oil & gas sector- pneumatic devices (pollution issues)

Download Oil & Gas Sector- Pneumatic Devices (Pollution Issues)

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  • Oil and Natural Gas Sector Pneumatic

    Devices

    Report for Oil and Natural Gas Sector Pneumatic Devices

    Review Panel

    April 2014

    Prepared by

    U.S. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS)

    This information is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable

    information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and

    should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

  • ii

  • iii

    Table of Contents

    PREFACE ....................................................................................................................................... 1

    1.0 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 2

    1.1 Definition of the Source .................................................................................................... 2

    1.1.1 Pneumatic Controllers .................................................................................................... 2

    1.1.2 Pneumatic Pumps ........................................................................................................... 4

    1.2 Background ....................................................................................................................... 4

    1.2.1 Pneumatic Controllers .................................................................................................... 4

    1.2.2 Pneumatic Pumps ........................................................................................................... 5

    1.3 Purpose of the White Paper ............................................................................................... 6

    2.0 AVAILABLE EMISSIONS DATA AND ESTIMATES ................................................. 6

    2.1 Discussion of Data Sources for Pneumatic Controllers .................................................... 7

    2.1.1 Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry (GRI/EPA, 1996c) ........................ 8

    2.1.2 Estimates of Methane Emissions from the U.S. Oil Industry (ICF Consulting, 1999) 12

    2.1.3 Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2012 (U.S. EPA, 2014) 13

    2.1.4 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (U.S. EPA, 2013)............................................... 18

    2.1.5 Measurements of Methane Emissions at Natural Gas Production Sites in the United States (Allen et al., 2013) ............................................................................................. 20

    2.1.6 Determining Bleed Rates for Pneumatic Devices in British Columbia (Prasino Group 2013) 23

    2.1.7 Air Pollutant Emissions from the Development, Production, and Processing of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas (Roy et al., 2014) ........................................................... 25

    2.1.8 Economic Analysis of Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities in the U.S.

    Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Industries (ICF, 2014) ................................................... 26

    2.2 Discussion of Data Sources for Pneumatic Pumps ......................................................... 28

  • iv

    2.2.1 Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry (GRI/EPA, 1996c) (GRI/EPA, 1996e) 28

    2.2.1.1 Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry Chemical Injection Pumps (GRI/EPA, 1996c) ............................................................................. 28

    2.2.1.2 Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry Gas-Assisted Glycol Pumps (GRI/EPA, 1996e) ................................................................................. 31

    2.2.2 Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2012 (U.S. EPA, 2014)

    32

    2.2.3 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (U.S. EPA, 2013)............................................... 35

    2.2.4 Determining Bleed Rates for Pneumatic Devices in British Columbia (Prasino Group

    2013) 35

    2.2.5 Economic Analysis of Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities in the U.S.

    Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Industries (ICF, 2014) ................................................... 36

    3.0 AVAILABLE PNEUMATIC DEVICE EMISSIONS MITIGATION TECHNIQUES ..... 36

    3.1 Available Pneumatic Controller Emissions Mitigation Techniques ............................... 36

    3.1.1 Zero Bleed Pneumatic Controllers ............................................................................... 41

    3.1.2 Low Bleed Pneumatic Controllers ............................................................................... 41

    3.1.3 Instrument Air Systems ................................................................................................ 44

    3.1.4 Mechanical and Solar-Powered Systems in Place of Bleed Controller........................ 48

    3.1.5 Maintenance of Natural Gas-Driven Pneumatic Controllers ....................................... 50

    3.2 Available Pneumatic Pump Emissions Mitigation Techniques ...................................... 50

    3.2.1 Instrument Air Pump .................................................................................................... 51

    3.2.2 Solar Power Pump ........................................................................................................ 54

    3.2.3 Electric Power Pumps .................................................................................................. 55

    4.0 SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................... 56

    4.1 Pneumatic Controllers ..................................................................................................... 56

    4.2 Pneumatic Pumps ............................................................................................................ 57

  • v

    5.0 CHARGE QUESTIONS FOR REVIEWERS ..................................................................... 57

    6.0 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 58

  • 1

    PREFACE

    On March 28, 2014 the Obama Administration released a key element called for in the

    Presidents Climate Action Plan: a Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. The strategy

    summarizes the sources of methane emissions, commits to new steps to cut emissions of this

    potent greenhouse gas, and outlines the Administrations efforts to improve the measurement of

    these emissions. The strategy builds on progress to date and takes steps to further cut methane

    emissions from several sectors, including the oil and natural gas sector.

    This technical white paper is one of those steps. The paper, along with four others,

    focuses on potentially significant sources of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in

    the oil and gas sector, covering emissions and mitigation techniques for both pollutants. The

    Agency is seeking input from independent experts, along with data and technical information

    from the public. The EPA will use these technical documents to solidify our understanding of

    these potentially significant sources, which will allow us to fully evaluate the range of options

    for cost-effectively cutting VOC and methane waste and emissions.

    The white papers are available at:

    www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/whitepapers.html

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    1.0 INTRODUCTION

    The oil and natural gas exploration and production industry in the U.S. is highly dynamic

    and growing rapidly. Consequently, the number of wells in service and the potential for greater

    emissions from oil and natural gas sources is also growing. There were an estimated 504,000

    producing gas wells in the U.S. in 2011 (U.S. EIA, 2012a), and an estimated 536,000 producing

    oil wells in the U.S. in 2011 (U.S. EIA, 2012b). It is anticipated that the number of gas and oil

    wells will continue to increase substantially in the future because of the continued and expanding

    use of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing (referred to here as simply

    hydraulic fracturing).

    Due to the growth of this sector and the potential for increased air emissions, it is

    important that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) obtain a clear and accurate

    understanding of emerging data on emissions and available mitigation techniques. This paper

    presents the Agencys understanding of emissions and available emissions mitigation techniques

    from a potentially significant source of emissions in the oil and natural gas sector.

    1.1 Definition of the Source

    The focus of this white paper is natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers and natural gas-

    driven pneumatic pumps. Such pneumatic controllers and pumps are widespread in the oil and

    natural gas industry and emit natural gas, which contains methane and VOCs. In some

    applications, pneumatic controllers and pumps used in this industry may be driven by gases other

    than natural gas and, therefore, do not emit methane or VOCs.

    1.1.1 Pneumatic Controllers

    For the purposes of this white paper, a pneumatic controller means an automated

    instrument used for maintaining a process condition such as liquid level, pressure, pressure

    difference and temperature. Based on the source of power, two types of pneumatic controllers are

    defined for this paper:

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    Natural gas-driven pneumatic controller means a pneumatic controller powered

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