Best Practices to Reduce Venting and Flaring with Economic Benefit

Primary Author / Conference Presenter:
Jeff Voorhis
HY-BON, A Cimarron Energy Company
Volente, Texas, USA

Existing and evolving regulatory requirements require oil and gas producers to reduce venting and flaring of natural gas from their operations. Regulatory agencies tightening venting and flaring emissions include Environment Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA), U.S. Department of the interior, state/province environmental and oil and gas mining regulatory agencies. These rules seek to minimize the loss of natural resources and to reduce air pollution emissions. The air pollutants of concern include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. The source of the natural gas is primarily flash gas liberated from the storage of crude oil and condensate. The presentation discusses the drivers for reducing venting and flaring and gives a step by step approach to address EPA Compliance Alert from project identification to ultimate success in sending gas to a gathering or sales pipeline. The characteristics of storage tank vent gas are discussed. Steps include identifying project scope and emission standards, design data needs, best design practices, installation, commissioning and monitoring systems. The use of smart systems to measure and monitor system operation and the amount of gas recovered is included. Also covered is the design and use of vapor recovery towers (VRTs) to reduce the chance of oxygen entering the vapor recovery systems. Supplemental emission controls using vapor combustion units as backups to the vapor recovery system is also addressed. The presentation will also introduce new technologies used to automate the detection and reporting of leaks from on storage tanks and Gas Measurement.