The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has approved multiple alternative Fugitive Emissions Management Programs (alt-FEMPs) to-date. The large majority of oil and gas producers with alt-FEMP approvals have used the Arolytics’ AROfemp methane model to design and support the approvals of their programs.
How Alt-FEMP Approvals Work
Before an Alt-FEMP can be implemented in Alberta, a regulatory application must be approved by the AER. During the approval process, the regulator assesses whether the alt-FEMP is likely to result in similar emission reductions as the regulatory prescribed FEMP. Depending on the application and the potential risk associated with the alt-FEMP, the AER will either approve full-scale or pilot programs.
Pilot programs are typically 2 year approvals in which the effectiveness of the alt-FEMP can be assessed in the field. Alt-FEMP approvals come with conditions and requirements for tracking the performance of the program throughout the pilot period.
Different Types of Alt-FEMP Designs
Alt-FEMPs often incorporate new and innovative methane detection technologies at various survey frequencies. Most alt-FEMPs result in decreased fugitive methane survey costs which can create significant cost savings for producers year after year.
To date, the alt-FEMPs that have been approved in Alberta incorporate one or multiple of the following design considerations:
- Deploying alternative ‘screening’ technologies such as aerial and truck-based methods to quickly locate sites with the highest methane emissions.
- Following up at high-emitting sites with hand-held methane detection technologies for leak localization and subsequent repairs.
- Fewer sites requiring use of labour-intensive (and expensive) hand-held methane detection technologies.
- Incorporation of vent mitigation projects that decrease vented methane in excess of regulatory requirements.
The AROfemp methane model has modelled programs with all of these considerations to help assess emission reductions and costs associated with each.
In a press release by Cenovus Energy, Marshall Wild, Operations Superintendent, Maintenance, Integrated Operations, Conventional at Cenovus stated, “This new methodology allows us to find and respond to methane leaks faster and more accurately than we could previously,”…“Seeing the big picture allows us to focus on the largest sources of methane emissions where we can really reduce our GHG emission impact on the environment, while being cost efficient.”
How AROfemp Supports Alt-FEMP Approvals
The majority of oil and gas producers that have approved alt-FEMPs in Alberta have used the AROfemp methane model to design their programs and support with the approval process.
AROfemp has helped oil and gas producers…
- Determine which alternative methane detection technologies will work best at their unique asset base.
- Assess the risks and limitations of certain methane detection methods.
- Understand what level of emission reductions are possible within their operational budget.
- Narrow in on the alt-FEMP that will decrease the most emissions at the lowest cost.
- Demonstrate to the regulator that the alt-FEMP will result in emission reductions that are equivalent to the regulatory prescribed FEMP methods.
- Understand, and plan for, work practices that will help achieve desired emission reductions.
- Decrease the corporate, regulatory, and operational risks associated with implementing alternative leak detection technologies.
Once an alt-FEMP is in place, many oil and gas producers are turning to AROviz to support data management, field logistics planning, data analysis, and reporting. Contact us for more information about how AROfemp and AROviz can optimize your fugitive emissions management plans.