Natural gas certifier MiQ has 350 billion cubic feet of US-produced natural gas ready for trading on its Digital Registry as it advances its certification process to include liquefied natural gas.

Demand for certification of gas has been growing strongly as users use the service to claim environmental credentials.

The amount of Independently Certified Gas (ICG) on the MiQ's own registry is already equal to more than 100 LNG cargoes, the certifier said, adding that it is about to announce its first agreement with an LNG exporter.

MiQ certifies natural gas by looking at site-level methane intensity, along with frequency and detection-levels of methane monitoring systems and company policies.

The organisation says it is now certifying natural gas at a rate of about 10 billion cubic feet per day, covering about 2.5% of the global gas market. The company says its goal is to get to 100% within the next decade.

“With 350 Bcf of ICG ready for transacting on MiQ’s Digital Registry, we have succeeded in creating a market capable of rewarding better methane emissions performance,” said MiQ chief executive Georges Tijbosch.

“This shows that certification is moving into the status quo, and with the entire supply chain now available for certification, there really are no limits to the rapid abatement of methane emissions from oil and gas.”

Through the launch of its Certified Supply Chain, MiQ has extended its certification to the entire LNG supply chain, including gas production, processing, transmission and storage, liquefaction, liquefied natural gas shipping and regasification.

ICG versus RSG

MiQ prefers to use the term ICG rather than the more common responsibly sourced gas (RSG), arguing that it is the buyers that determine the appropriate level of mitigation to be responsibly sourced, not the producers.

Equitable Origin, another certification company that often works closely with MiQ, mentioned it prefers the term certified gas over RSG as well.

“A problem with the word "responsible" used to describe a producer, is that it implies that every other producer is irresponsible and that is not a message we want to deliver,” Equitable Origin chief executive Soledad Mills said.

Chris Romer, chief executive of data analytics and environmental assessment company Project Canary, said his company several years ago coined the term RSG as a way for buyers to differentiate product with a holistic ESG strategy. But he, too, is concerned that the term can be misused.

“How can we justify charging low income ratepayers a premium for gas when there are certification groups who aren't even meeting minimum federal and state standards while calling it RSG? To me, that is a huge reputational risk and causes significant damage to affecting climate change,” Romer said.

Ultimately, Romer says he is more focused on how gas is certified, making sure firms collecting data for certification don’t have conflicts of interest with clients.

“This climate data will become like material financial data in the near future, and we are all going to be held to a very high standard to avoid both actual conflict of interest as well as the appearance of or potential risk of conflict of interest,” Romer said.

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