Methane management technology is one area of the oil and gas industry where new, well-paying jobs are being created across the US and Canada.

Billions of dollars’ worth of methane – the primary component of natural gas – is escaping from the world’s oil and gas value chain every year, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Proven and low-cost fixes, readily available from the methane mitigation industry, mean that global methane emissions represent $10 billion in potential revenue for the oil and gas industry, it said.

The US and Canada, two of the world’s top five polluting countries, are tapping the offerings of this emerging new industry and showing there is an economic upside to eliminating methane waste, said the EDF.

It reported that almost 180 companies provide methane waste and pollution reduction technologies and services in Canada, citing a new job opportunities report released last week by the Methane Emissions Leadership Alliance (MELA), an association for the Canadian methane emissions management industry.

The report found that 80 percent of the companies surveyed anticipate business growth based on the phase-in of Canadian federal and provincial methane rules, due out this year. Local businesses supplying emission controls and inspection services to detect and capture lost methane can help oil and gas companies comply with tighter efficiency standards.

Most of these good-paying jobs are expected to flourish in Alberta.

The economic growth derived from methane standards is positive for the methane management industry, but it also delivers important outsourcing services to oil and gas industry operators, allowing them to recapture otherwise lost revenue.

EDF said this new job growth data comes on the heels of yet another recent report citing the economic and job benefits of methane mitigation, showing at least 136 methane mitigation companies in the United States.

The surveyed companies have seen up to 30 percent growth in the US states that require oil and gas operators to control their methane emissions. Methane rules in several US states, including California, Colorado and Pennsylvania, are gaining momentum as state leaders see the collective economic, industrial and environmental benefits of the policies. And what has been good for this industry in the US is expected to replicate in Canada when it implements its methane rules, the EDF said.

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