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Federal Equivalency
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) regulations are designed for all of Canada (including offshore), whereas the AER’s proposed requirements are for Alberta only.

Equivalency discussions are ongoing between the Government of Alberta and ECCC. Please contact Alberta Energy for questions related to federal equivalency.

Cost
We used extensive modelling to inform the regulatory design in order to minimize the economic impact of the requirements. Please contact Alberta Energy for questions related to costs.

For information about ECCC’s methane reduction regulations, including cost, visit ECCC’s website.

Government of Alberta Offset Program
The Government of Alberta has implemented an offset credit system whereby energy companies can qualify for offset credits.  For more information please visit Alberta Energy and Parks’ website.

Scope of the Requirements
The new requirements apply to AER regulated:

  • upstream oil, gas and bitumen wells,
  • oil and gas facilities,
  • gas plants,
  • pipeline installations,
  • storage facilities, and
  • tank terminals (i.e., production and injection wells, batteries, and central processing facilities within thermal in-situ oil sands schemes)

The new requirements do not apply to:

  • AER regulated facilities that are not related to oil, gas or bitumen production (such as coal, shallow water wells, brine wells, NEB regulated facilities, midstream meter stations, or midstream pipelines),
  • oil sands mining schemes,
  • processing plants for removing bitumen from oil sands at mines including upgraders,
  • refineries,
  • rail car loading facilities,
  • downstream distribution pipelines, and
  • downstream facilities.

Measurement System
With financial support from Natural Resources Canada, we have further developed our OneStop platform to include methane emissions reporting.

Measurement, monitoring and reporting are important elements of the new requirements. Improved reporting and measurement will help to better quantify and track Alberta’s progress towards methane emissions reduction.

The reporting system will be made available for use by industry in 2019, in advance of the January 1, 2020 in effect date.

Regulatory Review
Once the requirements take effect on January 1, 2020, the measurement system will allow us to collect enough information to track our progress toward the 45 per cent target and at the same time we will continue to advance research and development programs intended to improve emissions quantification and reduction technologies. Because the methane reduction requirements are an addition to the AERs regulatory framework, we think it’s important to step back and review how effectively they are reducing methane in light of this additional information.

The review itself is planned for 2022, which is when we will have enough reported emissions data to update our model and most of the research programs will be complete.

Although the AER reviews its directives on an ongoing basis this is the first time a review of a directive has been embedded into the text of the directive itself.

Compliance Assurance
To enforce the new requirements, the AER will implement a variety of tools including data analysis, data audits, facility inspections, and regional surveys.

Noncompliances will be dealt with in accordance with Manual 013: Compliance and Enforcement Program and may include enforcement tools ranging from warnings and administrative penalties to orders imposing conditions and prosecution.