REGINA - Saskatchewan's oil and gas industry continues to drive down greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), according to a news release from the provincial government issued on Tuesday.
In 2022, provincial emissions from venting and flaring at upstream oil facilities decreased to 3.9 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) - a reduction of 64 per cent below 2015 levels (or 7.0 Mt CO2e).
"We have seen the industry make significant efforts over the last few years to install combustion equipment at oil wells and facilities where previously gas was vented," Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter said. "This comes at considerable expense for some of the companies and we thank them for taking these steps to protect our environment."
Venting emissions involves directly releasing methane, a potent GHG, to the atmosphere, while flaring means burning the gas, which generates carbon dioxide but greatly reduces the methane content. Declines in emissions are also due to the repurposing of produced gas to generate energy, which in some cases was used to power equipment that a company may use on site.
More vented and flared gas was also collected in 2022, due to additional infrastructure projects coming online that expanded gas collection infrastructure in Saskatchewan.
Emissions from venting and flaring activities also dropped from 13 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, from 2021 levels.
The Oil and Gas Emissions Management Regulations came into effect in 2019, with regulated limits in effect for 2020, to reduce GHG emissions from the upstream oil and gas sector by 40-45 per cent by 2025 from 2015 levels. The news release states results in 2022 continue to demonstrate Saskatchewan's regulatory leadership and the innovation of the upstream oil and gas sector in reducing GHGs across the province.