Canada's new greenhouse gas rules set stage for startup software battle – Callaway Climate Insights

Sander Duncanson

Aug 4, 2020

With the Canadian federal government imposing strict new rules governing methane emissions from oil and gas wells and calling for exact emissions measurements, Osler partner Sander Duncanson tells Callaway Climate Insights that this is creating additional pressure for Canadian producers. In his article, author Avery Mullen describes how this regulatory crackdown is impacting the oil and gas sector, but is also creating opportunities for start-ups looking to streamline the reporting process, and help fossil fuel makers cut fugitive emissions, through tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sander, a partner in Osler’s Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal & Land Group, explains that the industry has historically relied on emissions estimates to satisfy regulators, instead of “sweeping measurement regimes.”

“There’s been a push in recent years … to position Canada as one of, if not the, top jurisdiction globally in terms of environmental performance,” Sander tells Callaway Climate Insights. “Oil and gas was identified as one of the areas where governments could achieve the most bang for their buck.”

The article goes on to discuss how some companies are selling software that “automate the tracking and reporting process” for measuring methane releases, which could save producers money and help them avert what Sander characterized as “potentially destructive levels of additional overhead.”

“These are often very expensive initiatives that are being pushed on producers at a time when those producers are trying to compete on the provincial, national and international scale with other producers in other jurisdictions that are not subject to those same requirements,” Sanders tells Callaway Climate Insights. “There are a number of challenges facing the oil and gas industry right now, which creates a risk that, if you push producers too far, they simply will go out of business.”

For more information, read author Avery Mullen’s article “Canada’s new greenhouse gas rules set stage for startup software battle,” on August 4, 2020, in Callaway Climate Insights.