP 2.0, it will be represented in the Steering Group meetings, introduced to the relevant mirror group to engage in technical discussions, and invited to participate in the annual OGMP 2.0 implementation conference and the quarterly experience-sharing workshops.

In parallel, the new member company will start working on its implementation plan, including establishing its methane reduction target for 2025 and describing its pathway to reaching the highest level of reporting (Gold Standard). New members are encouraged to reach out to UNEP to start discussing their implementation plan and their annual report.

UNEP also organizes a technical introductory call with new member companies to walk them through the details of the reporting requirements with the help of OGMP 2.0 starters guide and to answer any remaining questions.

The annual deadline for submitting the annual report (and, optionally, the revised implementation plan) is 31 May.

Detailed guidance on reporting requirements and how to fill out the templates is attached to the reporting templates that companies use to report annually on their emissions:

Upstream

Reporting template

Reporting guidance

Mid/downstream

Reporting template

Reporting guidance

A series of Technical Guidance Documents (TGDs) outline recommended quantification methodologies for key sources of methane emissions, and are available on OGMP 2.0’s website:

The following TGDs contain details on quantification methodologies for Level 3 and Level 4 reporting:

Companies are also invited to consult the implementation plan guidance and scorecard, which outlines the elements to be covered in the implementation plan and the scoring system that UNEP uses to evaluate the plans.

Guidance on uncertainty and reconciliation between source-level and site-level emissions is available here.

Guidance on liquefied natural gas (TGDs on Liquefaction, Regassification and Shipping) and on the engagement of non-operated joint ventures will be finalized in 2023.

Additional technical references developed by third parties include:

OGMP 2.0 does not recommend specific technologies for identifying and quantifying methane emissions, as technologies experience continuous and rapid evolution and improvement. Moreover, there is not one existing technology that is one-size-fits-all. It depends on how the technologies are deployed and on the specifics of the situation. Some technologies, or a combination thereof, could be used.

OGMP 2.0 organizes regular experience-sharing workshops where member companies share their experience with methane detection and quantification technologies.

The Gold Standard is attributed on an annual basis. To get the Gold Standard, a company must achieve Level 4/5 reporting for operated assets within three years and for non-operated assets within five years, consistent with section 4.2.1 of the OGMP 2.0’s Reporting Framework.

A company may achieve the Gold Standard prior to years three and five via the following:

  • Submission of an OGMP 2.0-compliant Level 1 (or higher) report for all in-scope assets, in line with the reporting cycle; and
  • Submission of a granular plan (implementation plan) per asset to get to Level 4/5 for all in-scope assets, within the required period, which starts from the date that the relevant company formally joins OGMP 2.0.

Getting to Level 4/5 for all in-scope assets means that for all assets with material emissions (where there are no restrictions on reporting), reporting occurs at Level 4 with demonstrated efforts to move to Level 5. Demonstration of efforts will consider any narrative included in the implementation report or supplemental information.

We would recommend attempts at site-level measurements with possible reconciliation for a nominal one-third of assets and/or covered emissions with subsequent year-over-year progress, striving to move to Level 5 for all material assets, but consider demonstration of less on a case by case basis. 

Reporting Year

 

1

2

3

4

5

Obligations to reach the Gold Standard:

Sign MoU

(Option to submit plan and report for feedback)

Report + credible implementation plan

Report + optional revised implementation plan

Report (with all operated assets at Level 4/5) + optional revised implementation plan for non-operated assets

Report (with all operated assets at Level 4/5) + optional revised implementation plan for non-operated assets

Report with all operated/non-operated assets at Level 4/5

Example dates:

2022

May 31, 2023

May 31, 2024

May 31, 2025

May 31, 2026

May 31, 2027

 

Once achieved, the Gold Standard can be maintained by increasing reporting levels year over year. The company must continue to show progress towards Levels 4 and 5 in its annual reporting, and ultimately report annually at Level 5 (reconciliation of source-level and site-level) within the set timeline.

