Methane Intelligence

MiQ Registry

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How the MiQ Standard works

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An actionable Standard for today

“Focusing only on CO2’s contribution to climate change, and ignoring methane, is like focusing on curing a chronic illness while ignoring a severed artery”

Amory Lovins, RMI’s Founder and Chief Scientist


We are sure you have some questions…

What is MiQ?
MiQ is an independent, not-for-profit partnership between Rocky Mountain Institute and SYSTEMIQ with the aim of rapidly reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector through certified differentiated gas.

MiQ is developing a practical Standard to provide a robust and reliable method to differentiate gas according to its methane emissions performance during production. Participating operators will be assessed across three criteria:

  1. Methane intensity
  2. Monitoring Technology Deployment
  3. Company Practices

Assessment according to the Standard will inform MiQ Certification. MiQ Certification is an independent system designed to provide transparency and accountability on methane abatement. It is a graduated certification scheme that creates a differentiated market for natural gas based on methane emissions performance.

This differentiation of gas will result in different price levels in the market depending on methane emissions during production. The different price levels will create an economic incentive for companies that are lagging behind to invest in upgrades to reduce methane emissions.

Why focus on methane emissions in the oil and gas sector?

The science is clear – we need to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This means that we have to fundamentally redesign and radically transition our energy systems to emit little to no carbon, and soon. This requires an all-hands-on deck strategy – scaling renewable energies and other critical technologies like never before, and phasing out fossil fuels as soon as we can in most, if not all, end uses. We’ve made some progress, thanks in large part to scientists, climate change activists, governments, and the energy industry, but we still have a long way to go.

Until sustainable alternatives to natural gas are available at scale and our energy infrastructure is redesigned away from fossil fuels, we need to ensure that the gas we do use has a minimal climate impact, especially in terms of its methane emissions footprint. It is vital that we dramatically reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector to make the transition as clean as possible.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a much more powerful climate pollutant than CO2 but only persists in the atmosphere for about a decade. This makes it a critical and opportune target for climate change mitigation in the short term. Catalysing efforts to reduce emissions of methane is necessary to slow the expenditure of our remaining carbon budget, buying time for CO2 mitigation solutions to mature. Globally, human-made methane emissions increased by 1.3 percent every year for the last decade, and by 1.7 percent in 2018 alone.

Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is among the most significant actions we can take in the near term to help avert catastrophic climate change.

When will MiQ launch?

Our current standard is ready for both onshore and offshore pilots, which will take place over the course of 2021. These pilots will road-test the standard and enable us to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what is needed to ensure that MiQ is valuable to all stakeholders.

Over time, MiQ Certification will expand to other segments of the natural gas supply chain. In the near term, MiQ is working to develop requirements and certification processes for LNG and other elements of the supply chain.