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Project Scope

Emissions Management Challenges (Why we should care)

Air emissions from the petroleum industry are constantly in the public eye. New, complex and tougher emissions regulations are rolling out provincially, federally and possibly internationally. Oil and gas production companies are challenged with measuring, reporting, controlling and reducing emissions to meet goals of resource conservation, environmental protection, and regulatory compliance.

The range of air emissions and related issues subject to reporting, control and reduction requirements has broadened in recent years and includes the following:

  • Criteria air contaminants such as NOx and SOx
  • Particulate matter
  • Fugitive hydrocarbon emissions
  • Benzene emissions
  • Hydrocarbon venting
  • Hydrocarbon flaring
  • CO2 emissions
  • CO2 from combustion and raw gas;
  • CO2 capture
  • CO2 storage
  • Fuel gas usage
  • Waste heat utilization, and
  • Improved process efficiency.

Release scenarios subject to measurement and regulatory compliance include daily
reporting, periodic releases and accidental events. The spectrum of technologies that need to be developed by industry and government regulators is wide and complex, as follows:

  • Measurement and best practices (point source and non-point source) for a number of chemical species
  • Instrumentation and control
  • Emission Vent Reduction
  • Control processes (e.g. LDAR), and
  • Emission mitigation technologies (e.g. microbial conversion of methane to CO2)

Our challenge is to find suitable processes and technologies to produce commercial products while conserving natural resources, minimizing the environmental footprint, and managing the cost of regulatory compliance. This is challenging for all producers and, particularly, for small production companies with mature assets, who first face the challenge of measuring emissions within their operations and second, must implement technologies and processes to control and reduce emissions. The pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands sector is well known. Industry is not alone in facing challenges. Government policy makers, regulators, and NGO’s need to understand increasingly complex technology issues, and research and advanced education organizations constantly need to adapt their programs to evolving requirements.

REMTAP will address challenges, opportunities for energy efficiency, emissions
measurement and reduction, best practices and management with due consideration to resource conservation, environmental protection, regulatory compliance and cost management. Innovation, collaboration and the application of technology are key to transform these challenges into opportunities.

Resource Emissions Management Technology Action Plan (Our solution)

REMTAP will be a collaborative project to demonstrate and readily deploy the technologies that will mitigate the emissions management challenges currently faced by industry. Key words are as follows:

  • Technology: The scope of REMTAP is to find technology solutions. Government
    policy and regulatory solutions are out of scope and will be forwarded to appropriate
    organizations and committees.
  • Collaboration: REMTAP will add value by providing a framework for multiple
    organizations to jointly and effectively execute technology projects, thereby avoiding
    duplication and leveraging scarce resources.
  • Demonstration and deployment: The focus of REMTAP will be to take technologies proven at the bench scale or used in other industries and demonstrate them for petroleum applications in realistic field conditions. Ideas for fundamental and applied research will be forwarded to appropriate organizations and committees.
  • Now: REMTAP aims to make a real difference to existing challenges by investing in technologies that could be deployed at the present time in current economic and regulatory conditions.

REMTAP will be a fact-based facilitated process involving motivated stakeholders from industry and government willing to pool financial resources, assets and human capital. The project will begin with identification of the sources or areas with the highest emissions, review of existing studies and technologies followed by a gap analysis and the identification of areas with high potential for breakthrough improvements. Potential technology projects will be scoped and prioritized, thereby creating a technology action plan for investment and implementation by participants.

Deliverables (Our call to action)

Participants will fund the REMTAP project and PTAC will deliver the following outputs:

  • An inaugural Technology Information Session to introduce the project to
    stakeholders and to provide opportunities for participation;
  • A first workshop leading to the identification of areas with high potential for
    breakthrough improvements and the likely direction and coverage of new and
    pending regulation.
  • Identify the technology and/or economic challenges to reduce or control the
    emissions in retrofit and Greenfield situations through a workshop;
  • Creation and facilitation of working groups to scope and survey the magnitude,
    sources and concentrations of emissions and develop project proposals with the
    support of subject matter experts from operations and environmental disciplines;
  • A Technology Opportunities Forum where “challenge owners” describe issues in
    technical terms and “technology providers” propose solutions;
  • A second workshop to prioritize and launch selected projects; and
  • Final report documenting outputs from the workshops and the working groups.

REMTAP will be facilitated by PTAC and governed by a Steering Committee composed of funding participants. It is expected that the REMTAP project will take 12 months to complete, but the implementation of the action plan will unfold over a number of years astechnology projects are jointly funded, executed and delivered.

Client Sectors (Who cares)

REMTAP studies, research, technology development, and demonstration projects will benefit a wide range of value chain participants and stakeholders. Air emissions are ubiquitous in the industry. Therefore, the range of client sectors is wide. REMTAP will endeavour to deliver value and provide opportunities for engagement with many stakeholders.

Oil and Gas Producers. While larger companies may have the capacity to internally undertake studies and demonstration projects, they are generally challenged with controlling costs and wisely allocating scarce human resources. REMTAP will provide a fruitful environment for collaboration that emphasizes non-competitive developments.

Service, Consulting and Knowledge-Based Companies. Service and consulting engineering firms are a critical value chain link of the industry. REMTAP will provide opportunities for close interactions between producers and service providers allowing a fuller understanding of needs and the provision of tailored solutions.

SMEs and Technology Spin-Offs. Small companies, including university spin-offs, SMEs, manufacturers and service companies, stand to reap large benefits from REMTAP. Commercialization of new technologies, equipment and processes requires piloting and demonstration at industrial scale to finalize product development and generate credible data to convince producers and large companies. SMEs will gain speed and efficiency when participating in REMTAP thereby gaining competitive advantage.

Governments and Regulators. Government policy-makers and regulators will draw on relevant, responsive and sound science, to implement required policies and regulations. All governments in Canada, and worldwide, are concerned about air emissions. The imperative of a clean and healthy environment accentuates the need to develop required technologies. Policies and regulations need to keep pace with developments and require factual information and sophisticated analysis.

Research and Advanced Education Institutions. Academic institutions and government laboratories will gain the opportunity to tailor their research capabilities and education programs through collaboration with industry and government. articipation in focused studies, technology developments and demonstration projects will enable these institutions to deliver solutions to pressing challenges, educate the next generation of scientists and engineers and enhance international recognition in a priority area.


Cost Budget
Activity / Cost
Inaugural Technology Information Session $4,000
First workshop $12,000
Support to working groups $20,000
Technology opportunities forum $16,000
Second workshop $12,000
Final report $16,000
Total $80,000

Funding Budget
Participant / Cost
Private sector organizations (5 X $8,000) $40,000
Alberta Department of Energy $40,000
Total $80,000

PTAC (Who we are)

Continued collaboration between government and industry remains critical. The PTAC collaborative model encourages the leveraging of financial and intellectual expertise across all stakeholder groups to identify and develop needed technologies and allow innovations to be pursued in a timely manner while minimizing risk and avoiding costly duplication. Over the past thirteen years, PTAC has established a proven track record demonstrating the value of using this collaborative approach to successfully launch over 250 R&D projects.

DISCLAIMER: PTAC does not warrant or make any representations or claims as to the validity, accuracy, currency, timeliness, completeness or otherwise of the information contained in this report , nor shall it be liable or responsible for any claim or damage, direct, indirect, special, consequential or otherwise arising out of the interpretation, use or reliance upon, authorized or unauthorized, of such information.

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