July 30, 2016
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposals to slash methane emissions from oil and gas facilities 40 percent to 45 percent by 2025 have moved forward according to a July 21, 2016 Bloomberg report. At a hearing in Sacramento, CARB’s governing body gave staff a green light to bring the proposal back for a final vote in early spring 2017. If adopted, the rules would be phased in from Jan. 1, 2018, through Jan. 1, 2020.
Unveiled earlier this year, the greenhouse gas emissions standards for crude oil and natural gas operators have garnered praise from environmental groups for being stricter than the new federal methane regulations. California’s rules would apply to existing facilities, as well as the new sites regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency rules.
The proposal would result in continuing reductions of 1.5 million metric tons of carbon a year, using a 20-year global warming potential for methane. Additional air pollution benefits include 3,600 tons a year of reduced volatile organic compounds and 100 tons a year of benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylenes reductions, CARB said.
Oil industry groups like the Western States Petroleum Association are concerned about some elements of the proposal, chiefly how they would be integrated with existing control requirements and the implementation time line. In addition, the rules focus on some “insignificant emissions sources,” WSPA said. WSPA and other groups also said
CARB’s estimated $22.3 million annual costs of the rules was too low.
The proposal would cover equipment components currently not regulated by the state’s local air districts. It would require producers to take leak detection and repair measures to curb fugitive methane emissions from valves, flanges and connections.
Other provisions would require vapor collection systems on certain uncontrolled oil and water separators and storage tanks and well stimulation circulation tanks. Vented gas from reciprocating compressors and centrifugal compressors also would have to be collected, unless repaired or maintained to prevent leaks. Additionally, “no bleed” pneumatic devices and pumps, leak detection and repair, monitoring and quarterly inspections would be required.
CARB’s draft rules also would establish emission standards for active and idle equipment and components and impose monitoring requirements at underground natural gas storage fields.
What this means to you
California has proposed rules to slash methane emissions from oil and gas facilities 40 percent to 45 percent by 2025 putting the state on the path to adopt the nation’s strongest methane controls anywhere.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn more about emission control solutions for stationary engines.