Methane Emissions

The oil and natural gas industry has committed to reduce methane emissions by 45 per cent by 2025.

Canada’s oil and natural gas industry recognizes the opportunity for better performance on methane emissions. Industry has been taking early action since 2012 and believes through its relationships with regulators, government, and stakeholders it can deliver meaningful action on climate change while realizing the economic benefits the oil and natural gas sector bring to the national economy.

Methane emissions

Methane is emitted from a number of human and natural sources, not just from the energy sector. These include:

  • Extraction industries such as oil and natural gas development and coal mining
  • Industrial processes
  • Electricity generation
  • Biomass
  • Agriculture from livestock farming
  • Landfills and waste from the treatment and disposal of liquid and solid wastes
  • Oceans produce methane from micro-organisms living in the ocean

In the oil and natural gas industry, methane is released when natural gas is flared or vented in a controlled process. Flaring and venting in Canada’s natural gas industry is regulated. Methane is also released in small leaks, called fugitive emissions, from valves and other equipment used in drilling and production.

Global Emissions and Canada's Emissions

Flaring and venting

Flaring is the controlled and intentional burning of natural gas as part of production and processing. Venting is the word used to describe natural gas that is released to the atmosphere, as a part of regular operations.

Flaring and venting release greenhouse gases and methane into the atmosphere. Industry is continually innovating ways to reduce emissions. To find out more about flaring and venting click here.

Managing methane emissions

Canada’s regulatory and voluntary measures for methane emissions reduction serve as models for other jurisdictions worldwide in terms of implementation timelines, scope and targets. 

Members in action 

Advanced Methane Detection, Analytics and Mitigation Project: This project demonstrates the use of remote sensing sensors, software, solar electric system solutions sensor and related technologies for methane detection, measurement, and mitigation in the Canadian upstream oil and gas (UOG) sector.