Emission management

Report Presents Best Practices for Flaring, Emissions Management

The Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition has released the first edition of the report, which it says will help lawmakers, media, and the general public understand the latest developments around methane and emissions.

Gas flaring. Combustion of associated gas at oil production.
Credit: Teppakorn Tongboonto/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

The Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition (TMFC) has released the first edition of its Methane and Emissions Report. In the report, the trade group, which was established in December 2019 to assess the issues of methane emissions and flaring to develop industry-led solutions, explains emissions sources, regulatory oversight, and industry best practices and recommendations. The coalition says the report will be updated periodically to reflect the latest technologies, legislation, and rule-making and serve as a tool to help lawmakers, media, and the general public understand the latest developments around this issue.

Included in the report is an expanded listing of the coalition’s recommended best-practice recommendations, which include the following:

  • Eliminate high-bleed pneumatic control devices and replace them with either low-bleed or no-bleed devices that can reduce emissions.
  • Conduct voluntary inspections including leak detection and repair or audio/visual/olfactory inspections using optical gas imaging, Method 22 visual determination of fugitive emissions, aerial inspections, or other new or innovative technologies to help pinpoint fugitive emissions sources and allow operators to quickly address them.
  • Voluntarily go beyond state and federal requirements to equip facilities with emissions reduction equipment and use that equipment—for example, optimizing and using vapor-recovery towers, vapor-recovery units, and combustion devices such as thermal oxidizers, vapor-combustion units, or flares—to burn gases such as volatile organic compounds and hazardous air polutants for environmental, operational, and safety reasons.
  • Voluntarily replace compressor-rod packing at least every 26,000 hours of operations or every 36 months.
  • Implement good planning and management practices to ensure gas transportation and use is available and adequate before a well is brought online. These proactive practices help minimize the need to flare and are in line with the TMFC’s stance on ending routine flaring.
  • When flaring is necessary, reduce or prevent incomplete combustion by optimizing combustion efficiency and operation of flares.
  • Manage emissions when flaring is necessary with auto igniters, remote or on-site monitoring, automation, redundant ignition, or maintenance programs.

The Methane and Emissions Report follows a TMFC report on flaring recommendations and best practices that was released in June. In that report, the coalition recommended best practices based on a chain of communication to evaluate operational and technical considerations related to flaring with the goal of minimizing flaring or managing flaring practices if flaring must occur. The TMFC Flaring Recommendations and Best Practices report also included a matrix that identifies situations when flaring is necessary and provides recommendations for the application of Statewide Rule 32 that will yield flaring reductions.

The TMFC Methane and Emissions Report also points to a report that provides a listing of a variety of technological developments that could improve the environmental performance of oil and natural gas production.

The TMFC includes seven trade associations and more than 40 Texas operators.

Find the report here.