Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector)
P.C. 2018-396 2018-04-03
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 332(1)Footnote a of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Footnote b, the Minister of the Environment published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on May 27, 2017, a copy of the proposed Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector), substantially in the annexed form, and persons were given an opportunity to file comments with respect to the proposed Regulations or to file a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established and stating the reasons for the objection;
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 93(3) of that Act, the National Advisory Committee has been given an opportunity to provide its advice under section 6Footnote c of that Act;
And whereas, in accordance with subsection 93(4) of that Act, the Governor in Council is of the opinion that the proposed Regulations do not regulate an aspect of a substance that is regulated by or under any other Act of Parliament in a manner that provides, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, sufficient protection to the environment and human health;
Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 93(1), section 286.1Footnote d and subsection 330(3.2)Footnote e of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Footnote b, makes the annexed Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector).
Purpose and Overview
Marginal note:Protection of environment and reduction of harmful effects
1 For the purpose of protecting the environment on which life depends and of reducing the immediate or long-term harmful effects of the emission of methane and certain volatile organic compounds on the environment or its biological diversity, these Regulations
(a) impose certain requirements on the oil and gas sector in order to reduce emissions of methane and certain volatile organic compounds; and
(b) designate the contravention of certain of its provisions as serious offences by adding them to the schedule to the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999).
2 (1) The following definitions apply in these Regulations.
- authorized official
authorized official means
(a) in respect of an operator who is an individual, that individual or another individual who is authorized to act on their behalf;
(b) in respect of an operator that is a corporation, an officer of the corporation who is authorized to act on its behalf; and
(c) in respect of an operator that is another entity, an individual who is authorized to act on its behalf. (agent autorisé)
- combustion device
combustion device means a device in which gaseous fuel is combusted to produce useful heat or energy. (appareil à combustion)
completion means the process of making a well ready for production, including such a process that involves hydraulic fracturing. (complétion)
deliver means to transport hydrocarbon gas from an upstream oil and gas facility for a purpose other than to dispose of the gas as waste. (livrer)
- design bleed rate
design bleed rate means the rate, expressed in standard m3/h, at which gas is expected, according to the manufacturer of a pneumatic controller, to be continuously emitted from the pneumatic controller while it operates at a given operational setting specified by the manufacturer. (taux de purge nominal)
destroy means to convert hydrocarbons contained in hydrocarbon gas to carbon dioxide and other molecules for a purpose other than to produce useful heat or energy, and includes the flaring of hydrocarbon gas. (détruire)
- Dominion Lands Survey system
Dominion Lands Survey system means the system for the survey of public lands referred to in sections 54 to 70 of the Dominion Lands Act, chapter 55 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906 that is used in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta under the name the Dominion Lands Survey system. (système d’arpentage des terres fédérales)
- EPA Method 21
EPA Method 21 means the method of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States entitled Method 21 — Determination of Volatile Organic Compound Leaks, set out in Appendix A-7 to Part 60 of Title 40, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States. (méthode 21 de l’EPA)
- equipment component
equipment component means a component of equipment at an upstream oil and gas facility that comes into contact with hydrocarbons and that has the potential to emit fugitive emissions of hydrocarbon gas. (composant d’équipement)
flowback means the process of recovering fluids, or fluids mixed with solids, that were injected into a well during hydraulic fracturing in order
(a) to prepare for further hydraulic fracturing;
(b) to prepare for cleanup of the well; or
(c) to initiate or resume production from the well. (reflux)
fugitive, in relation to emissions of hydrocarbon gas, means the emission of hydrocarbon gas from an upstream oil and gas facility in an unintentional manner. (fugitive)
- gas-to-oil ratio
gas-to-oil ratio means the ratio of the volume of hydrocarbon gas produced, expressed in standard m3, to the volume of hydrocarbon liquid produced, expressed in standard m3. (rapport gaz-pétrole)
- hydraulic fracturing
