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The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has introduced new regulations to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and gas operations to meet or exceed federal and provincial methane emission reduction targets. The amendments to the Drilling and Production Regulation come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

DATE ISSUED: Jan. 16, 2019

The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has introduced new regulations to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and gas operations to meet or exceed federal and provincial methane emission reduction targets. The amendments to the Drilling and Production Regulation come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The impact of the new regulations is a reduction in methane emissions by 10.9 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over a 10-year period, which is like taking 390,000 cars off the road each year.

Developed with input from environmental groups and industry, the new regulations address the primary sources of methane emissions from B.C.’s upstream oil and gas industry, which are:

  • Pneumatic devices
  • Equipment leaks
  • Compressor seals
  • Glycol dehydrators
  • Storage tanks
  • Surface casing vents

The changes include enhancements to requirements for leak detection and repair, designed to ensure leaks are detected and repaired quickly. Additionally, robust data management and reporting requirements to ensure transparent reporting of industry actions are under development. The new regulations and methane reduction measures align with the Province’s CleanBC plan.

The Government of B.C. has a methane emission reduction target of 45 per cent by 2025 relative to 2014 levels,while the Government of Canada has set a reduction target of 40-45 per cent by 2025 relative to 2012 levels.

To support ongoing progress on meeting targets, the Commission is 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. The initiative involving provincial agencies, environmental, scientific and industry groups will make recommendations on the design and implementation of the key research deliverables critical to the identification, quantification and control of methane emissions to support reduction goals.

For more information on efforts to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and gas operations, visit the Reducing Methane Emissions page on the Commission’s website.

Should you have any questions regarding this Information Bulletin, please contact:

Lannea Parfitt
Manager, Communications
BC Oil and Gas Commission

Lannea.Parfitt@bcogc.ca
250-980-6081

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