Bulletin 2018-37: Requirements Aimed at Reducing Methane Emissions

Bulletin 2018-37: Requirements Aimed at Reducing Methane Emissions Finalized

Today the Alberta Energy Regulator (A.E.R.) released new editions of Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting, and Directive 017: Measurement Requirements for Oil and Gas Operation.

The updates include new requirements to reduce methane emissions from the upstream oil and gas industry.

The new edition of Directive 060 comes into effect on January, 1, 2020, including the methane reduction requirements (unless a later date has been specified). The March 2018 edition of Directive 060 remains in effect until then. The new edition of Directive 017 comes into effect immediately.

We also released Manual 015: Estimating Methane Emissions and Manual 016: How to Develop a Fugitive Emissions Management Program as guides for industry in quantifying and reporting methane emissions and developing fugitive emissions management programs.

As part of the Government of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the AER was tasked with developing requirements to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and gas operations by 45 per cent relative to 2014 levels by 2025.

The requirements address the primary sources of methane emissions from Alberta’s upstream oil and gas industry: fugitive emissions and venting. The latter includes emissions from compressors, pneumatic devices, and glycol dehydrators.

In association with these new requirements, the following changes were made to the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules:
• Sections 8.080 and 8.090 were changed to clarify for enclosed combustors the spacing requirements in Directive 060 that apply and to affirm the authority for waiving spacing requirements.
• Section 14.020(3) was revised to allow us to prescribe more accurate reporting and measuring of any gas or liquid, including methane.

Drafts of the directives were released for public feedback from April 24, 2018, to May 28, 2018. A summary of the feedback and the AER’s response are available on the webpage for each directive.

More information about the requirements can be found on the Methane Reduction landing page of the AER’s website, www.aer.ca.
Directive 060 and Directive 017, as well as the manuals, are available on the AER website. Printed copies of the directives and manuals can be purchased from AER Order Fulfillment, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4; telephone: 403-297-8311 or 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; option 0); fax: 403-297-7040; email: InformationRequest@aer.ca.