FLIR Works to Support Oil & Gas Customers Facing New EPA Methane Rule | FLIR Systems

FLIR Works to Support Oil & Gas Customers Facing New EPA Methane Rule

Monday, June 13, 2016


With the June 3rd Federal Register publication of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new methane standard comes a host of new concerns for the Oil and Gas industry: specifically, how to comply with Subpart OOOOa. This new standard, also known as Quad Oa, is aimed at curbing methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry.

Quad Oa adds a Leak Detection & Repair (LDAR) component to upstream and midstream operations that is tied to certain new, modified, and reconstructed equipment. The rule references Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) technology as the BSER, or Best System of Emission Reduction on specific sources. These standards apply to well sites and compressor stations, as shown in the table below:

Final Subpart OOOOa Standards for Emission Sources with BSER
Source BSER Monitoring Frequency Final standards of performance for GHGs and VOC
Well sites Optical Gas Imaging Bi-annual Monitoring and repair of fugitive emission components using OGI with Method 21 as an alternative at 500 parts per million (ppm).
Compressor stations Optical Gas Imaging Quarterly Monitoring and repair of fugitive emission components using OGI with Method 21 as an alternative at 500 parts per million (ppm).

Quad Oa can be complex from a program development standpoint, so FLIR is working to offer customers solutions that will help them comply as simply and cost-effectively as possible. These include:

  • Program development support and enhanced training
  • Procedures for determining the OGI inspection parameters:
    • Maximum viewing distance
    • Maximum wind speed
    • Adequate thermal background (Delta T)

Quad Oa also includes the following OGI equipment performance requirement:

“Your optical gas imaging equipment must be capable of imaging a gas that is half methane, half propane at a concentration of 10,000 ppm at a flow rate of ≤60g/hr from a quarter inch diameter orifice.”

FLIR is therefore in the process of creating a manufacturer’s verification certificate stating that the FLIR GF300 and GF320 cameras are compliant with the above requirement. This will likely include the GasFindIR HSX camera as well.

As our customers work through interpretation of the rule, FLIR is eager to receive input and suggestions on how we can best support customers as they build programs to achieve compliance with the new rule.

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