How to Prepare for New Regulations from Environmental Climate Change Canada

At what stage are we?

In November 2022, Environmental Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released the proposed regulatory framework for reducing oil and gas methane emissions to achieve the 2030 target. The proposed framework announced several key features aimed at helping the Federal Government commit to reducing methane emissions by 75% by 2030, relative to 2012.

The proposed amendments aim to expand the scope of existing regulations to apply to a broader set of sources. Below is a list of those amendments:

  • Expanding the application of the regulatory measures to apply to virtually all facilities potentially handling natural gas.
  • Minimizing compliance through combustion, while ensuring that all combustion systems operate at maximum efficiency to address potential methane emissions.
  • Expanding the application and intensity of inspection programs, including non-producing assets.
  • Requiring non-emitting equipment when feasible
  • Including temporary activities in facility emission ceilings and lowering these limits to absolute minimum levels.
  • Developing a comprehensive, nationally consistent emission monitoring and reporting system.

ECCC has begun to generate a baseline of emissions by using available publications to determine the target areas after establishing the goals and listing the scope. Previously reported emissions may not have been accurate, and new testing equipment and procedures are helping develop new baselines.


Which are the largest sources of current emissions?

Over 25 sources of emissions were examined and categorized as part of the emissions baseline (See Figure 1).

Based on the results, venting and fugitive emissions account for most methane emissions.

OGAED Assessment of 2022 Canada National Inventory Report Internal Data (2019 emissions)

Reference: OGAED Assessment of 2022 Canada National Inventory Report Internal Data (2019 emissions)

Figure 1: Categories and percentages of emissions


Venting and fugitive emissions were established using several reporting mechanisms and published reports (i.e., Petrinex, Canda Energy Regulatory Energy Future 2021 Report and Raw Data, Spatially Resolved Composition Data (EERL, 2022), Upstream Oil and Gas Emissions Field Study (Clearstone, 2014), etc.).

Using this and other information, the ECCC intends to conduct a cost analysis to determine where the most money should be spent.


What are the Next Steps?

Federal emissions regulations are expected to be released in early 2023, but much work remains. The ECCC is still looking for more credible data to help provide more accurate abatement costs.

Over the summer, ECCC is considering developing cost benefits analysis, legal drafting, and continuing stakeholder engagement. These new regulations are expected to be published later this year.