What Are The Federal And Provincial Methane Regulatory Requirements In Canada?
On Jan. 21, 2021, the CERI Methane Emissions Management (MEM) course will provide an overview of federal and provincial methane regulations and review emissions mitigation technologies available to meet regulatory requirements by emission source:
- Oil & Gas Wells
- Oil Sands
- Gas Processing
Presented by Allan Fogwill, this live course is delivered by the Canadian Energy Research Institute, in partnership with JWN Energy and the Daily Oil Bulletin.
What are the federal and provincial MEM regulatory requirements in Canada?
In November 2020, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that the Government of Canada had finalized equivalency agreements with the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. The agreements allow strengthened provincial methane regulations to replace the federal regulations for up to five years.
The equivalency agreements represent a flexible approach that enables provinces and territories to design methane regulations that best suit their respective jurisdictions while meeting equivalent emissions-reduction outcomes to the federal regulations.
On January 1, 2020, the Alberta Energy Regulator, in collaboration with the Alberta government, amended Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting and Directive 017: Measurement Requirements for Oil and Gas Operations, to backstop achievement of Alberta’s methane emissions target.
The Directives maintain Alberta’s jurisdiction in regulating the upstream conventional oil and gas industry, enabled through the federal equivalency agreement process. The Directives were developed with input from industry, technology development and research institutions, environmental non-government organizations, and the public.
The Government of British Columbia continues to work with industry, government, and environmental organizations to further its understanding of methane emissions and how best to manage and reduce its release from oil and gas operations.
A new Leak Detection and Repair Data Collection Template complements the Fugitive Emissions Management Guideline, both intended to support the leak detection and repair requirements in effect as of Jan. 1, 2020. The first set of data is expected by May 31, 2021.
The Government of British Columbia is also working on amending the Flaring and Venting Reduction Guideline and developing a new vent data collection template to go with the amended guideline.
Released in January 2019, the Methane Action Plan (MAP) is the Government of Saskatchewan's comprehensive approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from venting and flaring activities in the upstream oil and gas industry. MAP combines flexible results-based regulations with 10 new complementary policies and programs to protect industrial competitiveness and limit carbon leakage risks.
Provincial efforts to reduce GHG emissions in the province's oil and gas sector are covered by both MAP and the province's new Output-based Performance Standards for industrial facilities regulations (stationary fuel combustion emissions), which came into force in January 2019.
MAP focuses on addressing unique local conditions and challenges in ways that only a made-in-Saskatchewan approach can. This includes regulations, policies and programs that align to the specific emission management, infrastructure and investment requirements in each of the province's four major oil producing regions.
MAP is the Government of Saskatchewan's roadmap to responsibly guide the upstream oil and gas sector in a multi-year transition away from venting and flaring and towards methane capture and commercialization opportunities.
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