About the Hub

An industry need

The oil and gas industry has expressed a direct need for a “go to” source for all things methane-related in the trade.

The Methane Emissions Reduction Network (MERN) aims to increase Alberta’s competitiveness in the current technology landscape while transitioning to a low carbon economy and creating new market growth. MERN technology solutions will be achieved through network collaboration of industry stakeholders and promotion of new and ongoing initiatives to ensure industry awareness of the collaborators, tools, and best practices available to them.

  • Uniform, neutral and complete communications to all stakeholders;
  • A unique interactive digital media platform for engagement and collaboration;
  • Educational and knowledge mobilization opportunities through media articles, web posts, webinars, workshops, and the new annual Methane Innovation Forum, among other MERN events;
  • Alignment of the current fledgling community of practice into a common understanding of research needs, technology gaps, scientific opportunities and promising developments;
  • Launching eminently relevant and market driven applied research and technology development projects, informed by respected scientific advisors, experienced end-users, and prospective customers;
  • Recognition of excellence through annual student and SME innovation awards.

Methane Emissions Reduction Network (MERN)

A direct initiative of PTAC, the Methane Emissions Reduction Network (MERN) uses collaborative efforts to assemble methane related initiatives to inform, leverage, empower, and enable existing and emerging R&D activities and entities to share their information and create new opportunities. 

Our vision for MERN… our vision for the future
  • Create an innovation ecosystem where all stakeholders can freely access information related to methane initiatives.
  • Align industry priorities and connect innovators within the ecosystem to resources.
  • Identify gaps and launch methane projects accordingly.
  • Design a platform for accelerating the commercialization of relevant, critical, and cost effective technologies to reduce methane emissions.

Stakeholders

When stakeholders work together to effect change, they are more likely to achieve their goals.

In addition to offering input and expressing interests, these stakeholders are important partners:

Industry Associations
Government
Producers
Technology Providers
Service and Supply Companies
Learning and Research Institutions

Committees

Air Research Planning Committee

The Air and Research Planning Committee (ARPC) runs through the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF), which is a collaborative platform between the Alberta Government, Alberta Energy Regulator that is managed by PTAC. The ARPC is composed of producer and government stakeholders who identify challenges and manage projects submitted to and funded by AUPRF. This group represents the “producer and government pull”. More information can be accessed on the AUPRF website.

Methane Research Planning Committee

AUPRF’s Methane Research Planning Committee (MRPC) is a subset of the runs through the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF) Air Research Planning Committee (ARPC) created in 2017 to assist with the high priority topic of methane.

Technology for Emissions Reduction and Eco-Efficiency

The Technology for Emissions Reduction and Eco-Efficiency (TEREE) is larger than the ARPC and MRPC and includes government, producer, and service and supply company representatives. This committee has no allocated funding; its main purpose is to share learnings to its committee members and promote direct interaction between end users and service providers. This group represents the “technology provider push”. More information can be accessed on the PTAC website.

Methane Reduction Oversight Committee

With the announcement of the Government of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan in 2015, the AER knew its task was to support the 45 per cent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 2025—the question was, how?

Methane is a colourless, odourless, flammable gas that is the main constituent of natural gas. The climate change impact of methane is significant—it is 25 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. In Alberta, the oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane emissions.

To meet the goal set out by the government, the AER—with input from key players—is developing a multifaceted approach that includes enhancements to existing directives, multiple studies in partnership with other organizations, economic modelling to assess the regulatory impacts, updates to the ST60B report, and work in the following areas:

  • Fugitive emissions
  • Measurement, monitoring, and reporting
  • Regulations for existing facilities
  • Regulations for new facilities

The development of this approach is collaborative and focused on multi-stakeholder engagement.

The primary method of engagement is the Methane Reduction Oversight Committee, which consists of members from government, environmental nongovernment organizations, industry, and technology groups.

The committee, which came together in September 2016, is helping to develop recommendations and options to inform cost-effective regulations for new and existing facilities in the oil and gas sector.

The province is using the federal baseline data from 2014, where methane emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas sector were 31.4 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This accounted for 70 per cent of provincial methane emissions and 25 per cent of all emissions from the upstream oil and gas sector.

Cutting methane emissions will be the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the AER continues to protect what matters, we will collaborate to reduce emissions and deliver measurable results.