We are excited to share that Process Ecology hosted the first Go Beyond Compliance Conference on December 5, 2023, at Calgary's BMO Center. It was a pivotal event delving into emissions management strategies. From navigating regulatory complexities to unveiling cutting-edge solutions like real-time emissions tracking, this gathering marked a significant leap in advancing sustainability within the energy industry. Explore the key takeaways and innovative solutions unveiled at this event.
Go Beyond Compliance Highlights
Session 1 - Methane and GHG Corporate Tracking – Challenges and Best Practices – James Holoboff
Inventory Development and Change Management
Attendees gained insights into the complexities of managing diverse data associated with assets and reporting challenges.
Some of the key questions that were discussed include: what is the scope of reporting? What are the key emissions sources? Where is the data coming from? How can we automate data import?
Discussion on managing change processes are crucial for accuracy in quantification and reporting. This involves communicating asset-related changes to emissions inventory with specified timeframes and detailed tracking, ensuring flexibility for all property/data changes for easier inventory tracking.
Corporate Reporting Challenges
Some of the main challenges that were discussed include gathering consistent and timely field data, accomplishing timely reporting including verification, tracking sales and acquisitions, and dealing with historical changes impacting previous data.
Corporate Reporting Solutions encompass continuous inventory and change management, strong business processes, and a flexible automated system
Emissions Quantifications – Bottom up / Top down
We dove into a conversation regarding the big debate between bottom-up inventory vs. top-down measurement. As many are aware by now, there are various measurement technologies in the market and regulators are pushing for improved measurements with more accuracy and consistency.
There were significant points brought up about the benefits of the bottom-up inventory: It is the basis for regulatory reporting, it provides better insight into mitigation opportunities, it allows for better management of ongoing changes and the impact on emissions, combined with measurements it provides the best insight into root causes of emissions, and estimates can be improved with continuous monitoring and facility data (SCADA)
High-grading emissions reduction opportunities (e.g., methane slip, venting, or fugitive emissions from tanks)
Root cause analysis
Go Beyond Reporting Vision: Build on an accurately quantified inventory to deliver reporting, optimization, and forecasting.
Session 2: Regulatory Obligations, Methodologies, Best Practices and Financial Implications – Samaneh Hajipour
Carbon Pricing Systems in Western Canada
This session was rich with insights, uncovering several common missed opportunities for companies. We explored key differences between OBPS, Federal Fuel Charge, and TIER. With Sam’s expertise, she highlighted that large producers should really consider opting into the TIER program, while smaller producers would require a cost assessment to determine whether this is a good option or not.
Another crucial discussion focused on assessing the inclusion or exclusion of facilities when applying for TIER. Some key questions to consider are as follows:
Is there a new facility/well started operation in the compliance year?
Is there a facility previously operated by your company but missed to be added to an existing aggregate?
Is there a new acquisition after January of the compliance year?
Do you have several aggregates and not sure which aggregate to choose for the addition?
Do you want to revoke an aggregate and merge it with an existing aggregate?
Further topics delved into grouping facilities as a single Conventional Oil and Gas (COG) facility and provided practical examples for COG groupings.
Key Parameters Shaping TIER Costs
Benchmark Application: Submission deadline is September 1st of the compliance year.
How the benchmark will be assigned if a benchmark application is not submitted for existing aggregates and for first year reporting
Benchmark Reference Years: Default - 2 or 3 reference years within the three consecutive year period beginning with the year prior to the first year of being registered under TIER.
Determining when and how to assess/change reference years.
Benchmark Unit - determines the Allowable Emissions and must be representative of the aggregate operation and emissions
How to change the benchmark unit
Assessing the different types of methodologies used for – COG grouping, Availability of data in the reference years and the compliance year, Equipment inventory, and 3rd party data reports (purchased fuel gas and liquid fuel invoices)
Fuel gas combustion methodologies: Method 15-4 (TIER default) or 15-7 (measured CC) for CO2 emissions quantification - Always favor a TIER analysis.
Discussions on Forecasting encompassed estimating a company's future financial outlook, aiding in budgeting, business planning, emissions reduction strategies, and carbon credit transactions.
