Methane Emissions

Canada’s regulatory and voluntary measures for methane emissions reduction serve as models for other jurisdictions worldwide.

As the world moves to lower-carbon ways of producing and consuming energy, Canada’s abundance of natural gas and access to world markets through LNG projects presents a unique opportunity. With one of the most stringent regimes of regulation, monitoring and enforcement of environmental standards in the world, the jurisdictions within Canada are well-placed to be a supplier of choice to global markets.  

Upstream Methane Management Principles

As Canada’s natural gas producers we acknowledge Canadian governments’ leadership in establishing methane emission reduction targets, and additionally, we are guided by the following methane management principles:

  1. We will continuously identify economic opportunities to reduce methane emissions from existing assets and in future projects. We will create and implement plans within our companies to monitor and reduce methane emissions intensity in our operations.
  2. We will continue to support methane research and development of innovative and efficient technology and practices to monitor and reduce methane emissions, collectively and with our stakeholders.
  3. We will, in collaboration with governments and our stakeholders, maintain transparency and accountability in reporting methane management performance. We will work to improve how we share existing methane management information.
  4. We will support public policy aimed at pragmatic, targeted and achievable reductions in methane emissions intensity from producing operations.

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

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.