These voluntary practices include a menu of measures oil and gas operators can use to reduce emissions. These voluntary practices enhance but do not replace existing rules and regulations.
Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance Program
- Infrared (IR) Camera
Conduct a representative survey of facilities and equipment with the potential for fugitive VOC emissions using an infrared (IR) camera. The intention of this survey is to educate staff on the character and nature of fugitive volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and to direct and prioritize audio, visual, olfactory (AVO) surveys and repairs.
- IR Camera or AVO Surveys for Facilities with High Potential for Emissions
Conduct IR camera or AVO surveys of facilities and equipment with highest potential for VOC emissions on a regularly scheduled basis and repair as practical. This practice is most effective if performed prior to the winter ozone season. Significant leaks detected with this method should be repaired within two weeks.
- Record Keeping and Reporting for IR Camera
Maintain records of inspections and repairs as necessary to provide an estimate of VOC reductions. Support post-season efforts to compile emission reduction data. Maintain data on the number of facilities inspected using IR or AVO methods, the number leaks repaired and an estimate of leak volume. Data should be compiled on a monthly basis for correlation with ozone events.
- Inspection and Regular Maintenance
Inspect and perform regular maintenance of equipment such as vehicles, pneumatic devices, dehydrators, internal combustion engines and emission control equipment. Defer, if practical, maintenance that causes a temporary increase in emissions such as compressor blow down, to periods outside of ozone events.
- Limit Vehicle Idle Time
Limit vehicle idle time to the extent practical.
Additional Voluntary Seasonal Ozone Controls
The following voluntary seasonal controls offer potential additional control measures that operators can individually choose to implement based on their distinct and varying development designs and individual assessment of appropriateness.
Optimize dehydrator recirculation rates for the prevailing conditions.
Venting Blow Downs
Defer and/or minimize blow down of wells, pipelines, and pressure vessels during ozone events.
Adjust and optimize pneumatic heat trace pump rates for the prevailing conditions.
General Episodic Practices
To the extent practical, defer and/or otherwise schedule activities that may contribute to ozone formation to periods outside of ozone events.
Ozone Training for Operations Personnel
Train operations personnel prior to ozone season. Training programs should cover:
- Ozone—What is it and its environmental impacts?
- Ozone formation ingredients—NOx, VOCs, and weather conditions that create elevated winter ozone episodes.
- Ozone attainment status in the Uinta Basin.
- Review of applicable regulations.
- Identifying and remaining conscious of opportunities for reducing ozone precursors and/or as practical rescheduling activities to avoid ozone episodes.
- Emphasize importance of proper maintenance of tank hatches, vapor combustors, and other equipment that reduces emissions, and the importance of remediating spills.
- Identifying a high ozone event—How to use UDAQ’s air monitoring and forecasting Web page.
DAQ’s Air Monitoring and Forecasting Web Page
DAQ’s air monitoring and forecasting web page can be a useful tool to identify high ozone periods. The action forecasts can be used to identify likely high-ozone events and can be used in planning for the implementation episodic control measures. Operators can voluntarily implement episodic controls during periods predicted to have action forecast levels of “voluntary action” or “mandatory action” when these short-term controls are likely to have the most impact on minimizing high ozone levels.
Information about current air conditions and trends for specific areas are also included on the air monitoring and forecasting web page and can help industry better understand the characteristics of high ozone events in the Uinta Basin.
For further information about current conditions, forecasts, and trends for Uintah and Duchesne counties, visit the following links:
- Current Conditions