Methane Conference 2019

Industrial Methane Measurement Conference 2019 - Abstract

Abstract Title: Methane Reporting Requirements for the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry in Alberta
Presenter Name: Mr Ian Kuwahara
Company/Organisation: Alberta Energy Regulator
Country: Canada

Abstract Information :

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of oil, oil sands, natural gas, and coal resources over their entire life cycle in the western Canadian province of Alberta. We regulate over 80 per cent of Canada's petroleum industry including 422,000 kilometers of pipeline, 170,000 producing wells, and over 50,000 oil and gas facilities.

As part of the Alberta government's Climate Leadership Plan, the AER created new regulations to reduce methane emissions from the upstream oil and gas sector by 45 per cent from 2014 levels by 2025. To accomplish this, the AER engaged in a collaborative and transparent regulatory framework development process, which was unprecedented amongst oil and gas regulators worldwide. Among the first challenges encountered was extending production accounting data for use as baseline methane emissions in the sector. This challenge defined the regulatory approach taken in Alberta for data collection.

The regulatory framework is source-specific and focuses on the most cost effective abatement options for industry with matching reporting requirements. The AER distinguishes between vent sources and fugitive emissions: vents are limited by site, equipment or fleet average rates and fugitive emissions are regulated through risk informed screening and survey requirements. Also included in the mandate was the creation of reporting requirements and a novel reporting platform. Together, the reporting requirements and reporting platform simplify the data management process. They assure the data is comprehensive, accurate and is procured in a way that minimizes burden.

This session will:

  • Highlight key gaps in existing methane emission data and how this presented challenges when formulating an effective and efficient regulatory framework
  • Overview the final reduction requirements and reporting requirements
  • Discuss how the new reporting requirements will address key data gaps
  • Overview the reporting platform used and discussion on how data transparency can work to achieve reductions
  • Discuss how the regulation allows and incents for novel detection and quantification technologies
  • Preliminary lessons learned from the Alberta methane regulatory development process
  • Overview the plan for future regulatory reviews and updates
This session is recommended for industry, government regulators, policy makers, academics and technology or tool providers who are interested in understanding a case study in ambitious methane measurement monitoring and reporting regulatory changes and how it might impact their business.