Updated April 2021
In 2015, the Government of Alberta directed us to develop requirements to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and gas operations. To accomplish this, we developed requirements in Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting and Directive 017: Measurement Requirements for Oil and Gas Operations. To learn more about these requirements, see our methane reduction page.
To understand methane emissions at the same level of detail as our methane requirements (some of which are source-specific), we needed to expand on the vent data that is already reported through Petrinex (the reporting platform used across western provinces to collect flaring and venting data). In addition to the Petrinex vent data, operators must now report fugitive emissions (unintentional releases of gas to the atmosphere) and emissions from specific sources through our OneStop reporting platform. We will use Petrinex and Onestop data to evaluate emission reductions from the upstream oil and gas sector.
Below are some key statistics from 2019 venting data reported through Petrinex:
- Crude bitumen production decreased 1.6 per cent from 2018 to 90 million cubic metres (106 m3) in 2019.
- Venting from crude bitumen batteries was 60 106 m3, down from 74 106 m3 in 2018, a 19.9 per cent decrease.
- Crude oil production remained constant at 28 106 m3 between 2018 and 2019.
- Venting from crude oil batteries was 84 106 m3, down from 95 106 m3 in 2018, an 11.1 per cent decrease.
- Gas production was 122 109 m3, up from 113 109 m3 in 2018, an 8.0 per cent increase.
- Venting from sources other than crude bitumen and crude oil batteries was 34 106 m3, up from 24 106 m3 in 2018, a 42.2 per cent increase. This increase is a result of a reporting definition change, described below in the Petrinex vent data section.
We are currently validating the methane emissions data submitted through Onestop for the 2019 reporting year to provide a more complete picture of methane emissions from upstream oil and gas facilities in Alberta.