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B.C.'s oil and gas producers cutting 300,000 tonnes of emissions with province's help

Funding supports waste heat recovery, fuel switching, methane capture
Shell-Groundbirch
Shell's Montney gas plant in Groundbirch, fall 2017.

Oil and gas operators in the Peace region have received $7.4 million in provincial funding to cut more than 300,000 tonnes of emissions over the next decade.

The money comes from the CleanBC Industry Fund, funded by carbon tax revenue, and is part of government targets announced Friday to reduce emissions in the sector by 33% to 38% by 2030.

"People in British Columbia want steady progress on climate change coupled with good jobs and strong communities, supported by businesses that are reducing pollution and thriving in the global clean economy," said Environment Minister George Heyman.

Major operators in the region have received funding for waste heat recovery, fuel switching, as well as methane capture and reduction projects.

Here are the projects that have been funded so far:

  • Black Swan Energy - $2 million to install four waste heat exchangers at Black Swan’s gas processing facility near Fort St. John. This project will reduce the fuel gas usage at the facility operation and improve the facility greenhouse gas efficiency. The province says 81,000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Ovintiv - $1.3 million to retrofit gas processing equipment at the Cutbank Ridge facility near Dawson Creek to run on compressed air instead of methane, eliminating venting of the fossil fuel into the atmosphere and repurposing it into the company’s feedstock. The province says 11,000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Crew Energy - $1.26 million to install waste heat recovery units at Crew's gas processing facility near Fort St. John. Each waste heat recovery unit will recover additional thermal energy to a new hot oil loop that will be installed as a part of this project. The province says 68,000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Petronas - $1.1 million to replace 17 natural gas driven pneumatic pumps with electric pumps at its 12 compressor stations near Fort St. John. The province says 36,500 tonnes of  emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Veresen Midstream - $818,000 to reduce flaring of methane gas during normal operations at the Steeprock sour gas processing plant near Dawson Creek by installing electric vapour recovery equipment to capture methane and repurpose it into its feedstock. The province says 26,500 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Shell Canada - $380,000 to replace methane venting equipment with new technology powered by clean electricity at Shell's Groundbirch natural gas facility located west of Dawson Creek. The province says 19,000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Petronas - $265,000 to install electric boilers at its three gas plants near Fort St. John. This project will reduce heat demand on the natural gas fired boilers. The province says 11,000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Canadian Natural Resources - $142,000 to retrofit its three facilities’ pneumatic devices to run on air instead of fuel gas. The province says 38,000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Murphy Oil - $60,000 to retrofit high-bleed pneumatic devices to low-bleed pneumatic devices equivalents across numerous well sites in the Dawson Creek area. The province says 8,400 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • ConocoPhillips - $51,000 to replace five gas-driven pumps with five solar-electric pumps at two heritage sites near Fort St. John. The province says 2000 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

  • Pacific Canbriam - $24,000 to retrofit its five pneumatic devices to run on instrument air instead of fuel gas. The province says 1,200 tonnes of emissions will be reduced through 2030.

Elsewhere in B.C., Tidewater’s refinery in Prince George has received $357,000 to increase its efficiency by automating part of its gas flaring process, as well as upgrade a crude heater. The province says 19,000 tonnes of emissions will be cut through 2030.

FortisBC has also received $1.07 million for methane capture along its transmission pipeline network, which the province says will cut 22,600 tonnes of emissions over the next decade.


Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.