Companies may lose their Gold Standard status if they do not meet the credible path in the implementation plan or fail to report at Levels 4/5 within the defined time periods for most of their operated and non-operated assets (as per Section 4.1 of the Reporting Framework), subject to reasonable and demonstrable efforts (see below).

Implementation plans may be revised to reflect learning and adjustments but must continue to represent a credible path to get to Level 4/5 for all in-scope assets, within the required period.

The company will continue being part of OGMP 2.0 and will be encouraged to continue working to improve the management and understanding of its methane emissions. It should demonstrate commitment and progress to achieve Levels 4 and 5, with the possibility of attaining the Gold Standard if sufficient progress is achieved.

Level 5 is not a synonym for “site-level” or “top-down” measurements. Level 5 is the reconciliation of source-level inventories (Level 4) with independent site-level measurements. Site-level measurements complement – rather than replace – source-level estimates, and the process of reconciliation helps improve accuracy, thoroughness and confidence in reported emissions.

Site-level measurements, alone, are typically difficult to extrapolate to an annual reporting basis, and more importantly, source-level estimates are necessary to guide and prioritize mitigation activities. Site level contributes to ensuring that all sources of methane emissions are identified, quantified, reported and included in the mitigation strategy of the company. Reconciliation is an iterative process of investigation, year over year, and should not be thought of as a one-off comparison of two independent values.

Sometimes the term “top-down” is used to describe “site-level” measurements, which is interpreted by some to mean that a technology should be applied from a vantage point that is physically above an asset. This is not the case. “Site-level” measurements are simply measurements that can capture emissions at a site or facility level.

Level 5 should be reported at the asset level, with facility information, as the reconciliation of source-level quantification and site-level measurements will be done for a specific facility. Site-level measurements will be performed in a representative sample of facilities. Findings and lessons learned will be extrapolated to ensure the completeness of the reporting in similar assets.

As outlined in the Reporting Framework (Section 4.5), a company can use different levels of reporting to quantify its methane emissions, depending on the materiality. There are materiality rules at the asset level and at the portfolio level (see also the TGD on General Principles):

Portfolio-Level Materiality

Based on the list of a company’s assets, a company can perform the materiality analysis at the portfolio level – assessing the significance of assets in terms of total emissions. All assets that account for 95% of total emissions for a given operator are considered material.

All material assets are ranked in terms of absolute emissions per asset. This step requires that emissions from operated assets are estimated at least at Level 3. For the purpose of this ranking, total emissions from each asset are considered without accounting for equity (unlike for reporting purposes, where only the equity shares of emissions are attributed to a given operator).

  • Operated assets: The company should aggregate the total absolute emissions from all operated assets based on the best available data and rank them from largest to smallest. The top 95% of these assets are in-scope for Level 4/5 within the three-year timeline.
  • Non-operated assets: The company should aggregate the total absolute emissions from all non-operated assets based on the best available data and rank them from largest to smallest. The top 95% of these assets are in-scope for Level 4/5 within the five-year timeline.
  • Assets (operated and non-operated) that account for less than 5% of total methane emissions are still reported but are not required to reach Level 4/5.
  • Non-operated assets where the company has a share of less than 5% equity do not need to be reported (but should be listed in the “excluded” tab).

Asset-Level Materiality

Materiality analysis should also be performed at the asset level.  The vast majority of emissions should be reported at Level 4. In practice, this means:

  • Prioritise more complete coverage of Level 4 measurements for assets that account for a larger share of operator-level emissions.
  • For a given asset, rank all sources of emissions based on the best available data (minimum Level 3).
  • Perform Level 4 reporting on sources that account for a minimum of 70% of the methane emissions from each asset, with a justification as to why greater than 90% is not reached.

Materiality analysis should be reassessed if there are significant changes (e.g., 20% change of emissions within 3 years). The recommendation is to review the materiality analysis every three years unless there is a significant change in the portfolio and/or asset. In the case of significant changes (such as one of the most material assets being divested, implementation of mitigation measures with a massive reduction of emissions,…), the company is encouraged to submit the reassessed materiality analysis with the next reporting.

