Methane pollution from the oil and gas industry
Methane pollution comes from a number of different sources, some natural and some human-caused.
Oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations are major sources of methane pollution, via leaks from damaged or improperly fitted equipment and intentionally vented gas.
Recent research shows that methane pollution from the B.C. oil and gas sector is at least 2.5 times greater than reported by industry and government. This challenges the claim that natural gas and LNG are “clean” transition fuels.
We are only now beginning to understand the scale of Canada’s methane pollution problem, which has been underreported for years. The sooner we can take action to eliminate these emissions, the better.
Ian Bruce, Director of Science and Policy
Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas
Every minute of every day, Canada’s oil and gas industry leaks and intentionally vents methane into the atmosphere. It traps 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. Leading scientists estimate that methane is responsible for 25 per cent of already observed changes to Earth’s climate.
According to the International Energy Agency, taking global action to reduce these emissions would have the same climate benefit by 2100 as eliminating all of China’s coal plants.
Over a 20-year period, methane traps 84 times as much heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
25 per cent
Methane is responsible for 25 per cent of already observed changes to Earth's climate.
Cheap and effective
Cutting methane emissions from oil and gas is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to address climate change.
Tell Canada to stay firm on methane climate action
Industry is pressuring provinces. Tell the Government of Canada to hold the line on methane pollution by rejecting weak provincial regulations.
Field research: Measuring the problem
In 2015 and 2016, researchers from St. Francis Xavier University and the David Suzuki Foundation completed the most thorough ground-based measurement of methane emissions ever conducted in Canada.
Scientists travelled more than 8,000 kilometres using a sniffer truck, covering more than 1,600 well pads and facilities.
This groundbreaking research revealed that methane pollution from B.C.’s oil and gas industry is at least 2.5 times higher than reported by industry and government.
Methane punches far above its weight as a climate-altering pollutant. Meaningful action on climate change is impossible without addressing the threat that methane poses.
John Werring, Senior Science and Policy Advisor
Read our methane reports
Submission to the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission on their Proposed Approach to Regulating Methane Emissions from B.C.’s Oil and Gas Sector
Comments from the David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina Institute, Clean Air Task Force and Environmental Defense Fund on the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission’s proposed approach for regulating methane from oil and gas facilities.
Regulatory Best Practices for Vented and Leaked Methane Emissions from Upstream Oil and Gas Operations
This report argues that the British Columbia provincial government has long known about the importance of cutting methane emissions. Now it has the regulatory solutions to address the problem.
Fugitives in Our Midst: Investigating Fugitive Emissions from Abandoned, Suspended and Active Oil and Gas Wells in the Montney Basin in Northeastern British Columbia
This report investigates fugitive emissions from abandoned, suspended and active oil and gas wells in the Montney Basin in northeastern British Columbia.
Opportunity for B.C. to show climate leadership
We have a short window of time to get the B.C. government to enact one of the cheapest, fastest and most effective climate solutions available today.
Right now, the provincial government is drafting methane regulations that could drastically reduce emissions of this potent climate pollutant. This is a huge opportunity for real, measurable change.
Methane pollution in B.C. has been vastly underreported, but the province now has an opportunity to take one the most affordable and effective climate action steps possible.
Ian Bruce, Director of Science and Policy
A little ambition can have a major impact in cutting B.C.’s methane pollution
B.C. is in a position to set the standard for effective methane regulations. Fortunately, many of the actions needed to prevent methane from being released into the atmosphere are simple, cheap and universally beneficial.
Senior Science and Policy Analyst
Have your say!
Methane is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. It’s time to make sure provinces enact one of the cheapest, fastest, most effective climate solutions.