Most oil and gas professionals are confident about the role of natural gas up to 2050.
That’s according to a new report published by the Energy Institute, which explores the opinions of almost 200 industry leaders towards reducing the climate change impacts of the fuel.
Those responding to the survey said carbon capture and storage (CCS) offers the greatest potential of any technology to reduce emissions in the natural gas lifecycle, with around 90% saying they believe industry has a role to play in developing and implementing this technology.
However, the answers suggest too many professionals underestimate the significance of escaping emissions and the possibilities for reducing them cost effectively.
Around two-thirds expressed surprise at the extent of the problem – methane as a greenhouse gas is up to 36 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 100 years.
The report estimates it is possible to avoid 75% of current methane emissions in the natural gas supply chain and up to half of these emissions could be avoided at no net cost.
Energy Institute President Malcolm Brinded said: “Even natural gas’ cleaner-than-coal and friend-to-renewables advantages will not be enough to square this circle.
“For it to fulfil its potential long-term role in the low carbon world, more must be done to clean up how it is produced and how it is burned.”