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Alberta oil and gas company fined for violating methane rules

The Alberta Energy Regulator logo is seen on a flag at the opening of the regulator's office in Calgary in an undated handout photo.  (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Alberta Energy Regulator) The Alberta Energy Regulator logo is seen on a flag at the opening of the regulator's office in Calgary in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Alberta Energy Regulator)
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The Alberta Energy Regulator has fined a Calgary-based junior oil and gas producer for failing to meet its fugitive emission and methane reporting requirements.

The regulator says it began investigating Tallahassee Exploration Inc. in 2022 and has determined the company broke Alberta's methane emission rules on two counts, with both violations occurring in 2021.

The AER also says Tallahassee provided false or misleading information by resubmitting information from the 2020 reporting period and representing it as data from the 2021 reporting period.

The company has been ordered to pay a $191,885 fine.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and is the second-largest cause of global warming, after carbon dioxide. It is the main component in natural gas and is also a byproduct of oil drilling.

Fugitive emissions is a term that refers to the unintentional or unwanted release of harmful gases into the atmosphere as a result of oil and gas drilling activity.

Canada has set a target of reducing oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 per cent from 2012 levels by 2030. New proposed federal rules for the oil and gas sector would prohibit the routine controlled release of methane — a practice known as venting and flaring — from oil and natural gas operations, as well as require companies to invest in enhanced leak detection and repair.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2024.

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