Innovative Solutions

Industry is finding solutions to meet Canada’s commitment to reduce methane emissions.

Industry is serious about meeting Canada’s commitment to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations by 45 per cent by 2025. And the use of technology is critical to find innovative ways to reduce methane emissions. 

An array of technologies and approaches are being developed and implemented that ensure industry’s methane emission reduction targets are met or exceeded in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

Use of solar panels for power and systems to capture vented gas

Industry’s use of solar panels to power pumps which eliminates the venting of emissions that result from traditional sources of power is an excellent example of an innovative way to reducing methane. Another approach is the installation of systems at natural gas facilities designed to capture vented gases, including methane. These gases can then be used as fuel, providing a supplemental power source for the facility.

The future: Improving methane detection and monitoring

Improved methane detection and monitoring is a key area for industry. Better detection methods will enable industry to detect and eliminate fugitive emissions (i.e., unintended emissions due to leaks and other causes). Improved detection will also help companies design and evaluate specific methane reduction initiatives, and allow industry as a whole to proactively monitor its progress toward achieving the 45 per cent methane emissions reduction goal.

Institutions such as Natural Resources Canada, Emissions Reduction Alberta and a number of universities are working together to develop a robust ground, aerial and satellite-based methane detection network. Industry has also partnered with the Petroleum Alliance of Canada (PTAC) on a variety of projects, including the use of truck-based sensors for area methane detection.

Companies such as Shell are leaders in innovative approaches to methane detection technology. Shell is piloting a project to test next-generation methane detection technologies. The pilot project, located at one of Shell’s shale gas sites near Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, will enable better early detection and repair of methane leaks, leading to reduced emissions.