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Fuels and products

The Fuels and Products Working Group coordinates the industry’s response internationally to issues affecting the downstream supply chain, including biofuels, marine air emissions, fuel additives, product management and stewardship.

The Issue IPIECA activities Member actions

The issue

As vehicle emission control technology advances, the oil industry is increasingly being challenged to produce and supply cleaner, better performing hydrocarbon fuels to ‘enable’ advanced emission control technologies. The environmental consequences of the fuel-vehicle system are of concern to a range of stakeholders who have concerns ranging from air quality in developing country mega-cities through to greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles in California. Developing countries in particular have special needs, which must not be forgotten.

The oil and gas industry seeks to improve its environmental performance: not only by increasing availability of more sustainable fuels, but also by improving Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) management throughout the supply chain.

IPIECA activities

IPIECA works with its members to provide a forum to share best practice on downstream environmental issues related to refining of crude oil, and the transport and distribution of products to consumers.

The Fuels and Products Working Group is currently working on:

Member action

Below are a number of examples of recent initiatives undertaken by IPIECA and its members.

  • The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles: Launched at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles assisted sub-Saharan Africa countries in phasing out leaded gasoline by 2005 and is aiming for global elimination of leaded gasoline by 2014. Almost all countries have eliminated leaded gasoline except for 6 countries; Afghanistan, Myanmar, North Korea, Algeria, Yemen, Iraq. The re-launch of PCFV strategy aims now to:
  1. Complete the lead phase-out campaign 
  2. Reduce sulphur emissions and tackle diesel emissions
  3. Focus on particulate matter and black carbon as they are a key health and climate change issue
  • Biofuels: Maximising Sustanability: IPIECA has produced  three guides that provide an introduction to biofuels and Chain of Custody systems and recently held a Biofuels Standards workshop that reviewed the status of regional regulations impacting biofuels sustainability certification, assessed the implementation of standards and voluntary schemes and considered improvements. 
  • Mercury: Mercury has recently come under global scrutinity with the UN leading negotiations to develop a legally binding global treaty on the control of mercury releases. In 2009, the UN Envrionment Programme agreed to begin negotiations and convened an intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) with the mandate to prepare the instrument and requested that IPIECA prepare a document on the releases of mercury from the oil and gas sector. In response IPIECA provided input and presented at the Technical Briefing of INC3.  IPIECA also published the largest publicly available dataset on mercury levels covering 446 Crude Oils and Condensates and submitted a paper to the SPE/APPEA International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production held in Perth, Australia, 1-3 September 2012. 

More on Mercury and the INC5 outcome.

IPIECA's paper to the SPE/APPEA International conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. Contact the IPIECA Secretariat for further information.

  • BSR is a global network of more than 250 member companies (including IPIECA) developing sustainable business strategies through consulting, research and cross-sector collaboration. For more information, download this overview or the BSR Report. BSR Fuels Working Group is currently working on the ‘sustainability impacts of fuels’ through a series of stakeholders webinars, which IPIECA monitors closely.
  • CCAC: The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is a voluntary, collaborative global partnership uniting governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society to quickly reduce short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon, and many hydroflourocarbons (HFCs). The Coalition builds upon and scale-up existing efforts focused on short-lived climate pollutants such as the Global Methane Initiative, Arctic Council, and Montreal Protocol and is complementary to efforts reducing carbon dioxide.

One of the 7 initiatives of CCAC related to the Fuels and Products working group is ‘Reducing black carbon from diesel vehicles and engines’. We look forward to engaging with CCAC on a number of issues that they currently address.