Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Flares burn off methane and other hydrocarbons at an oil and gas facility in Lenorah, Texas, on Oct. 15, 2021.David Goldman/The Associated Press

New research suggests Saskatchewan’s oilpatch emits a potent greenhouse gas at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in North America.

Matt Johnson of Carleton University’s Energy and Emissions Research Lab says Saskatchewan’s methane emissions have fallen in recent years.

But he says most of that drop seems to have come from production cuts, not industry improvements.

Worse, his research concludes that about 2.6 per cent of natural gas produced in the province leaks into the atmosphere, where it warms the climate about 80 times that of carbon dioxide.

That rate is well above what is allowed in proposed American and European regulations.

Johnson says it doesn’t make sense to talk about percentage declines in methane emissions because old measurements are unreliable.

Like his previous research in Alberta and British Columbia, it finds methane emissions are underestimated by about 50 per cent.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe