India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has kicked off the bid process for a consultant to perform a comprehensive carbon-footprint study across its operations, aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and drafting a long-term net-zero strategy.

Two people with direct knowledge of the tender process told Upstream that ONGC recently sought expressions of interest from leading consultants for a phased study, aimed at deep emission reductions.

The Indian giant has cut the carbon emissions intensity of its operations by more than 12% in the past five years as part of ongoing efforts to make its operations more sustainable, but it did not reveal further details.

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India's public-sector undertakings are under increasing pressure from the government to scale down emissions and reduce their carbon footprint in line with global practices.

The nation’s Power and Renewables Ministry earlier this month drafted a proposal that could compel oil refineries and fertiliser plants in India to use green hydrogen to secure a world-leading market scale for the key energy transition fuel while lowering their own carbon footprints.

While ONGC has been predominantly focusing on its oil and gas operations, it has registered 15 clean development mechanism (CDM) projects with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under the Kyoto protocol as a part of its sustainability drive.

ONGC's CDM portfolio is said to include several solar-power projects along with plans for wind power and carbon capture, utilisation and storage projects.

The company in its annual report last year said it had achieved emissions reductions of 2.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent in its CDM account, and it aims to reduce its GHG emissions by focusing on energy efficiency.

Wide scope

In a bid to speed up its energy-transition drive, ONGC aims to conduct a carbon-footprint study that would include scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions along with strategies, plans and financial implications towards deep emissions reductions and net-zero emissions, project watchers said.

The Indian giant recently issued EOIs for carrying out the detailed study.

Scope 1 involves direct emissions from the production of liquefied natural gas and other hydrocarbon products, while scope 2 comprises indirect emissions from the consumption of electricity.

Scope 3 involves indirect emissions from activities such as transport and end-customer use of products.

Phased approach

ONGC is adapting a two-phased approach for performing the carbon-footprint study, one person said.

Phase one would involve detailed study of ONGC’s GHG emissions inventory across its operations, the person added.

The consultant will be responsible for developing a complete and comprehensive GHG inventory over ONGC’s operations across all locations including setting up a data-management system that will be used for current and future inventories, according to the bid document.

In addition, during the first phase the consultant will review ONGC’s existing GHG data management system for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions and provide recommendations on improving its efficacy, another person said.

During the second phase ONGC plans to carry out a projection of its future emissions, develop its GHG abatement and offset strategy, and detail the financial implications for net-zero emissions in the long term.