Innovations to reduce methane emissions
Reducing methane from the oil and gas industry is the lowest-cost greenhouse gas reduction opportunity in the energy sector. Canada’s oil and gas industry can become a global leader in responsible energy production through Canadian clean technology innovations. There are already more than 170 Canadian companies providing affordable and proven clean-technology services. The following success stories highlight how some Canadian companies are working to reduce emissions.
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Sander Geophysics is an Ottawa-based company specializing in aircraft-based methane emissions detection and monitoring surveys, among its other services. They have helped businesses reduce their emissions and meet regulatory standards by conducting baseline surveys and identifying methane leaks from shale gas production, storage and transportation facilities, and oil sands.
Sander Geophysics can quickly survey large areas, using airplanes and helicopters equipped with specialized methane sensing technology. Airborne measurements are converted into methane source locations on the ground using sophisticated modelling software. Unlike ground surveys, they’re not limited only to areas with road access and the coverage is uniform over the whole area. This allows them to screen for all potential sources of methane and not just known sources. Businesses use this information to learn where the biggest emissions are happening, and can prioritize remedial actions to stop methane leaks.
Learn more about Sander Geophysics.
This Alberta-based company uses their proprietary Methane Emissions Advisor (MEAdvisor) software to help the oil and gas industry identify and cut methane emissions. The software tracks the amount of emissions at each location throughout an entire facility. This information helps companies identify opportunities to conserve fuel gas and process improvements for energy efficiency that will reduce the most amount of methane emissions. In turn, this helps keep the air clean and increases cost savings.
Recently, a natural gas producer in Western Canada used MEAdvisor for one year. In that time, they identified projects to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by over 28,000 tonnes and saved $576,000.
Learn more about Process Ecology.
Montréal-based GHGSat is a global leader in high-resolution, greenhouse gas monitoring from space. The company's satellites and aircraft sensors measure greenhouse gases from industrial sites, providing actionable insights to businesses, governments, and regulators. Their proprietary remote-sensing and patented technology helps their customers make strategic decisions through monitoring and analytics services with better accuracy, more frequency, and at a fraction of the cost of other technologies.
With six satellites in space, GHGSat is set to grow its constellation to ten satellites by the end of 2023. In 2021, GHGSat measured 143 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of methane emissions globally, which is equivalent to 31.2 million cars driving on the road for a year. Thanks to the support from the Government of Canada, GHGSat now provides its emissions data to the International Methane Emissions Observatory under the United Nations Environment Program.
Clearstone Engineering Ltd.
Calgary’s Clearstone Engineering Ltd. helps the oil and gas industry assess and resolve air emission and pollution challenges. With funding from the Government of Canada, Clearstone Engineering is furthering its research into technologies and practices to detect, quantify, inventory, and reduce methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Their technology will also help support developing countries in their efforts to reduce methane and VOC emissions.
Learn more about Clearstone Engineering Ltd.
Sirius Controls helps the oil and gas industry reduce their methane emissions with their solar powered pumps. These systems are emissions-free, and require little maintenance.
Traditional oil pump technologies rely on gas power that vents climate-warming methane into the atmosphere. Sirius Controls’ systems cut methane emissions, while providing consistent levels of power even in our harsh Canadian winters.
With their technology, they were able to help a global oil and gas company significantly lower their GHG emissions by 12,040 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year!
Learn more about Sirius Controls.
Target Emission Services
Target Emission Services, with Canadian headquarters in Calgary, helps business detect and quantify methane leaks. Technicians use infrared cameras to quickly scan and detect leaks from pipes and equipment. This technology is an improvement over older technologies in that physical contact at every potential leak source isn’t needed, saving companies time and money. In addition, components that were once considered difficult or unsafe to monitor can now be scanned with the cameras.
For example, Target Emissions Services conducted a study of more than 224 inspections at 104 facilities and found significant benefits:
- overall savings of more than $360,000 in valuable natural gas
- 22 potential safety hazards avoided
- reduction of 59,000 tonnes of methane leaks
Learn more about Target Emission Services.
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