Coming Soon: A fresh look for an industry that’s always innovating
Skip to main content

Climate Change

API Climate Position

API and its members commit to delivering solutions that reduce the risks of climate change while meeting society’s growing energy needs. We support global action that drives greenhouse gas emissions reductions and economic development.

The natural gas and oil industry is part of the global solution and plays a vital role in developing and deploying technologies and products that continue to reduce GHG emissions while advancing human and economic prosperity and that are essential to extending the benefits of modern life to all.

API will lead by providing platforms for industry action to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through industry-led solutions, and
  • Actively work on policies that address the risks of climate change while meeting the global need for affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

API Climate Policy Principles

API and its members advocate for government policies that ensure the availability and continued development of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, including oil and natural gas supplies and products derived from them, to consumers. The following principles will guide API’s perspective on public policies that address the risks of climate change. Sound public policy approaches must be designed to:

  • Facilitate meaningful GHG emissions reductions and conservation from all sectors of the economy.
  • Balance economic, environmental and energy security needs.
  • Promote economy-wide innovation and development of cost-effective technologies to meaningfully reduce GHG emissions.
  • Optimize solutions by eliminating redundant or contradictory policies.
  • Support market-based policies to drive innovation.
  • Maintain the competitive positioning of U.S. businesses in global markets.
  • Rely upon predictable and economically efficient policy frameworks, such as the use of offsets, that foster competition and utilize economy-wide market forces, to deliver outcomes at the least cost to society.
  • Ensure that energy producers, manufacturers and suppliers are responsible for their direct emissions.
  • Recognize and appropriately account for early and/or voluntary actions.
  • Make the costs and associated climate benefits of any policy fully transparent to the American public.
  • Continue to advance understanding of global climate change in order to calibrate and adapt future policies appropriately and effectively.

  • What's Current

    Climate Change and Energy

    It is clear that climate change is a serious issue that requires research for solutions and effective policies that allow us to meet our energy needs while protecting the environment: that's why oil and gas companies are working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

    Climate Change and Energy Primer

    Estimating petroleum industry value chain (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions and overview of methodologies (June 2016)

    Estimating petroleum industry value chain (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions, an overview of methodologies, informs oil and gas companies on value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimation and approaches. The document outlines a number of approaches used by the oil and gas industry to estimate scope 3 emissions, and complements and provides industry context to existing standards and guidance documents. Much of the material draws on the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard.

    Jack Gerard outlines market-based emissions reduction model in press call (November 16, 2015)

    API President and CEO Jack Gerard discussed market-based solutions to climate change challenges at a press conference call. Gerard shared a new analysis by API, which demonstrates how the United States has become the world leader in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. He also cited EPA data showing that methane emissions are plummeting, with the largest reductions coming from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells.

    Key Investments in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies from 2000 Through 2014 by Oil and Gas Firms, Other Industry and the Federal Government (September 2015)

    This report provides estimates of the investments made from 2000 through 2014 in various greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies. Estimates are provided for the oil and gas industry, other private sector industries, and the Federal Government.

    Consistent Methodology for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Operations (May 2015)

    This document is designed to provide guidance for the quantification of GHG emissions associated with operations along the LNG value chain, i.e. liquefaction; shipping; loading/unloading; regasification; and storage.

    Addressing Uncertainty in Oil and Natural Gas Industry Greenhouse Gas Inventories (February 2015)

    Industry has recognized that with the emergence of mandatory reporting programs and economic instruments that rely on precise knowledge of GHG emissions (and emission reductions) there is a growing focus on improving the quality of emission estimations. To meet this need, industry developed guidance entitled: “Addressing Uncertainty in Oil & Gas Industry GHG Inventories: Technical Considerations and Calculation Methods”. This is a collaborative effort among API, it’s global affiliate IPIECA, and it’s European counterpart CONCAWE. Addressing uncertainty for GHG emission estimates complements the API GHG Methodology Compendium (API Compendium)released in August 2009. The document provides the needed background information and details on measurement uncertainty and statistical calculation methods that are relevant for the industry, but could be used by other sectors as part of their GHG inventory development.

    Industry Initiatives

    Energy-related CO2 Emissions

    The U.S. oil and natural gas industry is spending billions of dollars developing new advanced energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet future energy needs.

    Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

    Greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. oil and natural gas industry have declined by 374 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2008 through 2014.

    Investments by Technology and Investor Group

    Oil and natural gas companies are taking action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and investing in the technologies and fuels that will reduce them even more in the future.