Companies start to report the following calendar year after joining the initiative. For example, if a company joins in February 2024, its first submission is due on May 31, 2025, based on 2024 data. We encourage companies joining early in the year to report the same year, but they do not have to do so. If a new company decides to start reporting in the year it joins the partnership, this will be considered Year 0 and it will still have 3 years to reach the Gold Standard for operated assets and 5 years for non-operated assets with the count starting the following year after joining (Year 1). We also encourage all members to share their draft implementation plans and reports in advance of the May 31 deadline and to benefit from an informal review and discussion with the UNEP team.

No. Each company can start at any of the levels of reporting based on its understanding of the potential sources of methane emissions and the methodology followed to quantify them.

Yes. The starting reporting point/level can be different for different assets. Assets can be reported at multiple levels for different sources. The company should increase reporting levels year over year to achieve and maintain the Gold Standard. The aim is to get to Level 4/5 for operated assets within three years and for non-operated assets within five years.

To accommodate reporting, the Framework (Section 4.2.1) indicates the following about “reasonable and demonstrable effort”:

  • Where an OGMP member operates a venture, that OGMP member is expected to share methane emission data required to align with this framework to other non-operating OGMP member companies in the venture. Where confidentiality provisions of relevant joint venture agreements do not allow for disclosure of this data beyond the joint venture, all relevant OGMP companies will endeavour to seek approval from applicable parties to disclose the data within a 1-2 year period.
  • Where non-OGMP members operate a venture, the OGMP member is expected to report venture and ‘site’ level methane emissions where made available by the operator and where existing joint venture or other applicable agreements allow, and the data is already collected. Where data is not available or joint venture or other applicable agreements do not currently allow for sharing, the OGMP member will note the reason for not being able to share the data, as well as efforts that will be taken in an attempt to share the data in future reports. Such efforts may include specifically seeking permission from joint venture participants or other relevant stakeholders to enable disclosure.
  • Where, despite making reasonable efforts to remove any restrictions on reporting methane data to the OGMP, an OGMP member is unable to or prohibited from reporting methane emissions data from either an operated or a non-operated venture, the inability to report that data shall not affect the gold standard status of the OGMP member provided that the OGMP member shares with the OGMP information on the reasons for the inability or prohibition of reporting this data, together with descriptions of the steps being taken to obtain these permissions.

Where, despite reasonable and demonstrable efforts to work with a partner to improve methane reporting, the non-operated joint venture does not modify its systems to provide information aligned with the gold standard of reporting, the inability to secure this level of reported data shall not affect the gold standard status of the OGMP member provided that the OGMP member share with the OGMP information describing efforts to work with the partner toward improving its methane emissions reporting.

The company should report at Gold Standard levels (level 4 for a source and level 4 with efforts to move to L5 for an asset) the second year after it becomes material. In the case of non-operated assets, this is subject to reasonable and demonstrable efforts.

In this case, an intensity target is recommended. The target can be reviewed after the initial reporting.

The following information reported by companies will be made public in the IMEO annual report:

  • The declared methane reduction targets of companies.
  • Total emissions by company, aggregated by reporting level (1-5), distinguishing between operated and non-operated assets and showing the core sources of emissions.
  • The evaluation of a company’s progress towards its announced targets.

As outlined in the OGMP 2.0’s Reporting Framework (See on 4.6), relevant competition law requirements are followed, including ensuring that both gas production and sales data, as well as asset and/or country-level emissions data, are confidential and will not be disclosed or identifiable in the public analysis, unless companies choose to waive the confidentiality for specific assets

Member companies will have a reasonable opportunity to review and raise comments prior to the publication of the company-specific information intended for publication.

OGMP 2.0’s data is one of the key components of IMEO’s solution to the methane data problem. IMEO is a UNEP initiative taking an innovative approach to managing emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas. It collects, integrates, and reconciles methane data to generate a public dataset of methane emissions levels and sources.

IMEO corroborates the oil and gas industry’s data against other data sources – including satellites through the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS), scientific measurement studies and national inventories –  to provide the highest level of confidence for companies and governments to act.

