Daily emissions in early April were comparable to those in 2006 due to the recent pandemic. The effect of the confinement was a decrease of daily global CO2 emissions by –17 (–11 to –25) MtCO2 d−1, or –17% (–11 to –25%) by April 2020, relative to levels in 2019. Emissions from surface transport, power and industry were the most affected sectors, accounting for 86% of the total reduction in global emissions. (1)

Reports of fugitive emission decreases across the oil and gas, power and energy were analyzed globally by a wide variety of market experts. Below we detail a few of regions where fugitive emissions have decreased significantly in the first half of 2020. The change for the rest of the year will depend on the duration and extent of the confinement, the time it will take to resume ‘normal’ operations.


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) expects the steepest declines in US crude oil production will be in the second quarter of 2020. In mid-March, the Permian region had 405 rigs in operation. By May 12, that number had fallen to 175. However due to the urgency and magnitude of the vaccine requirements, the valve industry will be challenged to meet increasing demand. (2)

The United States decreased their emission output by –207 (–112 to –314) MtCO2 between January and April 2020.1 The effect was felt in the oil and gas sector as some refining operations were reduced and/or halted. With the recent changes by the US administration which removes limits on emissions such as methane, it is expected emission levels increase in the latter half of 2020.


Europe decreased emissions by –123 (–78 to –177) MtCO2 between January and April 2020. This decrease is consistent with changes in production and power consumption. 1 Europe can expect to emit 388.8 million tons less of carbon than it did before COVID-19. Greenhouse gas emissions in Europe will drop 24.4 percent in 2020 because of the coronavirus lockdown. (4)


India reduced emissions by –98 (–47 to –154) MtCO2 1, an estimated 15% during the month of March and 30% in April. During the national lockdown, oil consumption fell 18% on year in March. Crude oil production also decreased by 5.9% compared to 2019. It is estimated CO2 emissions fell by 30m tons of CO2 (MtCO2, 1.4%), the first annual decline in four decades. (5)


The largest emission decrease was found in China, –242 (–108 to –394) MtCO2 between January and April. 1 It is estimated CO2 emissions were cut by 25% reduction in the four weeks after Chinese New Year, as refinery operations in Shandong province, the country’s main center for oil refining, fell to its lowest level since 2015. Current emission levels are close to pre-crisis levels. (3)

1. Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R.B., Jones, M.W. et al. Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 647–653 (2020).
2. Valve World Americas Journal, Valve Market Reports 2020 – The Mcilvaine Company.
3. Analysis: Coronavirus temporarily reduced China’s CO2 emissions by a quarter, Carbon Brief.
4. European power and carbon markets affected by COVID-19 – an early impact assessment, Marcus Ferdinand, ICIS.
5. Analysis: India’s CO2 emissions fall for first time in four decades amid coronavirus, Carbon Brief.


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