Regulation

Better climate reporting needed from oil and gas companies – regulator

The oil and gas industry must improve reporting of climate change impacts or risk losing its social licence, the regulator said today.

Still from video of flare at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A well site, 22 August 2019. Photo: West Newton Monitoring and Information Station

From 2023, operators onshore and offshore must include figures in their financial reports of fugitive emissions and emissions from flaring and venting .

They will also be required to provide information on air and water pollution risks, waste management and carbon intensity.

The figures should also include direct emissions from their operations and indirect emissions created from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam.

The changes were previously announced by the government. This afternoon the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, published recommendations to help companies comply.

The OGA said it formed the taskforce an environmental, social and governance taskforce last year when:

“it became clear from engagement with the investor community – which is itself coming under pressure to play a greater role in supporting low-carbon business – that there was a gap between investor expectations and what was actually being reported”.

It said companies should provide quantitative and qualitative information and that disclosure should be encouraged and improve over time.

Tom Wheeler, the director of regulation at the OGA, said:

“Some members of the oil and gas industry are already improving ESG [environmental, social and governance] reporting, but the industry as a whole must pick up the pace or risk losing not only its social licence to operate, but also the support of the investment community.

“The OGA has revised its Strategy to incorporate supporting the industry in its drive to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and this reporting initiative is an important stepping-stone in that.”

3 replies »

  1. “Some members of the oil and gas industry are already improving ESG [environmental, social and governance] reporting, but the industry as a whole must pick up the pace or risk losing not only its social licence to operate, but also the support of the investment community.

    I think they have that backwards the Investment community will see the cost of all this paperwork as a drain on resources & invest their money elsewhere after all they are investing to make money not environmental reports.

  2. “UK oil and gas companies creating more jobs reporting on environmental, social and governance compliance”

    What’s not to like?

    “Overseas companies not keeping up with reporting on environmental, social and governance compliance”.

    So, another plus for UK to source as much as possible locally!

    What’s not to like?

    Must now produce the necessary report forms to show my home grown courgettes have a much smaller carbon footprint than those produced in Spain and trucked to the UK. Except, that would require some paper, so I will accept the logic and common sense that it just does.

    Awaiting the campaign against from the Spanish Courgette Growers Association, with the expected one sided equations, but my logic and common sense will prevail. (Can Covid-19 be transported on or with an imported courgette? It certainly can on a tanker. Pilots beware-and they are having to be.)

  3. Just a case of extending the E spreadsheet a tad maybe, but more about external reporting requirements and audit. Will the paperwork match that required for a lorry load of scallops going to France?

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