LCA report PGC A, study group A1 WGC 2006

This report is the product of Studygroup A1 during the Dutch Triennium 2003-2006. It is a Life Cycle Assesment of the Natural Gas Chain. Summary: The International Gas Union (IGU) started a life-cycle initiative for the natural-gas chain. The aim was to collect en structure industry data on consumptions and emissions along the life cycle of natural gas. This report describes the initiation of the life-cycle inventory. Costs and environmental impact are important drivers for investigating the natural gas life cycle. Environmental impact will more and more become an important subject in industry policy and strategy. While natural gas is now performing well in terms of environmental profile with respect to other fossil energy sources, continued efforts will be essential to keep this position in a changing market and with other fossil fuels working on their environmental impacts. In order to identify the – most attractive – options for improvement, further expansion of the life-cycle database is desirable. One of the main issues in the natural gas chain is the loss of product through fugitive emissions and venting or flaring. Natural gas – methane – has a high global warming impact and therefore product loss and climate impact are closely related. This means that reducing losses leads to improved economic as well as environmental performance. While venting, or flaring, may not easily be avoided, the fugitive emissions could in principle be reduced significantly, as is shown in the USA Gasstar programme. Also, the energy efficiency of processing, may be improved. Most of this energy is provided by the natural gas itself and thus results in a loss of product as well.

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