Policymakers and stakeholders target methane as a significant contributor of global warming and so expectations to better understand and reduce methane emissions are increasing among the oil and gas industry and other sectors. This paper will present the findings of research conducted by a taskforce of members of an international petroleum industry environment conservation association and content of the resultant ‘Methane glossary’, which provides additional information on key methane-related terms to enable the use of a consistent and clear terminology within the methane discourse.

From 2013 to 2017 this association undertook a range of activities on methane including, holding a workshop and publishing a report on short-lived climate forcers, and publishing a fact sheet on ’Exploring methane emissions’. It also held a workshop to discuss gaps in knowledge on methane and consider studies, data and measurements from a variety of oil and gas operations globally. As a result, the ‘Methane glossary’ will present information to enhance industry understanding of methane management and emission sources.

The Glossary is a result of extensive collobaration between the industry association technical specialists, over many months, looking to utilise existing, clear defintions wherever suitable, adding clarity and consistency to other terms and complementing that with additional context to support the reader where that is helpful. The Glossary provides technical information for each of the terms selected, which range from concise wordings in some cases and more detailed text with pertinent, additional contextual information included, to provide a clear and consistent understanding of the terms described. The additional information has been extracted from a selection of academic papers, industry experience and publicly available good practice documentation.

The format of the Glossary was designed to take the reader through a logical flow of information, and is therefore divided into seven key sections: (1) Introduction, which provides contextual information on methane as well as instructions and clarifications to lead users throughout the document; (2) Methane sources, which outlines what the methane sources are, where to find them and why they occur; (3) Emissions estimation methodologies, detailing some of the main methodologies used to estimate methane emissions and related terms; (4) Methane detection and measurement which presents a list of work practices and technologies that can be used to measure methane emissions quantitatively and qualitatively; (5) General terms; (6) List of acronyms; (7) Proposals for further readings.

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