WHAT’S THE SITUATION?
What You Need To Know and Fast:
Quad-O or Quad “O” or 0000, short for Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 40, Part 60, Subpart OOOO, is the current buzz word (s) around onshore production. On Aug. 16, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final regulatory updates specific to onshore oil and natural gas production that span from well completion to transmission. This refers to the Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution.
Some of the primary targets of these regulations are natural gas production gathering and boosting stations. On August 18, 2015, the EPA proposed updates to its 2012 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and gas industry to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases – most notably methane – along with smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The updates add methane to the pollutants covered by the rule, along with requirements for detecting and repairing leaks, and requirements to limit emissions from pneumatic pumps used at gathering and boosting stations. Also on August 18, 2015, the EPA issued draft Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) for states to reduce VOC emissions from existing processes and equipment at gathering and boosting stations in areas subject to CTG requirements.
Some Important Elements to Quad “0”:
Fugitive Equipment Leaks:
The proposal requires leak detection and repair (LDAR) program for valves, connectors, pressure relief devices, open-ended lines, access doors, flanges, closed vent systems, thief hatches, agitator seals, distance pieces, crankcase vents, blowdown vents, pump seals or diaphragms, compressors, separators, pressure vessels, dehydrators, heaters, instruments, and meters. The proposed rule requires an initial and periodic leak detection survey. Periodic leak detection is semiannual and can change to quarterly if two consecutive semi-annual monitoring surveys find fugitive emissions at greater than 3.0% of the fugitive emissions components at a well site. Subpart OOOOa would add the following facility types to the LDAR requirement:
Finding and Repairing Leaks
The proposed rule includes incentives for minimizing leaks:
Are You Affected? Probably.
EPA’s RACT recommendations for processes and equipment at natural gas gathering and boosting stations are:
The VENTMASTER Solution.
The TESCORP “VENT MASTER” is a proprietary, completely self-contained vent gas recovery system for containing and recovering the vented gas emissions from compressor seals, packing, and pneumatic pumps or control valves. The TESCORP “VENTMASTER” is a complete, simple, and fully-automated system for applications that require compliance with new EPA and state vent emissions requirements (40 CFR 60 Subpart 0000a).