Last month, PTAC hosted a session at the Air & Waste Management Association’s annual conference in Quebec.

Entitled “Methane Emission Management in the Oil and Gas Industry”, this session focused on current issues impacting methane emission management in oil and gas and implementing projects that contribute to achieving Canadian – and global – goals in reducing methane emissions.

Canada has a long history as a global leader in resource development and innovation. Solutions to today’s energy challenges require an understanding of the entire innovation system and how the pieces fit together. The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) brings together the many players contributing to the oil and gas innovation system. CRIN is an overarching network that aims to create connections and collisions between the many nodes across the innovation ecosystem regionally, nationally and internationally.

PTAC contributes to CRIN as the leading industry research and technology organization. Our collaborative model and approach in developing technologies have solved many of the problems facing industry today. Some of these issues include dealing with climate change, pipelines, abandonment liabilities, disruptive digital technologies, cost control, and economic growth.

In particular, through consortia and initiatives, PTAC has developed the collective technology capacity to reduce the overall oil and gas industry methane emissions by more than 30 percent. In fact, just one technology alone has already reduced GHG emissions equal to taking 160,000 cars off the road while reducing industry cost by $15 million per year. With the full uptake of the technologies developed, the GHG emissions reduction – in Canada alone will be equal to taking 1.6 million cars off the road.

Methane is the second-largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, making up approximately 14 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions. Thankfully, methane mitigation strategies are among the most economic to implement.

The PTAC-facilitated Methane Emissions Reduction Network (MERN) champions projects and initiatives to reduce methane emissions, as well as identifies and addresses technology gaps. Our goal is, through on-going and planned technology initiatives under the MERN umbrella, to increase the collective technology capacity and help oil and gas industry meet its methane emissions target by 2025.

In August, funds granted by Alberta Innovates Climate Change Innovation and Technology Frameworks (CCITF) allowed MERN to expand its scope to include events. The Network organizes and participates in forums, workshops, and Technology Information Sessions to share the latest developments in methane reduction technology, as well as raise awareness and increase uptake of innovative, cost-effective oil and gas practices. With its annual forum announced for this November, more information on MERN events is disseminated via the Methane Hub site as well as through PTAC newsletters and social media.

PTAC is striving to assist industry in adapting to, and embracing, a new era marked by disruptive technological advances, as well as the rapid digitization of the energy sector, particularly related to improving air quality and reduction of methane emissions. In order to accomplish this, we are collaboratively focusing on applied research projects through the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF) program, market driven technology development, demonstration and deployment through numerous technology projects such as Systematic 3rd Party Validation of Environmental and Economic Performance of Methane Reduction Technologies (STV), and the launch of the Digital Innovation Network (DIN).

PTAC is also looking to the future priorities with the evaluation of two proposed networks – Nox & Sox and LNG which will connect people, projects, ideas, technologies, etc., and articulate industry challenges and solutions in an ever-evolving energy landscape, as well as the formation of the Canadian Emissions Reduction Innovation Network (CanERIC), and a large-scale field deployment of technologies through Energy Efficiency Alberta Methane Reduction Program and Intelligent Methane Monitoring & Mitigation System Project.