The Impact of Latest GWP Updates on GHG Emissions Reporting: An Oil and Gas Sector Case
What is GWP:
GWP stands for global warming potential. Greenhouse gases don’t have an equal effect, and each has its unique properties and atmospheric lifetime. For reporting purposes, all GHG gases are converted to CO2 equivalence using the GWP factors. The government of Canada defines the GWP factors as “The Global Warming Potential (GWP) metric examines each greenhouse gas’s ability to trap heat in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide (CO2). We measure this over a specified time horizon.” .
New changes & reporting:
Every few years the government reviews the GWP factors and updates them based on new data available. Oil and gas companies are obligated to report on a yearly basis their GHG emissions to both federal and provincial governments. Three Greenhouse gases that this sector mainly focuses on are Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and Nitrous oxide (N2O). This year the federal government announced changes to the three GWP factors related to these gases as outlined below:
Table 1 GWP based on the federal government announcement 
These changes will affect air emissions reporting in Canada and below is a summary of the reports that will be affected and the effective date.
Table 2 Reports affected and the effective date of the change 
A case study:
To determine the effect of these changes a case study was performed using the Alberta Greenhouse gas quantification methodologies . Below are some of the parameters used for this study:
Table 3 Parameters used in the case study.
Annual Fuel Volume (e3m3)
Annual Flare Volume (e3m3)
Annual Vent Volume (e3m3)
Annual Fugitive Volume (e3m3)
Furthermore, a sample gas analysis was assumed based on the TIER default sales gas .
Table 4 Gas analysis
Sample Gas Analysis
The study showed that the effect of these changes is about 1% on fuel consumption and about 2% on flaring. The most effect was shown in the venting and fugitives, and it was about 12%. Overall, the deviation in the total GHG emitted was about 2%. Below is a summary of the results:
Table 5 Case study summary of results
Fuel combustion GHG
It was shown that the effect of these GWP updates on total GHG emissions can vary based on the magnitude of combustion, flaring, venting, and fugitive emissions from a facility. The deviation can vary from 1% to 12% depending on the facility size and equipment inventory.
About Process Ecology:
Process Ecology Inc. delivers value to clients via four key competencies:
- Emissions estimation and management
- Process engineering and optimization
- Software development
Process Ecology was founded in Calgary, Alberta in 2003. We have substantial experience in engineering consulting and emissions estimation/management for the oil and gas industry, acquired by the founders over the last 25 years while working with leading process simulation software companies, operating companies, and as part of our software and services activities.
We have been working with clients since 2007 to support the requirements of air emissions reporting.
If you have any questions or need help regarding these changes or other air emissions requests, don’t hesitate to contact us and our team of experts would be happy to assist you with your air emissions reporting to be beyond compliant.
 Canada, E. and C. C. (2023, January 31). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/greenhouse-gas-emissions/quantification-guidance/global-warming-potentials.html
 Government of Canada, P. W. and G. S. C. (2023, January 27). Government of Canada. Canada Gazette, Part 1, Volume 157, Number 4: SUPPLEMENT. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from https://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2023/2023-01-28/html/sup1-eng.html
 Alberta greenhouse gas quantification methodologies. version 2.2. Alberta greenhouse gas quantification methodologies. Version 2.2 - Open Government. (2020, October 30). Retrieved March 28, 2023, from https://open.alberta.ca/publications/alberta-greenhouse-gas-quantification-methodologies