hydraulic fracturing means the process of injecting fluids, or fluids mixed with solids, under pressure into a well in order to create fractures in an underground geological reservoir through which hydrocarbons and other fluids can migrate toward the well and includes hydraulic refracturing, namely, hydraulic fracturing at a well that has previously undergone hydraulic fracturing. (fracturation hydraulique)
hydrocarbon means methane, which has the molecular formula CH4, or a volatile organic compound referred to in item 65 of the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. (hydrocarbure)
- hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment
hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment means equipment used to recover hydrocarbon gas for use as fuel, for delivery or for injection for a purpose other than to dispose of the gas as waste into an underground geological deposit. (équipment de conservation de gaz d’hydrocarbures)
- legal subdivision
legal subdivision means a unit of land consisting of one quarter of a quarter-section and having an area of approximately 16 ha or 400 m by 400 m that is described in the Dominion Lands Survey system. (subdivision officielle)
- natural gas gathering and boosting station
natural gas gathering and boosting station means equipment that is located within a facility and that is used for the transportation of natural gas to a processing plant or natural gas transmission pipeline. (station de collecte et de surpression de gaz naturel)
- natural gas processing plant
natural gas processing plant means a plant used for the separation of
(a) natural gas liquids (NGLs) or non-methane gases from produced natural gas; or
(b) NGLs into two or more mixtures, each of which consists of only those NGLs. (usine de traitement de gaz naturel)
- natural gas transmission compressor station
natural gas transmission compressor station means equipment that is located within a facility and that is used for the transportation of natural gas through a natural gas transmission pipeline. (station de compression de gaz naturel)
operator means a person who has the charge, management or control of an upstream oil and gas facility. (exploitant)
- pneumatic controller
pneumatic controller means a device that uses pressurized gas to generate mechanical energy for the purpose of controlling or maintaining the conditions under which a process is carried out. (régulateur pneumatique)
- pneumatic pump
pneumatic pump means a device that uses pressurized gas to generate mechanical energy for the purpose of pumping liquid. (pompe pneumatique)
ppmv means parts per million by volume. (ppmv)
- primary processing
primary processing means any processing of hydrocarbons that is for the principal purpose of removing any of, or any combination of, the following:
(b) hydrocarbon liquids;
(c) sulphur compounds; and
(d) contaminants. (traitement primaire)
produce, in relation to hydrocarbon gas or liquid, means to extract hydrocarbon gas or liquid from an underground geological deposit or reservoir. (produire)
receive, in relation to hydrocarbon gas, means to receive at an upstream oil and gas facility, other than from a natural source, hydrocarbon gas that is raw or has undergone primary processing without having been subject to additional processing. (recevoir)
- standard conditions
standard conditions means a temperature of 15°C and a pressure of 101.325 kPa. (conditions normalisées)
- standard m3
standard m3 means a cubic metre of fluid at standard conditions. (m3 normalisé)
- upstream oil and gas facility
upstream oil and gas facility means the buildings, other structures and stationary equipment — that are located on a single site, on contiguous or adjacent sites or on sites that form a network in which a central processing site is connected by gathering pipelines with one or more well sites — for the purpose of
(a) the extraction of hydrocarbons from an underground geological deposit or reservoir;
(b) the primary processing of those hydrocarbons; or
(c) the transportation of hydrocarbons — including their storage for transportation purposes — other than for local distribution.
It includes a gathering pipeline, transmission pipeline, natural gas gathering and boosting station, natural gas transmission compressor station and natural gas processing plant. (installation de pétrole et de gaz en amont)
venting, in relation to emissions of hydrocarbon gas, means the emission of hydrocarbon gas from an upstream oil and gas facility in a controlled manner, other than the emission of gas arising from combustion, due to
(a) the design of equipment or operational procedures at the facility; or
(b) the occurrence of an event that pressurizes the gas beyond the capacity of the equipment at the facility to retain the gas. (évacuation)
well includes a well drilled to allow for the injection of fluids or fluids mixed with solids. (puits)
Marginal note:Interpretation of documents incorporated by reference
(2) For the purpose of interpreting any document that is incorporated by reference into these Regulations, “should” must be read to mean “must” and any recommendation or suggestion must be read as an obligation, unless the context requires otherwise. For greater certainty, the context of the accuracy or repeatability of a measurement can never require otherwise.
