News Release 2014-06-16

 

News Release 2014-06-16

News Release 2014-06-16 (AERNA2014-13)

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Alberta Energy Regulator takes action in Peace River: flaring, venting, and incinerating directive now in effect

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Jun 16, 2014)…

As part of its continued action to address emissions and odours in the Peace River area, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has strengthened requirements for flaring, venting, and incinerating; these requirements are now in effect.

Operators across the province must comply with the AER’s Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting or face enforcement action that can include shutting down facilities.

“The AER continuously reviews and improves our requirements to ensure the safe, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of Alberta’s energy resources,” said AER president and CEO Jim Ellis. “This directive gives the AER additional regulatory and enforcement tools to address issues in Peace River and across the province.”

The changes to Directive 060 include the following:

  • the ability to implement mandatory conservation of solution gases for specific areas and projects, regardless of economics;
  • a requirement that allows enforcement action to be taken if off-lease hydrocarbon odours are determined to be offensive;
  • a provision permitting the AER to request new emissions tests to verify vent volumes;
  • a requirement to decommission all existing flare pits by December 31, 2015;
  • a requirement that industry staff who submit data to the AER for the purpose of evaluating gas conservation must have the appropriate professional designation; and
  • a change to the AER’s primary dispersion modelling tool to reflect the Government of Alberta’s recent policy update on air dispersion modelling guidelines.

With the revised Directive 060 in effect, the AER will continue monitoring and inspecting for compliance.

From June 16 to29, AER inspection teams will be carrying out compliance sweeps in the Peace River region to ensure operators are in compliance with AER requirements. These measures supplement the AER’s regular inspections.

Results of these compliance sweeps will be made available at www.aer.ca on a new webpage that has been created to provide updates on the AER’s progress in responding to the recommendations of the AER proceeding panel into odours and emissions in the Peace River area.

The AER continues to work on long-term strategies to reduce flaring, venting, and incinerating and to increase gas conservation in Alberta. The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.


FOR BROADCAST USE

The Alberta Energy Regulator’s strengthened venting, flaring, and incinerating requirements are now in effect. Operators across the province must now comply with Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting. The directive is available at www.aer.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Carrie Rosa, AER Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 780-691-8184
E-mail: carrie.rosa@aer.ca
Media line: 1-855-474-6356

AERNA2014-13