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    Methane Reduction in Canada Gets $10mn of Funding


Funding builds on C$750mn Emissions Reduction Fund

by: Dale Lunan

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Methane Reduction in Canada Gets $10mn of Funding

Methane reduction initiatives in Canada have received nearly C$10mn (US$7.4mn) in funding to accelerate the development of technologies to monitor and mitigate methane emissions by the country’s oil and gas industry.

The funding initiatives were announced July 7 by Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC), a Calgary-based facilitator of collaborative research and development, and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

PTAC has launched two initiatives that will support Canada’s efforts to reduce methane emissions by 45% by 2025 with funding of C$3.8mn from Alberta Innovates, Western Economic Diversification Canada and more than 400 producers through the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund and other stakeholders.

The first is the Intelligent Methane Monitoring and Mitigation System (IM3S) project, which will focus on demonstrating novel sensor technologies for methane detection, measurement, and mitigation in the Canadian upstream oil and gas sector, with a specific focus on major sources such as natural gas production and heavy oil production.

The second is the Systematic Third-party Validation of Environmental and Economic Performance of Methane Reduction Technologies (STV) project. It will provide independent, third-party information to firms about the performance of methane reduction technologies, removing a key barrier to the deployment of these technologies as part of oil and gas production.

Both projects align with Canada’s goal of reducing methane emissions by 40-45% below 2012 levels by 2025. Methane is the second largest contributor to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, at about 14% of the total, but is also the among the most economic to mitigate.

“These projects will significantly increase market uptake of methane detection and mitigation technologies (and) help the economic prosperity of the clean tech sector while allowing oil and gas producers to meet their methane emissions reduction targets in a cost-effective manner,” PTAC CEO Soheil Asgarpour said.

Natural Resources Canada, meanwhile, will invest C$6mn, as part of the Canadian Emissions Reduction Innovation Network (Cerin) initiative, to PTAC and the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), through their Natural Gas Innovation Fund, to support emissions abatement work in the oil and gas sector.

Cerin is an initiative of NRCan and Alberta Innovates that has contributed C$4.3mn to accelerate the development of technologies that reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. It has created a cross-Canada network of academic experts, governments and test centres – including a fully-operational natural gas testing facility – that is focused on finding the right technologies so they can be deployed quickly in Alberta, across Canada and around the world.

Reducing methane emissions is a significant part of Canada’s stated plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and is a focus of the recently-announced C$750mn Emissions Reduction Fund.

“Canada can't get to net zero emissions by 2050 without Alberta,” Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s minister of natural resources, said. “This helps us achieve that goal.”