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Download June 16, 2022

What You Need to Know About British Columbia Methane Limits for 2023 Reporting

The new Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) source-specific vent gas limits and requirements came into effect on January 1, 2022, for reporting that starts on May 31, 2023. Permit holders are required to start the data collection in 2022 to assess compliance and prepare for reporting in 2023.

The British Columbia OGC is responsible to regulate oil and gas activities in the Province under the Oil and Gas Activities Act. The new OGC venting requirements were published in the Drilling and Production Regulation (B.C. Reg. 282/2018), last amended on March 4, 2021. The Flaring and Venting Reduction Guideline was also updated on April 2021, to support the new requirements stated in the Drilling and Production Regulation (DPR). 

The last amendments to the Flaring and Venting Reduction Guideline affect the equipment limits and monitoring requirements for sources of natural gas venting. Limits vary and depend on the date of installation of the equipment, type of facility and/or the nature of the equipment or operation. The guidelines detail the upcoming requirements for storage tanks, compressor seals, pneumatic instruments, and pneumatic pumps. The leak monitoring and reporting requirements already came into effect on January 1, 2020, and permit holders must have submitted the first leak data collection report by May 31, 2021. As of today, OGC’s methane regulations are undergoing a stakeholder review.

A set of templates required by OGC to report venting from compressor seals, storage tanks, pneumatic instruments, and pneumatic pumps will be available on the OGC website closer to the first submission deadline in 2023.



The following is a summary of the regulatory specific limits and requirements for methane reporting in British Columbia:


BC Vent Gas Sources Limits and Requirements

DPR Division 2 - Section 

Emission Sources

Details

Effective Date

Vent Limits / Requirements

First Submission

Section 52.03

Tank venting

Tanks at facilities that began operations on or after January 1, 2022

January 1, 2022

Less than 1250 m3/month
 (All tanks combined)

May 31, 2024

Tanks at facilities that began operations before January 1, 2022

January 1, 2023

Less than 9000 m3/month
 (All tanks combined)

Section 52.04 

Reciprocating compressors (RCS) seal venting

RC installation on or after January 1, 2021, with four or more throws, and an engine rated at 75 kW or more, or that operates more than 450 hours/year.

January 1, 2021

Zero natural gas venting. Compressor seal vent gas must be flared or conserved. 

May 31, 2023

RCs installed before January 1, 2021, that have an engine rated at 75 kW or more or operate more than 450 hours/year.

 RCs with fewer than four throws regardless of the installation date.

January 1, 2022

Less than 0.83 m3/hr/throw (RCS fleet average). Fleet average does not include compressors with flared or conserved seal gas.

Less than 5 m3/hr/throw for each compressor in the fleet.

Section 52.04

Centrifugal compressor seal venting

Centrifugal compressors installed on or after January 1, 2021, that have an engine rated 75 kw or more; or operate for 450 hours or more per year.

January 1, 2021

Less than 3.4 m3/hr per compressor.

May 31, 2023

Centrifugal compressors installed before January 1, 2021, that have an engine rated 75 kw or more; or operate for 450 hours or more per year.

January 1, 2022

Less than 10.2 m3/hr per compressor.

Section 52.05

Pneumatic Devices

Facilities that began operations on or after January 1, 2021.

January 1, 2021

Zero natural gas venting.

May 31, 2023

Gas processing plants or compressor stations that began operations before January 1, 2021, and have a total compression power of 3 MW or greater

January 1, 2022

Zero natural gas venting.

Facilities that began operation before January 1, 2022, other than gas processing plants or large compressor stations.

January 1, 2022

No natural gas venting, unless:
pneumatic vent rate < 0.17 m3 / hour per device.
or
 a professional engineer signs a statement that the device is required for safe operation of the facility and it is not practical to replace the device to meet vent limit, venting is minimized, and device is tagged.

Section 52.06

Pneumatic Pumps

Pumps installed on or after January 1, 2021 or operating more than 750 hours per year.

January 1, 2021

Zero natural gas venting.

May 31, 2023

Section 52.07

Pneumatic Starters

Natural gas operated pneumatic starters at facilities with conservation equipment or flare system to which starter vent gas can be routed.

January 1, 2022

Zero natural gas venting. Pneumatic compressor vent gas must be flared or conserved. 

-

Natural gas operated pneumatic starters at facilities with conservation equipment or flare system to which starter vent gas cannot be routed.

January 1, 2022

Maintain a record of description of starter and,
Maintain a record for each calendar month:
- Volume of gas used in start attempts.
- Number of hours starter is operated.
 - Volume of gas emitted.

-

 


Please contact us if you have any questions or require expert support to ensure your regulatory obligations are met.




References

* https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/crbc/crbc/282_2010

* https://www.bcogc.ca/files/operations-documentation/Oil-and-Gas-Operations-Manual/Supporting-Documents/flaring-and-venting-reduction-guideline.pdf

* https://www.bcogc.ca/news/new-vent-data-collection-template-released-indb-2021-20/

https://www.bcogc.ca/news/new-vent-data-collection-template-released-indb-2021-20/

 

By Andrea Noriega Wandurraga, M.Sc.

Andrea joined Process Ecology in November 2019 as a Process Engineer. She started her career in 2013 as a process engineer in Colombia, where she was accountable for the flow assurance and the integrity of assets in oil/water production facilities. Andrea holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering, a Business Administration certificate, and an MSc in Chemical engineering from the University of Nottingham. Andrea was awarded the Chevening Scholarship in 2017 which supports professionals with leadership abilities to pursue postgraduate studies at UK Universities. When she is not seated behind a desk, she can be found practicing yoga or exploring outdoors on boots, snowshoes, or bicycles.

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