Sinopec's greenhouse emissions rise for second year in 2021

The company logo of China’s Sinopec Corp is displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong
The company logo of China’s Sinopec Corp is displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong, China March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - Total greenhouse gases emitted by Asia's biggest oil refiner, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) (600028.SS), drifted up for a second year in 2021, while methane recovery rose nearly 20% from year-ago levels.

The state-backed firm plans to achieve carbon-peaking and carbon-neutrality ahead of the national schedule of 2030 and 2060, respectively.

China plans to look into methane emissions in key industries, including petroleum, and publish a nationwide methane emission control action plan. It has included Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) in a pilot programme to assess best practices for measuring greenhouse gases. read more

For a near-term target, Sinopec has aimed to reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 12.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2023 from the 2018 level of 171.52 million tonnes, and recycle methane emissions by 200 million cubic metres annually.

The company's total climate-warming greenhouse gases emissions reached 172.56 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2021, the second year of increase, according to Sinopec's annual environmental report released on Friday. Of which, methane emissions were 299.9 million cubic metres, up from 283.56 million in 2020.

The firm did not explain the surge in emissions, but its data showed that exploration and development business lifted methane emissions by 10%.

Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, but 80 times more potent in warming the earth.

Sinopec has been pouring more investments into domestic oil and gas exploration in response to Beijing's urge to boost energy production and ensure the country's energy safety, and is also planning its highest capital investment in history for 2022. read more

Methane recovery at Sinopec jumped to 717 million cubic metres in 2021, compared with 600 million cubic metres in 2020 and 397 million cubic metres in 2019.

PetroChina (601857.SS), a listed arm of CNPC, disclosed on Thursday that its greenhouse gases emissions fell 4.7% to 159.54 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2021. read more

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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