Methane Abatement: Bang For Your Buck

Olivia Petrus
gas flare
Courtesy of The New York Times

Despite his stinginess, even Larry David could stomach the cost for cutting methane emissions put forward in a new study.

What happened: A new report put together by Dunsky revealed a cost-effective path for the Canadian oil and gas industry to achieve its methane targets. The study suggests that meeting Ottawa’s goal of a 75 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2030 could be achieved at an average cost of just $11 per tonne.

  • The country’s current carbon tax rate is $65 per tonne, though companies are not currently charged for methane emissions in Canada.

Birds of a feather: The International Energy Agency had a similar estimate in its Global Methane Tracker 2023. The Paris-based energy group found 30,000 tonnes of methane in the Canadian oil patch could be eliminated for $13 per tonne or less.

There’s more: Dunsky also believes official figures for methane releases are underestimated. The group suggested multiplying the Canadian methane emission inventories by 1.7 to get a more accurate estimate of releases.

  • The report pushed the need for strict regulations, including bans on venting, the flaring of methane, frequent inspections, and restricting equipment prone to leaks.

What’s next: While Alberta looks on track to meet its goal of reducing methane emissions by 2025, meanwhile the federal government is preparing new regulations specifically to address methane.