(Video) Alberta fugitive methane emission regulations: Prescriptive, carbon levy, or let industry lead?
First priority is to understand how much methane is actually leaking from Alberta oil/gas operations – Read Both the Alberta and Canadian governments want fugitive methane emissions reduced 45 per cent by 2025. But how best to achieve that goal isn’t clear. Industry watchdogs are pushing prescriptive regulations that producers fear will inflate compliance costs and inhibit adoption of better technologies. No one is even sure just how much methane is leaking from wells, pipes, and facilities. Containing methane emissions is important because they are a potent greenhouse gas, 25 times more significant than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. The Alberta government says that 2014 methane emissions from oil and gas were 31.4 megatonnes of CO2 equivalents – 48% from direct venting or venting from equipment, 46% from fugitive emissions or leaks, and 6% from flaring or other sources. Kent Fellows is an energy economist with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. He says that measuring fugitive methane emissions is very difficult. “For other greenhouse gas emissions – non-fugitive emissions, combustion emissions – we’ve got a pretty good sense of ratio between how much fuel is burned and what the greenhouse gas emissions of that are going to be,” he said in an interview. “On the fugitive emissions side, it’s much harder to figure out exactly what the emissions look like. There are a number of...Read More