Saskatchewan methane regulations miss the markPembina Institute reacts to province’s final methane regulations

Jan. 23, 2019

Jan Gorski/Pembina Institute

CALGARY — JAN GORSKI, analyst at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Government of Saskatchewan’s release of its methane regulations:

“Today, Saskatchewan has missed a cost-effective opportunity to reduce potent emissions while conserving a useful resource: natural gas.

“Saskatchewan has chosen a results-based regulatory approach that is completely out of line with best practices for managing methane emissions. Their regulations only target venting from oil facilities, and ignore all other sources of methane emissions, including leaks and pneumatics. Saskatchewan’s regulations ignore more than 40 per cent of the province’s methane emissions in 2016.

 “Effective results-based regulations require strong measurement and reporting standards. Without them, you can’t credibly know the extent of emissions reductions. However, Saskatchewan has opted for a results-based approach without including those critical standards. On top of that, there are several loopholes that allow companies to delay or avoid meeting the imposed limits.

“Saskatchewan has opted for a flawed regulatory approach: it includes a limited scope of emission sources; lacks the strong measurement and reporting requirements needed for an outcome based regulatory approach; and includes too many loopholes, which ultimately results in little certainty around achieving federal methane reduction goals."

Quick facts

  • Saskatchewan’s oil and gas sector accounts for 25 million tonnes of carbon pollution annually – or one third of the province’s total emissions.
  • Reducing methane pollution from the oil and gas sector is one of the cheapest opportunities to reduce carbon pollution across the economy.
  • Methane pollution from Saskatchewan’s oil sector is likely underreported. A recent study of similar conventional heavy oil operations in Alberta estimate real world emissions are at least 3.6 times higher than reported.




Jan Gorski
Analyst, Responsible Fossil Fuels, Pembina Institute
403-269-3344 x111, 587-586-5730 (cell)

Michelle Bartleman (English / français)
Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Policy Approaches for Reducing Methane Emissions Comparing regulations, carbon pricing, and subsidies

Media release: New federal methane regulations a vital step in implementing Canada’s climate plan

Blog: The best path for methane management

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