Oil & Gas Product News Logo

Methane emission tracking needs innovative approach, study recommends

The Canadian government has pledged with its North American neighbours to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025.
The Canadian government has pledged with its North American neighbours to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025.

Company info

67 Yonge Street, Suite 300
Toronto, ON
CA, M5E 1J8

Website:
cdhowe.org

Read more

Tracking and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations needs an innovative approach, according to new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In "Measuring and Managing the Unknown: Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Value Chain" authors Sarah Marie Jordaan and Kate Konschnik highlight the growing pressure on industry and policymakers to address the "unknown" factor in greenhouse gas emissions and propose a regulatory approach that remains open to new technologies.

The Canadian government has pledged with its North American neighbours to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. Methane packs a powerful punch with up to 36 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time frame. However, scientists have not reached consensus on how much methane escapes from leaky oil and gas infrastructure in Canada and across North America.

Regulators will face challenges in verifying the promised reductions unless the emissions baseline is settled, note the authors. If methane emissions are sufficiently high, then the emissions benefits of displacing higher carbon emission electricity generation, such as coal fired electricity, with carbon- efficient natural gas generation evaporate. Systems for more accurate measurement are necessary to verify fugitive emissions and confirm reductions.

The report finds that emissions pricing and existing regulations cannot solve the methane problem alone, given the limited scientific understanding of the amount of methane escaping from oil and gas infrastructure. To address this limitation, Canadian governments could make systematic, iterative improvements to present policies using the authors' proposed integrated science-policy framework.

Among the report's recommendations:

What gets measured gets managed. Alongside direct measurement, decision-makers should develop methods that better estimate all infrastructure leaks, using measurements to validate results.

Innovation in tandem by universities, industry and governments. Innovation can result in creative new ways to measure fugitive emissions, to stop their escape and to produce natural gas. Universities, businesses and governments should seek to promote innovation by all actors in solving the challenge of fugitive emissions.

Regulatory benchmarking and alignment. Canadian governments may seek to meet or exceed best-in-class regulations that have been implemented in other regions.

Integration of policy and regulation with robust science. Policymakers should not stall progress in regulations due to current gaps in measurement. The authors' science-policy framework demonstrates how regulations can be refined with ongoing advances in measurement and mitigation technologies.

More from Industry News

$2 billion TransAlta energy investment move to include natural gas over coal

TransAlta Corporation has introduced its Clean Energy Investment Plan, which includes converting its existing Alberta coal assets to natural gas and advancing its leadership position in renewable energy. The total cost of the plan is expected to be approximately $2 billion which includes approximately $800 million of renewable energy projects already under construction.

Oversupply of natural gas to push U.S. prices sharply down: IHS Markit

A persistent oversupply of natural gas will drive the 2020 average price at the Henry Hub down (in real terms) to a level not seen in decades, according to new report from IHS Markit. The oversupply—to be reinforced by a new surge in associated gas production from the Permian basin—will push the average price down below $2/MMBtu for the year, IHS Markit said. That is the lowest prices have averaged in real terms since the 1970s. In nominal terms, the last time that prices fell below $2 was 1995.

Oil and gas PPE landscape shows positive outlook, says Frost & Sullivan

The outlook for the uptake of personal and protective equipment (PPE) in the oil & gas (O&G) industry looks promising with the expansion of O&G activities through new global projects, improved stability and the presence of many occupational hazards. Vendors should focus on developing a global presence, multiproduct offerings, and close customer interactions to harness current growth opportunities. Frost & Sullivan expects the mature O&G PPE market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to reach $7.59 billion by 2023.

$1.4 billion power cogen plant planned for Suncor's oil sands base plant

Suncor is replacing its coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant. The cogeneration units will provide reliable steam generation required for Suncor's extraction and upgrading operations and generate 800 megawatts (MW) of power. The power will be transmitted to Alberta's grid, providing reliable, baseload, low-carbon power, equivalent to approximately 8% of Alberta's current electricity demand. This project will increase demand for clean natural gas from Western Canada.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

August shows slight yearly increase in Canadian rig count

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for August 2019 was 1,138, down 24 from the 1,162 counted in July 2019, and up 130 from the 1,008 counted in August 2018. The international offshore rig count for August 2019 was 244, down 11 from the 255 counted in July 2019, and up 32 from the 212 counted in August 2018.

Clariant marks opening of new high throughput experimentation lab

Clariant has opened its next High Throughput Experimentation (HTE) Laboratory in Houston, Texas - the energy capital of the United States. The location is key as the new facility will be the first of its kind supporting the Oil & Gas industry, offering new and sophisticated solutions for customers. This lab is part of a global Clariant initiative to expand HTE capabilities to all Clariant Business Units, including direct support for Oil Services in North America, the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, Africa and the North Sea.

Orbital Gas Systems secures GasPTi orders from leading U.S. energy producer and transporter

Orbital Gas Systems has received orders to supply GasPTi systems for deployment across multiple natural gas plants by one of the largest U.S.-based producers and transporters of energy. These orders, part of a nascent, ongoing roll-out of GasPTi across the customer's extensive natural gas assets, will be utilized to deliver operating and environmental improvements and practically eliminate ongoing costs associated with maintenance and natural gas consumption at certain customer facilities. 

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Enbridge reaches agreement with shippers to put Line 3 replacement into service

Enbridge Inc. has reached a commercial agreement with shippers to place the Canadian portion of the Line 3 replacement pipeline into service by the end of this year. This agreement reflects the importance of this safety-driven maintenance project to protecting our environment and ensuring the continued safe and reliable operation of the pipeline well into the future.

Quebec universities get $8.2 million to research oil spill response

Canada has the world's longest coastline and is surrounded by three oceans and the health of our oceans matters to all of us. The Government of Canada is dedicated to protecting oceans and waterways and to keeping them clean, secure and productive for the benefit of all Canadians, now and into the future. It is of vital importance that protection is given to the marine ecosystems that are home to an abundance of ocean life, support more than 350,000 jobs and sustain hundreds of coastal and Indigenous communities. The government also recognizes that scientific research is fundamental to evidence-based decision-making when planning and carrying out marine conservation efforts.

Bakken shale production growth will be constrained by flaring restrictions and infrastructure bottlenecks

There is considerable potential to raise crude oil production in the Bakken shale play from the current level of approximately 1.44 million barrels of oil per day (mmbd) to at least 2 mmbd. However, flaring regulations and infrastructure bottlenecks in North Dakota are limiting production growth, according to GlobalData.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Rival downhole tools secures five year collaborative supply agreement for drilling motors

Rival Downhole Tools (Rival), a portfolio company of EV Private Equity, has secured a five-year collaborative supply agreement for drilling motors for US Land from a major oilfield services provider. Rival will utilize its market-leading engineering and operational capabilities to support the customer's substantial and growing directional drilling business. Rival will also accelerate the growth of its operational footprint into multiple basins to optimize its proximity to drilling activity. 

Hand protection maker Mechanix Wear a good fit to Gryphon investors

Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based middle-market private equity firm, has signed a definitive agreement to make a significant investment in Mechanix Wear, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance work gloves. Working alongside current owner and CEO Michael Hale, who will retain an ownership stake in the Company, Gryphon intends to build a leading platform in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sector. The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Husky to resume full production at White Rose

Following an extensive investigation, flow line repairs, integrity testing and approval of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), Husky Energy will resume production from the remaining two drill centres shut in following the November 2018 oil spill offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Husky will now begin an orderly restart and expects to reach full rates by early next week.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more