The Russian natural gas industry is the world's largest producer and transporter of natural gas. This paper aims to characterize the methane emissions from Russian natural gas transmission operations, to explain projects to reduce these emissions, and to characterize the role of emissions reduction within the context of current GHG policy. It draws on the most recent independent measurements at all parts of the Russian long distance transport system made by the Wuppertal Institute in 2003 and combines these results with the findings from the US Natural Gas STAR Program on GHG mitigation options and economics. With this background the paper concludes that the methane emissions from the Russian natural gas long distance network are approximately 0.6% of the natural gas delivered. Mitigating these emissions can create new revenue streams for the operator in the form of reduced costs, increased gas throughput and sales, and earned carbon credits. Specific emissions sources that have cost-effective mitigation solutions are also opportunities for outside investment for the Joint Implementation Kyoto Protocol flexibility mechanism or other carbon markets.
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