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New CAPP report shows oil and gas industry lowering emissions

July 22, 2021   Don Horne




The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released a new report,  Canada’s Natural Gas and Oil Emissions: Ongoing Reductions, Demonstrable Improvement.

The report, which lays out the means to a lower-carbon future through innovation and new technology and illustrates the industry’s proven track record of lowering emissions-intensity, is the first in a series of planned Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures.

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“Canada’s natural gas and oil industry has a track record of being one of the most transparent around the world. This report raises the bar even higher, positioning the industry as a leader in voluntarily reporting the collective emissions performance of our industry, and should be a challenge for other jurisdictions to do the same,” says Ben Brunnen, vice president Oil Sands, Fiscal & Economic Policy.

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Highlights of the report:

  • From 2011 to 2019 combined natural gas, condensate and natural gas liquids production increased 32 per cent while emissions intensity in this sector decreased by 33 per cent.
  • As a result of Canada’s flaring conservation practices, this country ranks among the lowest-emission natural gas producers globally.
  • While production from Oil Sands In Situ facilities grew by 66 per cent from 2013 to 2019, emissions intensity dropped by 8 per cent.
  • From 2013 to 2019 oil sands mining production increased 59 per cent as emissions intensity decreased by 14 per cent.
  • Canada’s offshore industry produces some of the world’s lowest emission oil.

“The international comparable data shows Canada is a good performer when it comes to emissions intensity but also that we’re continuously getting better. The key to our future will be the ability of our industry to quickly advance new technologies to continue reducing GHG intensity, keeping Canada a global supplier of choice,” says Brunnen.

The industry has a broad portfolio of innovative solutions to deliver greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions; technological advances that are not just aspirational, but are making a difference now and continue to be developed to improve performance in the future, according to the report.

Some examples of these technologies are discussed in the report and include:

  • Methane Reduction – Industry is working to reduce methane emissions to meet Canada’s goal of a 45 per cent reduction from 2012 levels by 2025. Among the world’s top 10 petroleum exporters, Canada alone has a methane reduction target. Industry is working with the Alberta government on the Alberta Methane Field Challenge which is testing new methane detection technologies including sensors on drones and trucks.
  • Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage – Facilities are already showing how CO2can be captured and stored or used in the production process, keeping millions of tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
  • Cogeneration – Upstream producers can use waste heat to generate electricity. In the oil sands, excess electricity not used for plant operations is sold to Alberta’s power grid. Cogeneration supplies about 34 per cent of the province’s electricity

Canada’s Natural Gas and Oil Emissions: Ongoing Reductions, Demonstrable Improvement, is the first report in a planned series of ESG disclosures from CAPP members which is expected to include Indigenous Engagement; Diversity and Inclusion; Air, Land and Water; Research and Innovation as well as Process and Personal Safety.

The entire report on emissions can be downloaded from the CAPP website.


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