This post is the second of a two part series. Read the first installment, Unreported Emissions From Natural Gas Blow Up BC's Climate Action Plan.
Methane leaks from British Columbia's natural gas industry are likely at least 7 times greater than official numbers increasing the entire provinces' carbon footprint by nearly 25%. That's like putting 3 million more vehicles on BC's roads.
As Part One revealed official government figures state only 0.3% to 0.4% of BC's natural gas production leaks into the atmosphere. No believes that is accurate. Independent studies in the US show these methane leaks range between 2% and 9%.
All aspects of natural gas operations including drilling gathering, processing and pipelines can leak methane into the atmosphere. The industry doesn't like to call them leaks, preferring the term “fugitive emissions.”
Seals, valves, joints, compressor pumps all can leak. There are literally hundreds of thousands of points where this can occur said Bill Tubbs Manager, Environmental Permitting & Regulation at Spectra Energy Transmission. Headquartered in Houston, Texas Spectra is the biggest gas pipeline and processing companies operating in western Canada.
“We don't measure fugitive emissions, we estimate how much for reporting purposes,” Tubbs told DeSmog.