Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft and Norway’s Equinor have signed an agreement to work together in carbon management and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a joint statement, Rosneft and Equinor will share experience and explore opportunities within areas such as reducing by-pass gas flaring and methane emissions, improving energy efficiency at operations and assessing and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

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The duo will also evaluate potential cooperation in opportunities for the use of renewable energy sources, carbon capture, utilisation and storage and low-carbon hydrogen solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations.

The agreement also aims to identify low carbon opportunities and solutions in the companies’ joint upstream projects in Russia.

Equinor is involved in three upstream projects with Rosneft. Two of them — the North Komsomolskoye heavy viscous field in West Siberia and the North Danilovskoye conventional oil deposit in East Siberia — are already in the development phase.

Both companies are also assessing options for commercialising oil reserves in deep Domanik formations in Russia's Samara region.

Rosneft and Equinor have also established their own targets and deadlines for reducing their greenhouse emissions. However, the Russian producer is lagging behind Equinor in pursuing those aims.

According to the latest Rosneft’s ESG report, greenhouse gas emissions at its upstream operations increased by 11% to over 32 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per barrel of oil equivalent in 2020, compared with the previous year.

Equinor's upstream operated carbon dioxide intensity improved by 16% to 8 kilogrammes of CO2 per boe in 2020 compared with 2019, it said.

This improvement was largely a result of increased production levels from the Johan Sverdrup field offshore Norway, which is electrified and therefore has minimal emissions, as well as increased gas exports from the Troll field, according to the company.

Equinor is targeting upstream projects with higher returns on investment and the greatest opportunities to either lower carbon intensity, or to apply technology and expertise to allow partners to do so.