CoMAT – CATF’s Country Methane Abatement Tool – lets countries estimate how much methane pollution they can reduce from their oil and gas industries even when they have limited information about the industry and its current emissions.
Across the globe, interest is growing in reducing methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. More than twenty countries signed on to the Marrakech Communique in 2016, committing to action to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. Scientists have recently highlighted the urgent need to reduce methane pollution from fossil fuel industries to curb the alarming recent surge in global methane emissions that – if not slowed – will make it even more difficult to limit global warming.
Despite the interest, understanding emissions from oil and gas well enough to set national goals is a challenge. For example, U.S. EPA’s official estimate of methane pollution from the oil and gas inventory is calculated by tabulating emissions from nearly 200 individual categories representing numerous processes and types of equipment across several industry segments (gas production, gas processing, oil production, etc.) To calculate emissions, EPA uses entire lists of emissions factors that have been developed over the years, but it also collects scores of activity data. These are quantities such as the number of compressor stations, the volume of gas produced and processed, and the number of wells drilled nationwide. While complicated, this type of data makes it possible not just to estimate emissions, but to figure out how much a policy – such as requiring leak detection and repair – will reduce methane pollution.
Compiling and analyzing the information needed to create a national estimate of emissions and potential emissions reduction is a high barrier for some nations interested in moving policies forward to reduce methane pollution. CoMAT – the Country Methane Abatement Tool addresses this problem, making it easier for countries, civil society, and other interested stakeholders to develop their own estimates of how much is being emitted and how much emissions can be reduced.
CoMAT is 100% open source and 100% customizable. CoMAT allows users to explore specific policy options, based on the best information available to the user. CoMAT’s database is prepopulated with the quantity of oil and gas produced and consumed in each country; users may update those prepopulated data (for example, to look at emissions in a future year based on a external projection of production in that future year). Then, users put in as much data as is available for the level of oil and gas activity in the target country. These are data such as the number of wells in the country, the number of compressor stations, etc. When data is not available, the user is able to proceed using CoMAT default parameters. Ultimately, users can add less or more more detailed data or change default assumptions for their country as appropriate – CoMAT allows one to make estimates using purely default assumptions, to change input parameters at a very granular level, or anything in between.
After allowing users to build an estimate for industry emissions based on the best available information, CoMAT allows users to create a mitigation program using proven best practices, tailored to a country’s specific sources of oil and gas methane pollution.
Clean Air Task Force technical and policy experts are available to work closely with countries, civil society, and other interested stakeholders at every step of the process as they use CoMAT.