Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
released its proposed methodology for estimating upstream GHG
emissions associated with major oil and gas projects undergoing
federal environmental assessments. This follows the federal
government's announcement earlier this year of its intention to
update the federal environmental review process for major pipelines
The methodology will consist of two parts: (1) a quantitative
estimation of the GHG emissions released as a result of upstream
production associated with the project; and (2) a discussion of the
project's potential impact on Canadian and global GHG
Quantitative Estimation of GHG Emissions
Under the methodology, "upstream emissions" will
include all industrial activities from the point of resource
extraction through processing, handling, and transport up to the
project under review. The quantitative estimate will not include
estimates of indirect emissions, such as those associated with the
manufacture of equipment used for the project or grid
The quantitative estimation will involve four steps:
Determine the expected throughput and distinct components of
the product for the project, such as, conventional light oil,
in situ heavy oils, mined heavy oil, synthetic crude oil,
sweet gas or acid gas.
Determine the GHG emission factor for each component of the
product using ECCC's and other publically available data.
Calculate the upstream GHG emission contribution from each
component of the value chain.
Determine the upstream GHG emissions associated with the
project by summing the calculated GHG emissions from each component
of the project.
Impacts on Canadian and Global GHG Emissions
The second part of proposed methodology considers the conditions
under which the Canadian upstream emissions calculated pursuant to
the quantitative estimation could be expected to occur even if the
project were not built. The ECCC expects to consider the following
factors in its analysis and acknowledges that proponents may wish
to supplement these:
The current production levels and expected growth of resource
production in Canada as well as the potential markets for future
resource production growth with and without the proposed
The technical and economic potential for alternative modes of
transportation to be used in the absence of the proposed project;
The potential implications for Canadian and global upstream GHG
emissions from the alternative modes of transport, including an
analysis of the financial considerations for upstream production,
and a discussion of the conditions under which the proposed project
could enable upstream emissions in Canada and, where possible,
outside of Canada.
Interested parties have until April 18, 2016 to provide comment
on the proposed approach.
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