    Methane Emissions

    While natural gas production has risen, methane emissions have fallen thanks to the oil and natural gas industry’s investment in new technologies. The latest EPA Inventory of Greenhouse Gases found that methane emissions from field production of natural gas systems fell 38 percent from 2005 through 2013, while natural gas production grew 36 percent during the same period.

    Capital Spending, GDP, and Employment Impacts of GHG Regulations under CAA (2011)

    The American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) has investigated the likely impact of EPA’s GHG regulations on the cost of capital and U.S. investment. 2 ACCF estimated that the pending GHG regulations would “increase the risk premium added to the firm’s cost of capital by 30% to 40%.

    Petroleum industry guidelines for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, 2nd Edition ( May 2011)

    The petroleum industry has recognized the need for GHG accounting and reporting guidance that is focused specifically on its operations. The original edition of this publication, Petroleum Industry Guidelines for Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions (referred to as the Guidelines) was issued in December 2003 to fulfil the need for industry guidance focused specifically on the accounting and reporting of GHG emissions at the facility through to the corporate level. This report is the first revision of the Guidelines.

    Feasibility of Carbon Capture and Storage – A Response to Economides (2010)

    In the fall of 2009, Michael Economides and Christine Ehlig-Economides (“Economides”) published a paper challenging the feasibility of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) -- the suite of technologies involved in capturing CO2 from industrial processes and electricity production and injection of the CO2 into suitable underground formations for long-term isolation from the atmosphere. API contends that their paper includes a number of mis-statements and extremely conservative base assumptions that could lead readers to arrive at inappropriate conclusions regarding the role that CCS can play in addressing CO2 emissions (see document below). API is not alone in this assessment. A number of prominent groups have gone to the effort of responding to their claims, including:

    NRDC has created: When more realistic base assumptions are used, API finds that the Economides’ analytical method can be utilized to prove the opposite conclusion to the one they make in the paper; namely, that management of CO2 emissions through utilization of CCS in a portfolio of energy technologies is eminently feasible.

    Compendium of Greenhouse Gas emissions Methodologies for the Oil and Gas Industry (2009)

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) and many of its member companies are implementing action plans for addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) concerns and policy issues. To help meet this need, member companies of the American Petroleum Institute (API) first published the Compendium of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimation Methodologies for the Oil and Gas Industry in April 2001, with a third edition released in August 2009 (referred to as the Compendium). Concurrently, local, regional, national and international bodies are developing or revising their guidance on estimating, reporting, and verifying GHG emissions. This document is a compendium of currently recognized methods and provides details for all oil and natural gas industry segments to enhance consistency in emissions estimation.

    API Tools for Estimating GHG Emissions

    Accurate estimation of greenhouse gas emissions is indispensable to responsibly addressing the serious issue of climate change. Through API, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has provided a suite of tools for estimating emissions. It includes API's 2009 compendium of emissions estimation methodologies,software for emissions estimation and inventorying,

    Natural Gas STAR

    The American Petroleum Institute is a participant in the Natural Gas STAR Program, a voluntary partnership between EPA and the oil and natural gas industry designed to cost-effectively reduce methane emissions. . The U.S. EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program plays an important role in API’s mission to work constructively for sound energy and environmental public policies.

    Oil and Natural Gas Industry Guidelines for GHG Reduction Projects

    Part I: Oil and Natural Gas Industry Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projects

    API and IPIECA (International Petroleum Industry Conservation Association) have produced guidance for oil and natural gas companies as they evaluate options for reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and registering project-level GHG emission reductions. This guidance focuses on the technical aspects of reducing GHG emissions separate from policy considerations.

    Part II: Carbon Capture and Geological Storage Emission Reduction Family

    API-IPIECA produced this publication, which is the second greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction project family in the Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projects series. This project family addresses carbon capture and geological storage as an emission reduction option. Case studies of three potential applications are provided.

    Part III: Flare Reduction Project

    A joint API-IPIECA task force produced this publication, which is the third greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction project family in the Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projects series. This project family addresses GHG emission reductions associated with reduced flaring activities from oil and natural gas operations. Guidelines are provided following the framework presented in the general project guidelines, with the focus being on specific technical considerations and aspects rather than policy considerations. The document also explores case studies of three potential applications.

    Enhanced Oil Recovery

    API completed a Summary of Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2EOR) Injection Well Technology. This important background report identifies the technologies and operating practices that have been developed by the oil and gas industry for injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). These technologies and practices have been developed specifically for use in CO2 EOR; however, the oil and gas industry's experiences and learning may be of value in considering the injection of carbon dioxide for the purpose of geologic storage.