Baselining your Methane Emissions – Fuel Gas “Combusted” vs. Fuel Gas “Vented”

Baselining your Methane Emissions – Fuel Gas “Combusted” vs. Fuel Gas “Vented”

In response to the recent provincial and federal government announcements targeting significant methane reductions from the oil and gas industry, companies will need to prepare a more accurate baseline of their current methane emissions.  While doing so, one of the areas where companies will need to spend more time relates to fuel gas that is used in the field and at wellsites to drive pneumatic devices (e.g. controllers) and chemical injection pumps.

Currently the estimated volume of natural gas that is used for these purposes is summed with the natural gas that is used for combustion purposes, and is reported as one number into PETRINEX under the category of “FUEL,” as per the requirements under the current provincial Directives.  (It should be noted that British Columbia requires these volumes to be split out and reported as “vent.”)

This reporting nuance poses significant challenges from the perspective of establishing a proper baseline for methane emissions.  Methane (CH4) is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2).  CH4 has a global warming potential (GWP) of 25.  This means that one tonne of CH4 vented into the atmosphere is equivalent to emitting 25 tonnes of CO2.  However, when methane is combusted, it is converted to CO2, so it has a lower impact from a greenhouse gas perspective.

equation

The following example provides an illustration of the impact of reporting these vented natural gas volumes as FUEL, and then making the assumption that this fuel gas is combusted rather than vented.


Basis for Illustration

illustration

table

Conclusion:  Scenario 1 is reporting only 28.6{822737c5d972cc32aa0664c8f9c8431402bee0bf9e0ecb1e247ed6a451dd96f8} of the actual GHG emissions.


Envirosoft’s Fuel-Flare-Vent Manager™ provides a unique, fit-for-purpose solution to the oil and gas industry for providing a systemized solution to overcoming these challenges.  Please contact us today to find out more!

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