(3) In the event of an inconsistency between a provision of these Regulations and any document incorporated by reference into these Regulations, that provision prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.
Marginal note:Documents incorporated by reference
(4) Any document that is incorporated by reference into these Regulations is incorporated as amended from time to time.
3 An operator for an upstream oil and gas facility must ensure that a requirement set out in these Regulations in respect of the facility or equipment at the facility — along with any related requirement in respect of recording information, keeping documents and providing reports — is complied with.
PART 1Onshore Upstream Oil and Gas Facilities
Marginal note:Onshore facilities
4 This Part applies in respect of upstream oil and gas facilities other than those located offshore.
Hydrocarbon Gas Conservation and Destruction Equipment
Marginal note:Hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment
5 (1) Hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment that is used at an upstream oil and gas facility must
(a) be operated in such a manner that at least 95% of the hydrocarbon gas that is routed to the equipment — based on a calculation of the volumetric flow rates at standard conditions — is captured and conserved;
(b) be operating continuously, other than during periods when it is undergoing normal servicing or timely repairs; and
(c) be operated and maintained in accordance with the applicable recommendations of its manufacturer.
Marginal note:Exception to paragraph (1)(c)
(2) Despite paragraph (1)(c), no recommendation referred to in that paragraph need be treated as a requirement and complied with if the operator for a facility has a record that establishes that without that compliance the hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment’s ability to respect paragraph (1)(a) is unaffected.
Marginal note:Records — conservation equipment
6 A record in respect of any hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment used at an upstream oil and gas facility must be made that indicates
(a) for each month during which the equipment is used, the percentage, at any given moment, of the hydrocarbon gas routed to the equipment that is captured and conserved, along with a calculation of the volumetric flow rates on which that percentage is based, with supporting documents; and
(b) how the equipment was operated and maintained, along with an indication of any recommendations of its manufacturer for its operation and maintenance, with supporting documents.
Marginal note:Conserved gas — use
7 Hydrocarbon gas that has been captured and conserved in hydrocarbon gas conservation equipment must be conserved until it is
(a) used at the facility as fuel in a combustion device that releases at most 5% of the combusted hydrocarbon gas to the atmosphere as hydrocarbon gas;
(b) delivered; or
(c) injected into an underground geological deposit for a purpose other than to dispose of the gas as waste.
Marginal note:Records — conserved gas used as fuel
8 A record in respect of any hydrocarbon gas that is combusted as fuel in a combustion device referred to in paragraph 7(a) must be made that indicates for each month during which the device is used, the percentage, at any given moment, of the combusted hydrocarbon gas that is released as hydrocarbon gas, with supporting documents, based on
(a) tests conducted when the device operates under conditions recommended by the manufacturer for determining this percentage; or
(b) measurements taken when the device operates under those conditions.
Marginal note:Hydrocarbon gas destruction equipment
9 Hydrocarbon gas destruction equipment that is used at an upstream oil and gas facility must satisfy the requirements related to the destruction of hydrocarbon gas set out in
(a) Sections 3.6 and 7 of Version 4.5 of the guideline entitled Flaring and Venting Reduction Guideline, published by the Oil and Gas Commission of British Columbia in June 2016, if the facility is located in British Columbia;
(b) section 3 of the directive entitled Directive S-20: Saskatchewan Upstream Flaring and Incineration Requirements, published by the Government of Saskatchewan on November 1, 2015, if the facility is located in Manitoba or Saskatchewan; and
(c) sections 3.6 and 7 of the directive entitled Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting, published by the Alberta Energy Regulator on March 22, 2016, in any other case.
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