Better understanding of crude oil GHG emissions can help to quantify the benefits of alternative fuels and identify the most cost-effective opportunities for oil-sector emissions reductions. Yet, while regulations are beginning to address petroleum sector GHG emissions, and private investors are beginning to consider climate-related risk in oil investments, such efforts have generally struggled with methodological and data challenges. First, no single method exists for measuring the carbon intensity (CI) of oils. Second, there is a lack of comprehensive geographically rich datasets that would allow evaluation and monitoring of life-cycle emissions from oils. This study addresses the second challenge to model well-to-refinery CI of all major active oil fields globally—and to identify major drivers of these emissions.
This study estimates emissions in 2015 from 8966 on-stream oil fields in 90 countries. These oil fields represent ∼98% of 2015 global crude oil and condensate production. This analysis includes all major resource classes (e.g., onshore/offshore and conventional/unconventional) and accounts for GHG emissions from exploration, drilling and development, production and extraction, surface processing, and transport to the refinery inlet.