Brazil’s Petrobras has signed an agreement with the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as it takes another step towards building its low-carbon strategy.

The OGMP is a global initiative coordinated by the United Nations (UN) and comprising more than 80 companies worldwide dedicated to the quantification and management of methane emissions in order to mitigate it.

Petrobras intends to reduce methane emissions by 55% in the upstream segment by 2025, a commitment for the company’s agenda to fight against climate change.

The movement takes place as Petrobras in considering creating a new division to develop renewable energy sources.

According to a report from local newspaper O Globo, a potential decision in that direction would mark a return to renewables, an area that was virtually abandoned by the oil operator to focus investments in the pre-salt province.

Petrobras’ board currently has eight executives and its president. The creation of a renewables division would mean a ninth director would need to be appointed for the job.

There are two alternatives being discussed. One is to split the downstream and gas division and create one solely for downstream and another for gas, energy and renewables.

The other option is to break down the institutional relations and sustainability segment by maintaining one for institutional relations and another for sustainability and energy transition.

In 2008, during the second term of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Petrobras created a subsidiary — Petrobras Biocombustivel — to inject resources in biofuels.

However, over the years, Petrobras gradually reduced its investments in the sector, first closing one of its three biodiesel plants in 2016, and in July 2020 announcing plans to sell the division as part of its divestment programme.

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