The latest Oil and Gas Emissions Management Regulations Annual Emissions report from the provincial government shows carbon dioxide equivalent emission from vented and flared gas at upstream oil facilities is down substantially from just seven years ago. 

The report, which was released last Wednesday, stated the emissions totalled 4.4 million tonnes, which is down by 6.5 million tonnes, or 60 percent, from 2015. It is also down by 15 percent from 2020. 

"A 60 percent reduction is a significant achievement and clearly demonstrates that Saskatchewan is a jurisdictional leader in methane reduction and its energy sector is one of the most environmentally responsible in the world," Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. "Saskatchewan's comprehensive regulations target both methane from venting and carbon dioxide from flaring. This is more comprehensive than the federal approach, which targets only methane emissions." 

The reduction was credited to investments in the oil and gas sector into new equipment at key locations, which reduced companywide emissions. Many of those infrastructure changes were supported by the provincial government’s Saskatchewan Petroleum Innovation Incentive, which offers royalty and production tax credits for made-in-Saskatchewan projects. 

The province had stated in 2019 that the goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent from the 2015 levels by 2025. Pointing to the information released in the report this past week, the government says it shows the emission targets had been achieved, and would likely be exceeded by 2025. 

The Oil and Gas Emissions Management Regulations are part of an equivalency agreement between Saskatchewan and the provincial government that was signed in 2020, establishing a timeline on methane emissions. The deal expires on December 31st, 2024.