Energy Industry Shares Strategies for Efficiency and Reduced Emissions

May 30, 2008 - Calgary, Alberta

The Alberta government is partnering with the energy industry to promote best ways to reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions during oil and gas extraction.

Called the Fuel Gas Best Management Practices, the initiative will help reduce the amount of natural gas used in energy resource extraction. In turn, it will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions by the industry, and prolong the production life of Alberta's natural gas reserves.

"Energy efficiency is something that must be tackled by both industry and Albertans alike. The Best Management Practices demonstrate that energy efficiency can yield real benefits both environmental and economic," said Energy Minister Mel Knight. "I'm pleased that Alberta's energy industry is promoting ways to do their share in addressing climate change by reducing the energy used in the production process."

Fuel gas is required to power production, transportation and processing equipment in the oil and gas sector. Even a 10-per-cent saving in fuel gas use by the upstream oil and gas industry could result in an estimated savings of more than $300 million a year at $7.50 per gigajoule enough to heat more than 300,000 homes for a year. Put another way, a 10-per-cent reduction in this fuel gas use would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.1 million tonnes per year the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road.

"The Best Management Practices represent a collaborative effort between Alberta Energy and the oil and gas industry to develop guidelines that will improve the efficiency of our upstream facilities and operations," said Greg Stringham, Vice President, Markets and Fiscal Policy, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). "Even a moderate reduction in fuel gas consumption could translate into significant emissions reductions and cost savings."

The Fuel Gas Best Management Practices are an amalgamation of 17 different operational modules to reduce the amount of gas used in resource extraction. The practices were developed by a government and industry partnership with participation from the Alberta Department of Energy, CAPP, the Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, the Gas Processing Association Canada, the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Natural Resources Canada.

Ensuring Alberta's energy resources are developed in an environmentally sustainable way is one of the government's five priorities.

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