EDMONTON—Employing existing technologies, Canadian oil and gas companies can reduce methane emissions 45 per cent below projected 2020 levels, a new ICF International report says.
The report, commissioned by Environmental Defense Fund, says achieving the 45 per cent reduction on areas from drilling to delivery would significantly cut back on the potent greenhouse gas while also allowing for the sale of the otherwise lost methane.
“Curbing highly potent methane emissions offers a huge, untapped opportunity to better protect the climate now,” Drew Nelson, senior manager of the Environmental Defense Fund, said. “Canada can gain substantial greenhouse gas reductions using simple, cost-effective solutions to control methane emissions. Even during these challenging economic conditions, methane reductions are one of the lowest-cost, highest-value ways to tackle climate change in the energy business today.”
The report found the reduction would require only technologies and processes that are already available and represent the equivalent of eliminating 27 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. Several of the major abatement opportunities include stranded gas venting from oil wells, fugitives from gathering and boosting stations and chemical injection pumps.
“This analysis clearly demonstrates that controlling methane emissions is an important opportunity to cost-effectively contribute to meeting our climate change objectives,” Chris Severson-Baker, Alberta Director of the Pembina Institute, another partner on the report, said. “With both Alberta and B.C. in the process of updating their climate plans, now is the perfect time to implement rules that require methane emissions to be reduced significantly.”