“Natural gas as a climate change solution”. IPIECA. 26 Sept 2006 – methane (CH4), the principle component of natural gas, is a potent GHG, with 231 times the radiative forcing impact of CO2 on a weight basis over a 100-year period. Because the lifetime of CH4 in the atmosphere is only about 12 years, its instantaneous impact on the climate system is much larger. Control of CH4 emissions can, therefore, also play an important role in the mitigation of GHG emissions. CH4 is the second largest contributor to anthropogenic GHG emissions after CO2, accounting for about 16 per cent of the total on a CO2-equivalent basis. Most anthropogenic CH4 emissions are biogenic in nature and are generated by agriculture, waste management and biomass. Of global anthropogenic CH4 emissions, the natural gas industry accounts for approximately 15 per cent; coal mines for 8 per cent; and the oil industry for 1 per cent. Emissions can occur at all stages of the oil and gas industry. In the USA for example, oil and gas production accounts for 44 per cent of CH4 emissions; transmission and storage for
26 per cent; and distribution for 19 per cent of oil and gas industry emissions.