Alberta Energy Regulator



Alberta Energy Regulator

April 15, 2014 16:00 ET

AER Issues Revised Flaring, Venting, and Incineration Directive

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 15, 2014) - The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has released the revised Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting, which strengthens regulations to reduce impacts related to flaring, venting, and incineration, and increases opportunities for gas conservation in Alberta.

"Revisions to Directive 060 give the AER tools to require gas conservation, regardless of the economics of an oil and gas operation and addresses off lease hydrocarbon odours," said AER CEO and President Jim Ellis. "It's all part of the AER's effort to continuously review our requirements to ensure safe, efficient, orderly and environmentally responsible development of Alberta's energy resources."

The changes to Directive 060 include:

  • the ability to implement mandatory conservation of solution gases for specific areas and projects, regardless of economics;
  • a requirement that allows non-compliance action to be taken if off lease hydrocarbon odours are determined to be offensive;
  • a provision permitting the AER to request a new emissions test to be performed to verify vent volumes;
  • a requirement for the decommissioning of all existing flare pits by December 31, 2015;
  • a requirement that industry staff who submit data to the AER, for the purpose of evaluating gas conservation, must have appropriate professional designation; and
  • a change to AER's primary dispersion modeling tool to reflect the Government of Alberta's recent policy update on air dispersion modelling guidelines.

The revised directive, which becomes effective June 16, 2014, follows a stakeholder consultation period that ran from May 2013 to July 2013.

The AER is working to develop long-term strategies to reduce flaring, venting, and incineration and to increase gas conservation in Alberta. Flaring, venting and incineration are typically used for the safe disposal of gases that cannot be economically recovered. Regulations governing these practices are intended to manage air quality and meet resource conservation objectives. Alberta's success in reducing flaring and venting from upstream oil and gas facilities has been recognized and modeled globally through the World Bank.

The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.

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The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has strengthened regulations to reduce impacts related to flaring, venting, and incineration and to increase opportunities for gas conservation in Alberta. The AER has released a revised version of Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting. Revisions to the Directive give the AER tools to require gas conservation regardless of economics. The revisions come into effect June 16, 2014. The revised directive is available at www.aer.ca.

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