With the recent announcements from both the provincial and federal governments for targeting significant methane reductions from the oil and gas industry, increased scrutiny will be placed upon the accuracy of current methane inventories. Since the vast majority of methane emissions are from hundreds of thousands of unmetered sources in the field, this will pose a significant data management challenge and will require companies to set up more robust systems to enable the collection and management of unmetered FFV data in a transparent and auditable manner.
Currently, some companies try to collect this unmetered FFV data using spreadsheets. Other companies try to incorporate estimates for their unmetered FFV data into their current Field Data Capture (FDC) systems because they are unaware of any other systemized solution available to them. Unfortunately, current FDC systems are just not properly designed to incorporate this unmetered data in any sort of organized, transparent or auditable manner, and will not meet the challenges of verification required for the upcoming methane reduction initiatives being put forward by provincial and federal governments.
When evaluating your current FDC as your solution for managing the unmetered FFV data, you need to consider the following:
- Does your FDC system have the functionality to meet the information needs required for upcoming climate change legislation?
- Can your FDC system differentiate volumes of fuel gas combusted vs. fuel gas that is vented?
- How easy is it to differentiate pneumatic devices that are high bleed vs. low bleed, and to provide proper backup for the bleed rates that are being used for these devices? Will you need to maintain a separate inventory for this data for transparency and audit purposes in the future?
- How easy it is to manage seasonal variability for such unmetered sources as wellsite heaters, methanol pumps, etc. in your FDC system? Is there the capability to apply effective dates or do the rate estimates physically have to be removed from the FDC system for summer months and then re-introduced for the winter months, thereby adding a level of complexity in the management of this data?
- How do you ensure that all unmetered FFV sources are being captured and maintained through your FDC? In addition to continuous (routine) sources, this also includes estimates for all non-routine (event-based) activities such as well blowdowns, pipeline blowdowns, equipment blowdowns, compressor start attempts, etc.?
- What are the bases for the rates that are entered into the FDC for both routine and non-routine sources? Since none of the backup data required for determining the estimates can be stored in the FDC, will you need to maintain a separate document management system for managing the source data and demonstrating the calculations for how these estimates are derived for audit purposes?
- GIS rates should be updated annually. How are the backup for the GIS Rate updates managed and documented?
- How will you incorporate hydrocarbon venting from glycol dehydrators into your FDC?
- Are the FFV estimates accessible and can they be easily retrieved out of the FDC system for audit purposes or to conduct annual reviews?
- Do you have flexibility in managing the jurisdictional differences (e.g. Alberta vs. B.C.) and is this information transparent and auditable?
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. Contact us today to find out more!