Best practices for TIER include the following points:
Monthly review of facilities
Schedule quarterly sampling for facilities using Method 15-7 for CO2 quantification
Tracking of non-Petrinex fuel invoices
Working closely with Production Accountants ensuring Petrinex reporting aligns with the latest Petrinex regulations
Benchmark evaluation before September 1st of the compliance year
TIER cost assessment for the compliance year
Forecasting – emissions, production, changes in the TIER regulation
Session 3: Mitigation Pathways – Roadmap to Net Zero – Jairo Duran and Jason Tobias
AB Emissions Overview
TEAM Model Set-up
Oil battery example
Tie in to gathering
Onsite power generation
Distance to qualified labour pools
Some Challenges were discussed including the fact that Petrinex data is not perfect
TEAM allows us to bridge the gaps with engineering assumptions, literature research, discussions with operators and other parties
Further details on the AB Emissions Overview were introduced including how this distribution compares to other jurisdictions and what the profile can tell us about the potential mitigation pathway
Based on what the AB emissions profile indicates, the priorities for tackling emissions in this region from easiest to hardest project are as follows: 1) Pneumatics 2) Fugitives 3) Vented 4) Combustion
Priorities will change for different regions
Mitigation and Technology Assessment
Exploring deeper into the Alberta project, 18 commercially available mitigation technologies were included in the study and assessed with a marginal abatement cost curve (MACC)
Corporate Emissions Reduction Strategies – Jason
Jason has a broad overview perspective on why Corporate GHG reduction targets are so important
Reputation / Social License / Stakeholder Management
Operating cost reductions
Financing tied to GHG reduction targets
Some of the challenges that were highlighted included dealing with incomplete data, having long duration projects with short duration assets, Rate of Return (Strong IRR on low investment / low MACC on high capital), capital limitations, regulatory uncertainty, complexity of the management of change, and operational overhead.
Capital limitation – most emissions reductions for the least capital investment
Jason went into detail about the list of mitigation option in TEAM x15
MACC allows us to see what areas we can see reductions in. Data may not be 100% accurate but it gives us a starting point and we can improve data over time and move up the curve
Incentives for Action include increasing costs and opportunities, as well as the fact that methane emissions are systematically under quantified
Session 4: Innovation in Emissions Management – RT-GHG Real-Time Emissions Management System – Ahad Sarraf Shirazi
Ahad goes into depth about Process Ecology’s new innovative platform that works to solve all the different challenges and topics discussed throughout the conference. As mentioned several times in conversation, we need to find a way to bridge the gap between disciplines so that we can trust all forms of data and end up with actionable insights.
In response, RT-GHG champions a groundbreaking workflow enhancement: real-time emission tracking and reporting in seconds and minutes instead of weeks and months.
What is RT-GHG and Why RT-GHG? RT-GHG is a fully cloud-based digital platform that combines plant sensor data, discrete measurements and advanced process models. It provides a high-fidelity view into emissions sources
This tool provides real-time emissions data that can be relied on for decision making, regulatory reporting, ESG, it also reduces time and cost of gathering data and taking corrective actions., and
It will provide a single source of truth with data every stakeholder can trust.
Multiple digital platforms exist, but merely offering a dashboard and emissions system isn't enough. Process Ecology goes beyond, offering not just a platform but also expertise in regulations, methodologies, engineering, machine learning, and extensive industry experience. This comprehensive service ensures true value, understanding, and success for your assets and business.
Details about the Workflow
Building KPIs & Dashboards
Maintenance and Flowsheet Update
Lessons Learned during the deployment of RT-GHG in a facility located in AB in which several valuable insights were gained from the project
Continuous changes from the transmitter tags to equipment are inevitable therefore the platform must be flexible to allow for changes
People ask questions about the equipment performance
All sensors are not created equal
Sensor data could be used to identify non-routine emissions such as blowdown, PSV relief, and compressor start
This event turned out to be a grand success for our company and our clients. We want to build a community in which we share our expertise and experiences to inform one another of challenges and how to overcome them as we move forward in this innovative industry. We are delighted with the turnout, and we want to continue this type of conversation into the new year. We look forward to inviting more industry leaders to contribute and discuss the best strategies for emissions management and reduction.
Process Ecology continues to show commitment to our mission, which is to provide Strategic Engineering Services and Decision Support Tools to the Global Energy Industry and contribute to improve Sustainability (environmental and economic performance). We are proud to share our knowledge and collaborate with an inspiring community.