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Rules and Directives

Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting

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Release Date: December 13, 2018
Effective Date: January 1, 2020
(unless otherwise indicated)
Replaces the previous edition released on March 12, 2018.
Released with Bulletin 2018-37

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Release Date: March 12, 2018
Effective Date: March 29, 2018

Replaces the previous edition released on March 22, 2016.
 

Purpose of this Directive

This directive sets out requirements for flaring, incinerating, and venting in Alberta at all upstream petroleum industry wells and facilities.

These requirements also apply to pipeline installations that convey gas (e.g., compressor stations, line heaters) licensed by the AER in accordance with the Pipeline Act. With the exception of oil sands mining schemes and operations, Directive 060 applies to all schemes and operations approved under section 10 of the Oil Sands Conservation Act.

These requirements ensure that public safety concerns and environmental impacts are addressed before beginning to flare, incinerate, or vent. Requirements in this directive are aligned to ensure compliance with Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives and Guidelines.

Draft Directives 017 and 060 Stakeholder Feedback and AER Response - December 2018

The table below summarizes the vent gas limits and fugitive emissions management requirements in Directive 060, section 8, and is provided for information only. Companies must adhere to the requirements as set out in Directive 060.

Under the overall vent gas limit, which includes all routine and nonroutine vent gas, are source-specific vent gas limits that must be followed while remaining in compliance with the overall vent gas limit. Defined vent gas is vent gas emitted from routine venting, excluding vent gas from pneumatic devices, compressor seals, and glycol dehydrators.

  • Summary of vent gas limits and fugitive emission survey requirements; “existing” means before January 1, 2022; “new” means on or after January 1, 2022
Source Category
(effective date)
Requirement
All venting sources Overall vent gas limit
(January 1, 2020, with specified exemptions until 2023)
15.0 103 m3/month/site or 9.0 103 kg of methane/month/site
Venting Defined vent gas limit for new sites
(January 1, 2022)
<3.0 103 m3/month/site or <1.8 103 kg of methane/month/site
Defined vent gas limit for existing sites Subject to overall vent gas limit
Vent gas limits for new and existing crude bitumen batteries  
(January 1, 2022)
Either
  • defined vent gas limit for each site, or
  • crude bitumen fleet average in each month of  3.0 103 m3/facility ID
Pneumatic devices Vent gas limits for new pneumatic devices
(January 1, 2022)
Prevent or control vent gas from at least 90 per cent of the instruments installed in a calendar year
Venting instruments:
  • Level controllers: Use a relay that has been designed to reduce or minimize transient or dynamic venting, or adjust the actuation frequency to ensure that the time between actuations is greater than 15 minutes
  • Pneumatic instruments other than level controllers: Manufacturer-specified steady-state vent gas rate of less than 0.17 m3/hr
Prevent or control vent gas from pneumatic pumps operating more than 750 hours/year
Vent gas limits for existing pneumatic devices
(January 1, 2023)
Level controllers: Prevent or control vent gas, use a relay that has been designed to reduce or minimize transient or dynamic venting, or adjust the actuation frequency to ensure that the time between actuations is greater than 15 minutes
Pneumatic instruments other than level controllers: Prevent or control vent gas or ensure instruments have a manufacturer-specified steady-state vent gas rate of less than 0.17 m3/hr
Compressors seals Vent gas limits for  new reciprocating compressors
(January 1, 2022, for units with ≥4 throws)
(January 1, 2023, for units with <4 throws)
Units with ≥4 throws: Control vent gas
Units with <4 throws: Fleet vent rate of <0.83 m3/hr/throw, with no compressor venting gas over 5.00 m3/hr/throw
Vent gas limits for existing reciprocating compressors
(January 1, 2023)
Reciprocating-compressor-seal fleet: <0.83 m3/hr/throw, with no compressor venting gas over 5.00 m3/hr/throw
Vent gas limits for new centrifugal compressors
(January 1, 2022)
<3.40 m3/hr/compressor
Vent gas limits for existing centrifugal compressors  
(January 1, 2023)
<10.20 m3/hr/compressor
Glycol dehydrators Vent gas limits for new glycol dehydrators
(January 1, 2022)
<68 kg of methane/day/glycol dehydrator
Vent gas limits for existing glycol dehydrators
(January 1, 2023)
Glycol dehydrator fleet: <136  kg of methane/day
Fugitive emissions Facility or equipment type:
Gas plants (<0.01 mol/kmol H2S)
Compressor stations (<0.01 mol/kmol H2S)
Controlled liquid hydrocarbon storage tanks
Controlled produced water storage tanks
 
Triannual fugitive emissions surveys
Gas plants (≥0.01 mol/kmol H2S)
Compressor stations (≥0.01 mol/kmol H2S)
Batteries
Custom treating facilities
Terminals
Injection/disposal facilities
Annual fugitive emissions surveys
Well sites
(January 1, 2020)
Annual screenings

Directive 060 requires the use of AERflare-incin to model SO2dispersion from flares and incinerators. Several programming bugs were fixed in the previously released version based on comments that were received. The dispersion model predictions for flares remain the same, but the predictions for incinerators increase slightly. For complete details on what’s changed, see the What’s New document in the zip file. All submissions must use the new versions within one month of the version date.

ABflare_v102 [ZIP] (April 15, 2014)

AERflare-incin.v203.141010 [ZIP] (October 10, 2014)

AERflare - User Guide Version 2.01 [PDF] (April 15, 2014)