IMEO manages OGMP 2.0’s company data in a confidential manner in line with Section 5 of the OGMP 2.0’s Reporting Framework. It also follows the UN Rules and Regulations for “Confidential information and data”. Confidential data will be accessible to only a small number of relevant UNEP personnel in a non-anonymized form for direct analysis and anonymisation. UNEP personnel with access to company data are contractually bound to confidentiality and to handling the received information with the care and discretion required to avoid disclosure.

The guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the OGMP 2.0 reporting framework are congruent, but the OGMP 2.0 adds a higher level of granularity to the IPCC’s Tier 3 reporting by requiring the reconciliation of the source-level and site-level reporting. This reconciliation is critical to validate the data and to steer investment efficiently towards reductions of emissions.

Members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are required to create every year a national inventory of all greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere. Although the framework for reporting is fixed by the UNFCCC, the method of emission estimation can differ from country to country, and even between several data providers within one country, as long as this method can be scientifically justified. The transparency framework unifies the reporting rules, following the IPCC Guidelines. 

The IPCC Guidelines distinguish between three levels, or Tiers, for quantification of emissions: 

  • Tier 1 – The simplest method with the use of relatively aggregate and usually readily available activity variables and with default emission factors for the activity variable chosen. Default emission factors for a set of activity data are listed in the IPCC Guidelines. 
  • Tier 2 – Similar specification for the level of activity data as for Tier 1 but with emission factors that are specific to the country – for example, based on national measurements and analysis. 
  • Tier 3 – The most detailed approach based on a rigorous assessment at the facility level, involving the identification of equipment-specific emission sources, count of equipment units, measurement of emission rates per equipment type, etc. 

The regulations on the use of these factors are different per country, and often the country specifies its emission factors, mostly to be used to determine the remaining amount of methane after combustion. 

Progressing from Tier 1 to Tier 3 represents a reduction in the uncertainty of greenhouse gas estimates. National Inventory Reports should be based on a Tier 3 approach for the entire gas chain. For example, It means that every gas and oil company across Europe should quantify methane emissions using a rigorous bottom-up assessment at the facility level, involving identification and specific emission sources, count of equipment units, and measurement of emission rates per equipment type.

IMEO integrates and reconciles companies’ data with national inventories, satellite data and the findings of scientific studies, to publish a global public dataset of empirically verified methane emissions at an increasing level of accuracy and granularity. 

In line with the OGMP 2.0 confidentiality agreement, OGMP 2.0 data are not made available other than in consolidated and/or anonymized format.

Satellites hold the potential to be a game changer for methane emission quantification and mitigation. Technology is evolving rapidly thanks to improvements in measurement precision and the reduction of satellite instrument detection thresholds. IMEO is already integrating data from several satellite operators as they contribute to identifying methane-intense areas, or hot-spots, and large point sources. Upcoming satellites will enable accurate and complete quantification of the total magnitude of emissions for the majority of oil and gas production regions.

 

Current satellite instruments classified as point source mappers are able to identify and quantify large emission events, but they are not capable of providing the data necessary to accurately estimate annual emissions at a specific site unless it has large continuous emissions, well above the detection limit under ideal conditions.  Such situations are rare and account for only a small fraction of total emissions and an even smaller proportion of all sites. For a company to achieve OGMP2.0 level 5 reporting, satellites alone cannot be used as site-level technology—unless the emissions from a site are constantly above the detection threshold of current satellites (i.e., if the satellite doesn’t detect emissions, it is not appropriate to assume emissions for that facility are zero (the majority of basin emissions can be expected to fall into this category, sites with emissions below the point source detection limit of space-based detectors).

 

Source-level quantification needs to be reconciled with appropriate site-level measurements performed with the adequate, fit for purpose technologies that consider:

  • appropriate detection limits and
  • measurements with sufficient frequency to characterize temporal variation in emissions.

Satellite observations from individual point sources can be part of a multi-tiered monitoring approach that provides useful information to the OGMP2.0 reconciliation process—however, they are insufficient as a single technology for site-level measurements.  The operational understanding of an asset combined with level 5 reporting is essential to drive change and to develop effective mitigation strategies.