Province injects $52M into reduction of methane emissions, create jobs

Alberta’s government is using the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund to reduce methane emissions, cut costs for industry and get Albertans back to work.

Alberta’s government recently announced $750 million for technology and emissions reduction programs through the TIER fund and other public funding. This will directly support 3,400 jobs and up to 8,700 jobs when investments from industry and other funding sources are included, with a total of $1.9 billion being injected into the economy.

This investment includes $52 million for methane programs that will create jobs in the oil and gas sector and cut about 1.5 megatonnes of emissions right away, while also setting the stage for future job growth and reduced emissions after projects are complete.

“Albertans know what is best for our province, and have been leaders of responsible methane management for years,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks Friday. “Today’s announcement builds on our strengths by supporting the entrepreneurs and innovators who are the bedrock of our province. We’re reducing emissions through the industry-funded TIER system, rather than taking from the pockets of Alberta families and small businesses.”

New investments in methane emission reduction programs include Methane Technology Implementation Program (MTIP), and Methane Emission Management Program (MEMP).

Alberta’s government is using the TIER fund to provide a $25-million grant to Carbon Connect International to deliver MTIP. The program offers a 50 per cent rebate for purchasing emissions reduction equipment, to a maximum of $1 million per eligible upstream oil and gas operator.

“At a time when industry is slowly emerging from such challenging times, CCI is pleased to see the TIER system working, and we are looking forward to leading a program that makes immediate methane emissions reductions a reality,” said Darcy Spady, managing partner, Carbon Connect International.

“TIER is supporting made-in-Alberta solutions that show leadership on a global stage. MTIP is a prime example of environmental leadership, innovative thinking and setting the bar higher for the next generation.”

MEMP will help industry identify emissions reduction opportunities to better leverage provincial and federal programs and enable innovation. This program has two parts:

  • The Baseline Reduction Opportunities Assessment Program is supported by $10 million from TIER. Funding will help small and medium-sized oil and gas producers identify on-site methane emission sources and increase their awareness of provincial and federal funding programs. Government is seeking a vendor to design and deliver this program. More information is available here.
  • The Fugitive Emissions Management Program is supported by $17 million from TIER. It will fund new research and demonstration activities that help oil and gas operators detect, repair and measure methane emissions. This program builds on related initiatives like the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group pilot, which Alberta’s government supported with $3 million from TIER. Details on the Fugitive Emissions Management Program will be available this fall.

Alberta’s target is to cut methane emissions by 45 per cent by 2025 through provincial regulations, market-based programs and investments in technology and innovation. Alberta was the first regional government in North America to commit to a methane reduction target for the oil and gas sector.

The TIER system is funded by large industry which pay into the fund when they do not meet emissions targets. This investment will help industry reduce emissions and supports Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices. It will be more than doubled by additional dollars from industry and other sectors, leading to more than $1.9 billion in total funding.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

In Alberta, the oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane emissions.