The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD or the Task Force) published its final recommendations in 2017, and now both companies and investors are moving towards implementation of TCFD’s recommendations.

While the Task Force’s recommendations are widely supported, questions remain about how to take the guidance of the Task Force and put it into practice, especially for industry-specific issues. The Task Force itself recognizes that further work is required to “provide example disclosures to assist preparers in developing disclosures consistent with the Task Force’s recommendations.”

Methane emissions present material risks and opportunities to the oil and gas industry requiring robust disclosure

Methane emissions present both material climate risks, and compelling business opportunities for oil and gas companies. Methane is the primary component of uncombusted natural gas and is estimated to be at least 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a warming agent over a 20-year time period. The oil and gas industry is one of the largest anthropogenic sources of methane emissions, but cost-effective reduction solutions exist today.

How to report on methane within the TCFD framework

This paper follows the TCFD’s four-part framework: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.

This paper provides support and guidance to oil and gas companies and their investors on how to put the TCFD framework into practical use for disclosure on methane emissions. This paper includes guidance on the risks and opportunities of methane, recommended disclosures across TCFD’s four-part structure, and real-world examples of what methane reporting in these four categories looks like today. The guide concludes with a suggested implementation timeline.

While the guide is aimed at upstream oil and gas companies and their public equity investors, the document can also be useful for investors in private companies, and energy lenders such as investment banks and insurance companies, who may be looking to benchmark methane performance as they implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) and risk-management policies. Likewise, this guide can also be a reference for oil and gas companies further down the value chain, for whom methane risk is also an issue.

Implementing TCFD recommendations for oil and gas methane disclosure