Methane Mitigation Milestone: Canada’s Commitment to Methane Reductions in Oil and Gas Operations

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On December 4, 2023, AT COP28 the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced at the Global Methane Pledge Ministerial that Canada has published stronger oil and gas methane regulations to cut emissions from this potent greenhouse gas. Canada will make sure its revised methane laws yield the greatest outcome possible by working together with industry, Indigenous partners, and oil and gas-producing provinces. 

“The IEA has found that to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we must reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations globally by 75 percent this decade. By adopting this target, Canada has established itself as a leader on tackling methane, and we are pleased it is now committed to delivering results. Strong and supportive regulations are crucial to turn energy and climate pledges into meaningful action.” 

  • Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency 

The draft methane regulations aim to reduce cumulative emissions by 217 megatonnes (carbon dioxide equivalent) between 2027 to 2040. They will also have positive social and economic benefits of $12.4 billion from avoided global damages. 

Europe Regulations

The Canadian regulations follow similar regulations announced by the Council and Parliament in November, and the Biden Administration’s announcement in early December.  

In November 2023, the European Council and the Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on regulating methane emissions in the energy sector. The agreement includes specific deadlines and frequencies for monitoring, reporting, and inspections of potential methane emission sources. 

Within specific time periods from the entry into force of this regulation, operators must submit reports to the competent authorities containing the quantification of source-level methane emissions, direct measurements quantification of source-level methane emissions for operated assets, direct-measurements quantification of source-level methane emissions complemented by site-level measurements and direct measurements quantification of source-level methane emissions for non-operated assets. 

This regulation introduces penalties, akin to a carbon import tax, for producers failing to demonstrate exceptionally low methane emissions. By 2027, suppliers exporting to the EU must present reliable measurements of their methane emissions, anticipating import penalties by 2030. The EU regulations, though posing potential challenges, mark a critical turning point, urging producing countries to embrace reality, identify opportunities, and decarbonize. 

US Regulations

On December 2, 2023, The Biden administration on Saturday issued a final rule aimed at reducing methane emissions, targeting the U.S. oil and natural gas industry for its role in global warming as President Joe Biden seeks to advance his climate legacy. 

The Environmental Protection Agency said the rule will sharply reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants generated by the oil and gas industry, promote use of cutting-edge methane detection technologies and deliver significant public health benefits in the form of reduced hospital visits, lost school days and even deaths. Air pollution from oil and gas operations can cause cancer, harm the nervous and respiratory systems and contribute to birth defects. 

Studies have found that smaller wells produce just 6% of the nation’s oil and gas but account for up to half the methane emissions from well sites. 

The new methane rule will help ensure that the United States meets a goal set by more than 100 nations to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, Regan said. 

Our Company’s Commitment to Methane Monitoring

IO Aerospace is a leading provider of airborne methane emissions detection. By deploying cutting-edge instruments and extensive knowledge we can effectively detect and quantify methane emissions across wide areas. Our recently upgraded and modified Learjet35 provides unparalleled efficiency for scientific and industrial data collection and enables high repeat coverage of methane producing sites.  In the summer of 2023, the IO Aerospace team and our partners mapped over 750,000 km2 of methane producing regions across North America. With operational capabilities extending into Europe, Asia, and around the world our team is poised to help the fight against methane emissions. 

“Our goal is to lead the way in developing cutting-edge wide area operational capacity for methane monitoring technologies. The real challenge is to create a future where environmental awareness and technological progress come together to create a cleaner, more sustainable world. ” 

  • Jonathan Neufeld, President, IO Aerospace

Connect with IO today to build your methane detection program.  Our team and advanced technology are ready to assist you in creating an effective solution.  


Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Unsplash 



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