DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik
DBI-GUT Slogan

Gas Grids and Gas Facilities

Methane Emissions

Governments all over the world have decided to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This was recently shown by the Paris Climate Conference (COP21). 195 countries adopted the first ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement. The climate conference 2016 in Marrakesh (COP22) demonstrated that the implementation of the Paris agreement has started successfully, the constructive and multilateral cooperation will be continued.

To achieve the goal of keeping the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the issue of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions) will be of fundamental importance. The best-known human-caused GHG emissions are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and chlorofluorocarbons (FCKW). Slowing down global warming requires rapid emission reductions. The development of GHG emissions is tracked transparently, according to the COP21 goals.

The national GHG inventories keep track of emissions and are set up to follow the mandatory reporting for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These inventories also include records on diffuse emissions from the natural gas sector. The creation of these inventories is challenging because of the constrained accessibility of data (see the figure) and inconsistent data processing in Europe.

Our Services
  • Analysing estimations of diffuse emissions from the gas grid (see MEEM project) and GHG emission reduction possibilities (see reference [4])
  • Collection, preparation and plausibility check of data (see reference [5], [6], [7])
  • Assessment and development of methods for a consistent emission estimation of the gas infrastructure (see MEEM project)
  • LCA (carbon footprint) for gases of different origin taking into account the transportation as well as the usage of these gases (see project “GHG Emissions of Natural Gas”)
MEEM Project - Phase I

"Analysing the Methods for Determination of Methane Emissions of the Gas Distribution Grid"

01-10-2014 until 31-10-2015


Motivation and Goal

The goal of the project was the analysis of existing methods for the methane emission estimation of the gas distribution grid and the identification of best practices und potentials for optimisation.

  • Methods for emission estimation very different in Europe
  • Transparency is insufficient and thus the reliability is limited
  • Promoting natural gas as partner for the energy transition needs reliable information on its emissions
  • Identification of chances to enhance the sustainability



Supported by:                                 Conducted by:




Große, C.; Wehling, A.; Müller-Syring, G.: Methanemissionen des Gasverteilnetzes

In: Aqua & Gas, N° 9 2016, S. 52 - 57.

In: energie | wasser-praxis, 11/2016, S. 60 - 64.

MEEM Project - Phase II

"Development of an Accurate and Consistent Method for Methane Emission Estimation from the Gas Distribution Grid"

                                             01-10-2016 until 31-05-2018


Motivation and Goal

Development of a consistent, transparent, reliable and accurate method for methane emission estimation, preferably used as pan-European method in the future and hereby enhancing the comparability of the emission estimations. An information about the project could also be found on the GERG website.

  • Development of a pan-European estimation method is crucial regarding the current situation of discussion on the environmental friendliness of natural gas
  • Unique method will provide consistent data
  • Comparison between the countries within Europe would be possible
  • A consistent updated method would unveil the positive developments already achieved as well as future reductions regarding methane emissions from the gas infrastructure 



Supported by:                                 Conducted by:


Project "GHG Emissions of Natural Gas"


"Critical Evaluation of Default Values for the GHG Emissions of the Natural Gas Supply Chain"

Principal: Zukunft ERDGAS GmbH

Duration: 30-05-2016 until 15-12-2016

Project Description

This project was motivated by a study carried out by the consulting firm EXERGIA on behalf of the European Commission entitled “Study on Actual GHG Data for Diesel, Petrol, Kerosene, and Natural Gas” – hereafter referred to as the EXERGIA study. The EXERGIA study concluded that emissions for the production, processing, transport, storage and distribution of natural gas had been underestimated.

The goal of the study was to determine the carbon footprint (CF) of natural gas distributed in Germany and in Central EU. The carbon footprint determines CO2 emissions, which emerge during the life cycle of a product. For the comparability, all occurring emissions are converted into CO2 equivalents.

Emissions resulting from the production, processing, transport, storage, and distribution of natural gas were considered. The utilization of the best data available and the transparency of the calculations was of paramount importance to the project.

In order to make the results comparable with the EXERGIA study, the model GHGenius in the version 4.03 was used to determine the carbon footprint - the same version of the model as was used by the EXERGIA study.
For further information, you may download the management summary and the report below.


Releated Projects

"Greenhouse gas intensity study in natural gas", Thinkstep on behalf of NGVA

(Expected publication in the first quarter of 2017.)

Further References
Task Principal Duration
[1] Review of the study: study on actual GHG data for diesel, petrol, kerosene and natural gas‘ (EXERGIA study) German Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) Jan. 2016 – May 2016
[2] Analysing the methods for determination of methane emissions of the gas distribution grid ENGIE/GRDF, E.ON Technologies, Gas Natural Fenosa, ITALGAS, Kiwa Technology B.V., Swiss Association for Gas and Water (SVGW), Synergrid Oct. 2014 – Oct. 2015
[3] Emission estimation for German Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) German Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) 2015
[4] GHG mitigation potentials in the European gas infrastructure German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) Oct. 2013 – Nov 2015
[5] Assessment of emission data quality for the National Inventory Report (NIR) for Germany German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2014/2015
[6] Transferring the inventory data and event data of the German Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) database for the emission inventory database of the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) Oct. 2013 – May 2014
[7] Improvement of the emission estimation of gas distribution Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Germany (BMWi) Mar. 2012 – Oct. 2012

Contact Person

Stefan Schütz
deputy Head of Department

  (+49) 341 - 24 57 118
  (+49) 341 - 24 57 137

Show e-mail-adress


Contact Person

Charlotte Große, M.Sc.
Project Engineer

  (+49) 341 - 24 57 149
  (+49) 341 - 24 57 137

Show e-mail-adress