Regulations and Protocols

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), in collaboration with the Alberta government, amended Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting and Directive 017: Measurement Requirements for Oil and Gas Operations (AER Directives) to backstop achievement of Alberta’s methane emissions target of 45% by 2025. The AER Directives also maintain Alberta’s jurisdiction in regulating the upstream conventional oil and gas industry, enabled through a federal equivalency agreement process. The AER Directives were developed with input from industry, technology development and research institutions, environmental non-government organizations, and the public.

The requirements set out in the AER Directives address common sources of methane emissions in from the upstream oil and gas industry: pneumatic devices, fugitive emissions, and equipment and solution gas venting at oil and gas sites and include changes to measurement, monitoring, and reporting of methane emissions to support improved understanding and tracking of oil and gas methane emissions.

The AER Directives are legislated through Alberta’s Methane Emission Reduction Regulation (MERR). Directives 060 and 017 and MERR took force on January 1, 2020. More information on AER’s Directive 060 and 017 can be found through the AER Methane Reduction information page. The AER Methane Performance page also shows methane emission reduction performance for the upstream oil and gas sector in Alberta.

To complement the regulatory approach to methane reduction, Alberta continues to use innovative non-regulatory programs and market-based tools to incent early action and reward projects that drive methane emissions reductions beyond regulatory requirements.

Market-based programs
In Alberta, carbon offsets can be generated by projects that have voluntarily reduced their greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets are quantified using the AER Directives and are verified by a third party.

These emissions offsets have financial and environmental value, as they can be used as a compliance option for regulated entities Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation.

As new methane regulations come into effect between now and 2025, Alberta’s carbon offset protocols will be updated to ensure that the program will continue to drive reductions for projects that exceed actions required by law. More information is available at Alberta’s Emissions Offset System information page.

Technology and Innovation
The Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation is at the core of emissions management in Alberta. The TIER system implements Alberta’s industrial carbon pricing and emissions trading system. TIER helps industrial facilities find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to stay competitive and save money.

TIER regulated facilities include those that emitted 100,000 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide equivalent (tonnes CO2e) per year in 2016, or any subsequent year, or those that import more than 10,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually.

Facilities with emissions less than this threshold may opt-in to the regulation if the facility competes directly with another regulated facility, emits 2,000 tonnes CO2e or more, and belongs to an emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sector.


Directive 608.6.1 vent gas limits FDR pneumatic devices 2. The duty holder must prevent or control vent gas from pneumatic instruments installed on or after January 1, 2022. Directive 60 applies to new pumps installed after 2022. There are no rules that say that old pumps must be dealt with. Thus, there is no interference with the quantification protocol. Solar chemical pumps installed today will be eligible for a full 8 years of credits.