Canada's federal government wants to delay the implementation of its new methane regulations by up to three years to 2020, and expects to fully implement it by 2023, CBC News reported on April 20.
The initial plan was to begin introducing rules to control methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in 2018, with all the new regulations in place by 2020, CBC News said, citing documents.
The move is a departure from the commitments made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. President Barack Obama to cut methane emissions by 40% to 45% below 2012 levels by 2025.
The amended time line was a result of discussions between the government and stakeholders and will be incorporated into the proposed regulations expected to be announced at the end of April, CBC News reported.
Major oil producers like ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE: RDS.A) have cut their exposure to Canada's oil sands operations, which are among the world's most expensive oil plays to develop.
Faced with a lower oil price environment and challenging economics, which include high-cost operations and carbon taxes, global players are increasingly put off by the oil sands.
BP Plc (NYSE: BP) is also considering selling its stakes in three Canadian oil sands projects, Reuters reported on April 21.
Methane, which can leak from pipelines and valves, is a powerful greenhouse gas with up to 80x the potential of CO2 to trap the planet's heat.
In February, the U.S. House of Representatives repealed a rule put forth in the final days of the Obama administration that limited methane emissions from oil and gas drilling on federal lands.