Methane Reporting Requirements for the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry in Alberta


Alberta Energy Regulator

Date: 09:00:00 - May 22 2019
Speakers: Ian Kuwahara

"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.

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."

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Ian Kuwahara
Ian Kuwahara (Alberta Energy Regulator)

Ian is a Senior Advisor to the Air Emissions and Audit group at the Alberta Energy Regulator. He is a professional engineer with over 12 years of experience working in GHG reduction, regulatory development, project execution, quantification, policy development, and life cycle analysis. He holds a M.Sc. in Management and Engineering in Environment and Energy and a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to working at the regulator, he was a sustainability consultant in Canada and Europe.

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