twitter Facebook linkedin acp RSS Feed

A comprehensive new study by S&P Global provides new guidance and methodology that improves comparability, consistency and confidence in assessing the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of crude oil

Offshore Egyp reduced t AdobeStock 38746020The new study improves the assessment of the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of crude oil. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The study, entitled The Right Measure builds on existing literature, standards and practices to address some of the unique challenges that currently limit utility of life-cycle GHG emissions estimates of crude oil. It also proposes a new “Data Quality Metric” – a framework to improve the transparency around the reliability of estimates – developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The study includes a demonstration of the new guidance and methodology by creating a benchmark representing the average intensity of crude oil consumed in North America. The results assess the crude oil pathways that comprise more than 90% of the volume processed in the United States in 2019 and represents the most current and comprehensive assessment to date.

“Not all GHG emissions estimates of crude oil are created equal,” said Cathy Crawford, director, GHG estimation and coordination, S&P Global and co-author of the study. “Understanding GHG emissions can require data that may not have historically been gathered or reported across companies and regions, which affects the quality of estimates. This new comprehensive study builds on existing standards and practices to construct a guidebook that addresses some of the remaining sources of inconsistency with life-cycle GHG emissions that are unique to the estimation of crude oil.”

 “Data quality really does matter, and it is a source of differentiation between estimates which has been unappreciated,” said Kevin Birn, vice president, GHG estimation and coordination, S&P Global and the study co-author. “The creation of the Data Quality Metric has the potential to be a meaningful tool for GHG estimators, from companies to third parties, to allow users to assess the uncertainties and limitations of different GHG estimates. “Assessing and communicating estimate quality is absolutely critical for the market to have confidence in GHG estimates.”

The complete study is available at: