Alberta, Saskatchewan methane emissions almost 4 times more than reported: research
New research using advanced technology suggests heavy oil facilities in Alberta and Saskatchewan are releasing almost four times the amount of a powerful greenhouse gas than they report to government.
The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, pioneers new methods of measuring methane emissions that question current industry practice, said author Matthew Johnson, an engineering professor at Carleton University in Ottawa.
“A lot of these (reports) are done on … estimates,” said Johnson. “Clearly, they’re not very accurate.”
Methane is a gas emitted as a byproduct of oil production that is often rated as 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Industry and government are trying to cut those emissions by three-quarters, but measuring how large they are has been difficult.
“These are hard measurements,” said Johnson.
Industry generally relies on an estimate of how much methane comes to the surface for each barrel of oil, then multiplies that measurement by how much oil is produced. In recent years, several studies using direct measurement from overflying aircraft have thrown doubt on that method.
Johnson said the amount of methane associated with oil is highly variable, which makes calculations based on that ratio unreliable.
Johnson and his colleagues used the latest airborne technology as well as ground-based sensors to measure methane emissions from 962 heavy oil facilities in Alberta and Saskatchewan that use the so-called CHOPS technology, which uses sand to help force oil to the surface.
They found those sites released 3.9 times as much methane than was reported to government inventories. That’s more than 10,000 kilograms per hour, as compared to the nearly 2,700 kilograms per hour industry reports.
“That methane, on its own, would be a significant contribution to the entire inventory of Saskatchewan,” said Johnson.
Getting an accurate handle on how much methane industry releases to the atmosphere is important for a couple reasons, Johnson said.
First, industry and the federal government have agreed to cut those emissions by 75 per cent by 2030. Regulations to achieve that goal are expected this year and measuring an accurate starting point will be crucial.
Second, Johnson said getting a reliable, well-by-well analysis of emissions will be important for industry in the future.
Methane emissions do not face the same taxes as carbon dioxide releases, but that’s changing. The United States is discussing putting a price on released methane under its Inflation Reduction Act.
Good information will be key to knowing which wells will remain profitable as such price regimes spread, said Johnson.
“If you imagine a price on methane … a lot of these wells would be uneconomic.”
However, Johnson’s calculations suggest the cost of reducing that methane is low enough that the payback period for not having to pay a methane price could be just two years. And if the value of the oil produced is included, the payback period drops to nine months for many wells.
Even burning the methane off would help, Johnson said.
“Just installing basic combustion mitigation technology is not going to be a deal-breaker for the well, and you can get quite significant methane reductions.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2023.
World Down Syndrome Day in Canada – CTV News
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is sharing a new awareness campaign featuring photos of older people with Down syndrome.
The ‘Here I Am’ photo gallery was launched today, to mark World Down Syndrome Day, and showcases portraits of older Canadians living with the condition.
“People age 40 and over are hugely underrepresented in all aspects of media, social media pictures, they’re just not visible,” Laura Lachance, executive director of CDSS told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday. “So we embarked on this campaign to bring these faces to the front.”
According to the organization, the life expectancy of Canadians with Down syndrome has doubled in the past 40 years, from 25 years in 1983, to more than 60 years in 2023.
“What’s changed is advances in medical technology, both in diagnostics and in treatment,” Lachance said. “So a lot of children who used to die in their early years are now surviving, taking advantage of all the interventions and living a long healthy life.”
Although many are living into adult life, Lachance said the challenge of finding caregivers who understand Down syndrome remains.
“As more of the Boomer parents are living longer, there’s going to have to be some kind of initiative by employers to perhaps take a look at how they can support their employees who need to take time away from work or work differently in order to care for their loved one,” Lachance said.
The photo gallery features only people over the age of 40 who are living with Down syndrome. The portraits were captured by Hilary Gauld from One for the Wall and CDSS.
Hear the full interview with Lachance by clicking the video at the top of this article.
Russia summons Canadian diplomat to protest 'regime change' statement – CBC News
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.
Russia called Joly’s comments a ‘Russophobic attack’
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.
The ministry said it summoned Canadian charge d’affaires Brian Ebel on Monday and told him Joly’s comments were unacceptable.
Canadian media quoted Joly as saying at a news conference on March 10: “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia.”
The Russian statement condemned the “Russophobic attack” and said it would have serious consequences for relations. Russia reserved the right to take “appropriate counter-measures” depending on Ottawa’s further steps.
Canada, a member of NATO and the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies, has joined its Western allies in imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, it welcomed the International Criminal Court’s move to issue arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children’s commissioner over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war.
Worst city in Canada for bed bugs revealed | CTV News – CTV News Toronto
A Canadian city has just been named the worst in the country for bed bugs for the third year in a row.
Orkin Canada, a pest and wildlife control services organization, revealed in a release Tuesday that Toronto was the city in which it carried out the highest number of commercial and bed bug treatments in 2022.
Following Toronto in second is Vancouver, B.C. then Sudbury, Ont. in third.
London, Ont., which went unranked in 2021, is new to the list this year, clinching the eighth spot in the top 10 “buggiest” cities in the country in 2022
Ontario dominated the top 10 list with a total of eight cities across the province being ridden with bed bugs, including Oshawa, Ottawa, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, London, and Hamilton.
“Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional to identify bed bugs that have been introduced or are in the early stages of an infestation is recommended,” Dr. Alice Sinia, a Ph.D. Entomologist at Orkin Canada, said in the release.
“Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As people begin to ramp up their travel plans this year, it’s important they know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control.”
Sinia explains bed bugs can hide in taxis, buses, trains, and airplanes, so travellers should regularly check their clothes and luggage for any unwanted passengers.
To avoid a bed bug infestation while travelling, Orkin recommends the SLEEP method – survey your hotel room for any bed bug symptoms, lift and search typical bed bug hiding spots like mattresses and underneath cushions, elevate your luggage, examine your personal items, and place your clothing in the drier for up to 45 minutes on the highest setting.
At home, Orkin recommends decluttering your space, and thoroughly inspecting second-hand furniture for dark ink-like blot marks or whitish egg clusters.
These are Canada’s 25 “bed buggiest” cities, in order:
- Toronto, Ont.
- Vancouver, B.C.
- Sudbury, Ont.
- Oshawa, Ont.
- Ottawa, Ont.
- Scarborough, Ont.
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
- London, Ont.
- St. John’s, N.L.
- Hamilton, Ont.
- Winnipeg, Man.
- Montreal, Que.
- Windsor, Ont.
- Edmonton, Alta.
- Timmins, Ont.
- Moncton, N.B.
- North York, Ont.
- Etobicoke, Ont.
- Calgary, Alta.
- Mississauga, Ont.
- Whitby, Ont.
- Prince George, B.C.
- Regina, Sask.
- Brampton, Ont.
- Halifax, N.S.
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