FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission has introduced new regulations for methane.
The new regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2020. The Oil and Gas Commission says the new regulations will reduce methane emissions by 10.9 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over a 10-year period. The OGC says that is equivalent to removing 390,000 cars off the road each year.
The regulations will focus on the primary sources of methane emissions that include pneumatic devices, equipment leaks, compressor seals, glycol dehydrators, storage tanks and surface casing vents.
The Province wants to reduce methane emissions by 45 percent by 2025. The Federal Government has a similar reduction target of 40 to 45 percent.
Maximilian Kniewasser, director of the B.C. clean economy program at the Pembina Institute, said the regulations do not live up to the B.C. climate plan. “While B.C.’s draft methane regulations are a step in the right direction, they represent a missed opportunity to ensure the oil and gas sector does its fair share — at low cost — to help achieve B.C.’s climate targets by curbing methane pollution. By leaving cost-effective emissions reductions on the table, the proposed methane regulations do not live up to the spirit of B.C.’s ambitious new climate plan, CleanBC.
Several environmental groups have said methane pollution is a problem in the Oil and Gas Industry in B.C. Their studies suggested in 2018 that 47 percent of active oil and gas wells in the study area were found to emit methane-rich plumes.
The information released by the OGC on Wednesday said the changes include enhancements to requirements for leak detection and repair, designed to ensure leaks are detected and repaired quickly. Additionally, the industry will be required to increase data management and reporting requirements to ensure transparent reporting of industry actions are under development.
For more information on the changes announced by the OGC, click here.