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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) wants to reduce methane emissions, the colourless, odourless flammable gas that is the main component in natural gas.

In oil and gas production, methane is released into the atmosphere when natural gas is flared or vented in a regulated process. Increased concentrations of methane in the atmosphere contribute to the greenhouse effect, whereby greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour absorb infrared radiation and reradiate it back to Earth’s surface, potentially trapping heat and producing changes in climate.

The OGC recognizes reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases. By performing 4,000 to 5,000 inspections per year on oil and gas infrastructure helps the industry to take corrective action if unauthorized methane releases are identified.

With targets for reducing methane emissions from upstream and venting oil and gas operations set by the provincial and federal governments. The Government of B.C. has a reduction target of 45 percent by 2025, relative to 2014 levels, while the Government of Canada has set a reduction target of 40-45 percent by 2025, relative to 2012 levels.

The BC OGC, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and the Climate Action Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy developed methane emission regulations to meet the methane emission reduction targets, and to ensure they are equivalent to recently announced federal regulations.

The approach is expected to reduce methane emissions by 10.9 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over a 10-year period. That’s like taking 390,000 cars off the road each year.

The OGC shares they are involved in the BC Methane Research Collaborative (MERC), which was created to focus research efforts toward managing and reducing the release of methane from oil and gas operations.

MERC is developing a three-year work plan that includes:

  • A review of the state of research relating to oil and gas methane emission measurement and reduction nationally and internationally.
  • A plan for the identification of research and projects that will inform and support the development of provincial policies and regulations to meet current and future methane emission reduction goals.

To view the release on Methane Emissions; CLICK HERE

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