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Flare Stack BTU monitor for new EPA Standards OOOO(a)(b)(c), for Oil and Natural Gas

Updated: Mar 3




On December 2, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a definitive regulation aimed at significantly decreasing the release of methane and other detrimental air pollutants originating from oil and natural gas activities. Notably, this marks the first instance of addressing emissions from existing sources on a national scale. The conclusive measures encompass New Source Performance Standards designed to curtail methane and volatile organic compounds that contribute to smog, applicable to new, modified, and reconstructed sources. Furthermore, the regulatory package includes Emissions Guidelines, outlining the procedures for states to formulate plans for mitigating methane emissions from existing sources. It is noteworthy that oil and natural gas operations stand as the foremost industrial contributors to methane pollution in the United States.


What is the EPA rule OOOO(a)(b)(c) or Quad O?


The designations "(a)(b)(c)" usually refer to different subparts or sections within the overall rule.


- (a): This section often outlines the general provisions, applicability criteria, and definitions relevant to the entire rule. It may include definitions of terms, compliance deadlines, and overarching requirements.


- (b): This section typically focuses on the specific emission standards, monitoring, and testing requirements applicable to certain processes or equipment within the regulated industry. It may provide details on technologies or practices that need to be implemented to reduce emissions effectively.


- (c): This section could cover additional requirements, such as reporting, record-keeping, or other administrative aspects necessary for compliance. It often addresses the procedures and documentation needed to demonstrate adherence to the emission standards outlined in the rule. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on EPA Rule OOOO(a)(b)(c) or any other environmental regulation, it is recommended to check the latest resources on the official EPA website or consult legal and environmental professionals familiar with recent amendments or revisions to the rule.




The measurement of BTU (British Thermal Units) in flares at oil and gas upstream facilities is part of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to regulate and control air emissions from industrial sources. Flaring is a process where excess hydrocarbons are burned off, often for safety or operational reasons. However, flaring can release pollutants into the air, and the EPA aims to minimize the environmental impact of such emissions. Measuring BTU in flares helps quantify the energy content of the gases being burned. This information is crucial for several reasons:


Emission Monitoring and Reporting: By measuring the BTU content, regulators can better understand the composition of the flared gases, which is essential for assessing the environmental impact and potential health risks associated with flaring.

Efficiency Assessment: Monitoring BTU content allows for the evaluation of flare efficiency. Flaring should ideally combust hydrocarbons completely, minimizing the release of unburned or partially burned pollutants, which can be harmful to the environment and public health.


Regulatory Compliance: The data collected through BTU measurement helps upstream companies ensure compliance with EPA regulations. Regulators can set specific standards for emissions, and monitoring BTU content helps companies demonstrate adherence to these standards.

RKI BTU analyzer with no consumables and very low maintenance


Encouraging Reductions: Accurate measurement of BTU content provides companies with the information needed to optimize their flaring processes. This may encourage the development and implementation of technologies and practices to reduce flaring and emissions.


Environmental Impact Assessment: Understanding the energy content of flared gases assists in assessing the overall environmental impact of flaring activities, including the contribution to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases.





The final rule leverages third-party expertise to find large leaks and releases known as Super-emitters. Recent studies show that emissions from a small number of sources are responsible for as much as half of the methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. EPA expects that the final rule will reduce many sources of super emitters.


• The final rule reflects important changes, including features suggested by industry commenters, to provide a strong oversight role for EPA and ensure that the program operates with a high degree of integrity, transparency, and accountability.


• Under the final rule’s super-emitter program, EPA will certify third parties, will receive and evaluate the data the third parties provide, and send notifications to owners and operators.


• As the Agency proposed last year, only EPA-approved remote-sensing technologies, such as those used on satellites or in aerial surveys, may be used in the program. The rule does not allow the third parties to enter a well site or other facility.





• Once notified, owners and operators must investigate to find the source of the super emitter event. The responsible owners or operators must report the results of that investigation to EPA and repair any leaks or releases covered by an EPA standard.


• To keep the public informed, EPA will make the super-emitter data publicly available on a

timely basis.





RKI’s Solution OHC-800 Gas Calorimeter

Features:

  • No replacement parts or consumables

  • Modular by Design

  • No flame or H2 Needed

  • No combustion or combustion chamber operating at 900C

  • No continuous Flow of Dry Instrument Air

  • Very low sample flow requirements

  • No carrier Gas

  • Very low Maintenance

  • Large rangeability



The OHC-800 is an all-in-one explosion-proof gas calorimeter that is also certified as an “OIML-R140 accuracy class A” compliant heat measuring device. It addresses all challenges of gas Calorimeters and is designed to withstand harsh measurement environments, with features such as explosion-proof design and operating temperature range of -20°C to +57°C.


  • Accuracy better than +/- 2% is achieved.

  • Wide range 300 BTU/ft3 to 3000BTU/ft3 enables to monitor 900BTU/ft3. (extended ranges and custom ranges available per customer request)

  • Non-destructive gas monitoring (no requirements for large quantities of combustion air)

  • Minimize Downtime by replacing modular units

  • Generates 4 data points per second. Allows customers to multiplex the analyzer to multiple flares.

  • Low sample amount of target gas (300ml/min), not regarded as a source emission. Can be vented to atmosphere or incinerated with a TracErase.

  • Fast and Easy startup, less than 1 hour.



Above to the right of the enclosure you see the 4 Modules. The top two are the refractive index and sonic sensor and below is the main controller and power supply.


Click here to see the EPA's final rule and regulatory information


For more information about the rule and/or technologies call Bobby Singh or Greg Brumfield for more information by clicking the button below!





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