API urges EPA to delay wellsite emissions rule at least a year

At least another year will be needed to adequately consider potential impacts and feasibility of proposed US Environmental Protection Agency regulations involving air emissions at oil and gas production sites and gas transmission and storage facilities, the American Petroleum Institute said. It urged EPA to wait until Apr. 5, 2013, to issue a final rule.

API has only minor concerns with the selected control technologies, which are emissions control techniques developed by the industry over years of operations, it said in comments submitted on Nov. 30 to EPA. “However, we are concerned about the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the proposed rule to regulating an industry that varies greatly in the type, size, and complexity of operations,” it continued.

EPA has set an early April deadline for issuing a final rule that would change federal New Source Performance Standards and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the oil and gas industry, API Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director Howard J. Feldman said on Dec. 1.

“We don’t believe that’s enough time to review comments and address issues which are raised. That could be a whole extra year before issuing a final rule,” he said during a teleconference with reporters. “Second, we think the actual affected facilities will need much more time to put the equipment in place to meet these new requirements.”

In its comments, API said the proposed rule also would expand listed categories and apply NSPS to new affected facilities in unique and unprecedented ways that may be outside EPA’s authority. Equipment for the reduced emissions completions under the proposal would not be available in time for producers which don’t already have it to meet the deadline. Proposed monitoring, record-keeping, performance testing, and reporting requirements would be a burden to small producers and temporarily operating facilities. EPA also has not adequately considered the proposals costs while over-estimating its benefits, according to API.

Regulatory ‘sweet spot’

“We’re taking this very seriously,” Feldman said. “We think this is a major issue, and we want to work with the agency over the next few months to develop a rule that works…. We think EPA can craft regulations that do not inhibit production of natural gas while protecting communities and providing jobs. We want to help it hit this sweet spot.”

In addition to postponing its deadline for issuing a final rule on the proposed regulations, API recommended that EPA consult with state air pollution offices on expanding the source category for new and unique facilities as the federal Clean Air Act requires, and repropose new regulations as needed. It also urged the agency to allow between 60 days and 2 years for affected operations to comply with equipment-specific NSPS requirements once the final rule is promulgated.

“This is a broadening of EPA’s enforcement of NSPS,” Feldman said. “We don’t really believe it has the authority to do that…. In some places, EPA tries to define a source as a specific valve. It’s trying to bring the affected source down to a much smaller, unprecedented level.”

API also recommended that EPA revise its economic analyses for the proposed regulations to include all compliance cost and operational variables. “These revised analyses should be used to limit the emission controls applicability to operations where they are economically justifiable,” it suggested.

Feldman said that there are instances where gas escapes during production, but added that many producers already use reduced emissions completions to recapture and sell it. “They already have incentives to do this because it essentially is money going up into the air,” he explained. “There are certain places where this makes sense. There are others where the proper gathering lines aren’t in place, or the reservoir pressure has decreased to a point that it isn’t practical.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Senate passes Defense bill with BLM drilling permit program provision

12/15/2014 The US Senate approved a Department of Defense appropriations bill on Dec. 13 containing a provision extending and making permanent a drilling perm...

Cook to head DONG Energy E&P group

12/15/2014 David B. Cook has been named group executive vice-president and chief executive officer for exploration and production at DONG Energy, Fredericia, ...

Sunshine Oilsands appoints chief executive officer

12/15/2014

Sunshine Oilsands Ltd., Calgary, has appointed Luo Hong as chief executive officer and Jiang Qi as president and chief operating officer.

Woodside to buy Apache’s interests in Wheatstone, Kitimat LNG for $2.75 billion

12/15/2014 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has agreed to acquire interest in the Wheatstone LNG and Kitimat LNG projects, respectively in Western Australia and Britis...

MARKET WATCH: OPEC basket price closes below $59/bbl

12/15/2014 The average crude oil basket price for the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties closed below $59/bbl on Dec. 12 while cru...

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

Keyera to take majority interest in Alberta gas plant

12/12/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

PBF Energy, PBF Logistics make management changes

12/12/2014 Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, current...

TAEP: TPI still peaking, but ‘contraction unavoidable’ as oil prices fall

12/12/2014 The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Ene...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected