Ministerial Committee Assigned by Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit Holds Official Talks with Canadian Prime Minister

Ministerial Committee Assigned by Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit Holds Official Talks with Canadian Prime Minister

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) and Kayrros, an environmental intelligence company, have collaborated in publishing the first-ever measurements of elusive methane emissions in Saudi Arabia using satellite technology, covering the years 2016-2022.

According to a press release from KAPSARC, it recently published a discussion paper titled "Using Satellite Technology to Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Saudi Arabia", highlighting how the two organizations leveraged NASA’s and the European Space Agency’s state-of-the-art satellites to estimate methane emissions from Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas sector at 780 kilotons in 2022. This new data shows that Saudi Arabia is "having the second-lowest methane intensity in oil and gas production" when compared to other oil-producing countries, second only to Norway.

The release said that "the project takes on an added significance given the limited global sources providing methane inventories for Saudi Arabia and their diverging estimates".

Notably, the emission estimates arrived at by KAPSARC and Kayrros for the same year are approximately 73% lower than those reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR).

KAPSARC President Fahad Alajlan stressed that "this stark difference underscores the groundbreaking nature of our findings, challenging existing norms and emphasizing the importance of our innovative approach in redefining our understanding of emissions in Saudi Arabia".

The project also estimates that methane emissions from Saudi Arabia's oil and gas industry constitute "one-third of total methane emissions", consistent with the latest national greenhouse gas inventory submitted by the Saudi Clean Development Mechanism Designated National Authority in 2022.

Kayrros co-founder and President Antoine Rostand said: "It is within our power as a global community to reduce methane emissions dramatically. Our data shows this conclusively."

According to the release, the satellite estimates for the Saudi oil and gas sector focus solely on emissions from oil and gas fields, encompassing production, transportation of hydrocarbons and gas processing within the field vicinity. Downstream operations were not included in the analysis.

The findings have significant policy implications for Saudi decision makers, as the country is committed to the Global Methane Pledge, which targets a 30% reduction in methane emissions worldwide by 2030.

Having accurate information on Saudi emissions "can guide more effective climate actions", said the release, adding that "satellite-based estimation results highlight the need to address methane emissions from the waste sectors in Saudi Arabia".