Methane seepage may make natural gas as polluting as coal: Bloomberg

Bloomberg reported that better data on methane gas leaks is needed if global oil majors are to deliver on their promises of reducing dangerous climate pollution by switching to natural gas. 

"Methane, the main component in natural gas, can seep into the air at various points between extraction and delivery. Trapping more heat than carbon dioxide, it’s a potent contributor to global warming. Yet credible data on the volumes released is scarce."

While methane emits half the CO2 of coal when burned, it becomes more polluting than coal if just 3.5 percent of the methane escapes, according to Shell.  

According to the article, Methane leaks aren’t a new problem, but they’re increasingly under the spotlight as gas is touted as a “transition” fuel amid the global shift to cleaner energy.

The industry is promoting gas as a “stopgap fuel,” but as long as companies lack the ability to show how much methane is leaking, no one knows whether gas is better for the environment than coal, he said.
— Richard Taylor, BMI Research London
Jason Mogus