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Canada's annexed Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on April 26, 2018 requires implementation of Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs at Canadian onshore upstream oil and gas facilities, and other restrictions on venting or flaring of natural gas.

For those familiar with U.S. regulations, these requirements mirror many NSPS OOOOa requirements,  and some of the gas capture and mitigation requirements that were originally found in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule titled “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation; Rescission or Revision of Certain Requirements.” These requirements apply to “onshore upstream oil and gas facilities”, which covers oil and gas activities from the well pad up to the local distribution system. This is different from how many U.S. operators may define the “upstream” segment, which generally only includes the oil and gas production segment. 
An onshore upstream oil and gas facility is defined as a facility containing stationary equipment that are located on a single site, on contiguous or adjacent sites, or on sites that form a network in which a central processing site is connected by gathering pipelines with one or more well sites for the purpose of:

  1. extracting hydrocarbons from an underground geological deposit or reservoir
  2. primary processing of those hydrocarbons; or
  3. transporting hydrocarbons, including their storage for transportation purposes, other than for local distribution. They include a gathering pipeline, transmission pipeline, natural gas gathering and boosting station, natural gas transmission compressor station and natural gas processing plant

Summary of Requirements and Implementation Dates

The regulations' requirements cover key fugitive and venting emission sources in the upstream oil and gas sector as described below. The complete regulation can be found here.

 Emission Source Implementation Date Requirements
 Fugitive (leaks) January 1, 2010
  • Implementation of a leak detection and repair (LDAR) program
  • Inspections for leaks three (3) times per year
  • Corrective action when leaks are found
 General facility production venting January 1, 2023 
  • Venting limit of 1,250 m3 of natural gas per month (15,000 m3 per year)
  • Conservation of natural gas for re-use on site or for sale, or flaring/clean incineration of natural gas
 Venting from pneumatic devices January 1, 2023 
  • Venting limit of 0.17 m3 of natural gas per hour for pneumatic controller
  • Conservation of natural gas for re-use on site or for sale, or replacement with non-emitting or low-bleed pneumatic device
 Venting from compressors January 1, 2020
  • Annual measurements of emissions of natural gas from compressor vent
  • Corrective action when emissions are higher than the applicable limit
 Venting from well completions involving hydraulic fracturing January 1, 2020
  • No venting
  • Conservation of natural gas for re-use on site or for sale, or flaring/clean incineration of natural gas

If you are interested in learning more about these regulations, we would gladly schedule a complimentary luncheon for you and your company representatives. Contact any one of our oil and gas experts listed on our website.