Canada can almost halve emissions of methane from oil and natural gas production for about C$726 million ($555 million) using off-the-shelf technology, a study said.
Methane pollution from oil and gas production accounts for 6 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study by the Pembina Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund, two research groups. About 45 percent of that output can be eliminated, helping the country meet its climate target and improve local air quality.
“Canada working together with the U.S. on this issue could catalyze a lot of other countries to move on this problem,” Drew Nelson, a senior manager for natural gas at the New York-based EDF group, said in an interview.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised federal emissions regulations for the oil and gas industry since he took power in 2006. Currently, Alberta, home to the country’s oil industry, relies on companies to determine whether capturing, burning or releasing gas, known as venting, is economically viable, according to provincial regulations.
Methane has a more powerful effect on the climate than carbon dioxide, the study says.