When looking at methane emissions within the natural gas infrastructure and the regulatory requirements that govern the amount, frequency, and method that natural gas is vented, most of today's laws and incentives are pointed toward very large emission sources. This parallels that approach that diesel engine emission regulations were rolled out. As the various Tiers of diesel regulations were unveiled over time, the amounts of permitted emissions were reduced in each Tier. This progression is generally well known and often discussed among equipment professionals.
A lesser known and much less discussed trend in the progress of these emissions controls is the size of the engine that is required to comply. At first, only the largest and dirtiest engines were affected. Then more common large on-highway engines came under regulatory control. Now, any emission over 25 horsepower is covered by Tier 4 Final. However, anticipated under Tier 5 (Stage 5 in Europe), EVERY DIESEL ENGINE REGARDLESS OF HORSEPOWER will fall under the new requirements.
When we look at natural gas emission regulation for upstream, gathering, transmission, processing, and distribution, we see a similar trend. Most regulatory agencies and companies are focused on the large, but relatively rare, emission events such as whole-line blowdowns. Very few companies are looking at the smaller, but much more common events like launcher and receiver blowdowns that occur multiple times per day at many pigging stations.
We know by looking at the past regulatory path of diesel emissions (and other pollutants like Freon) that while regulations start by addressing the most eye-catching events, the rules eventually reach the smaller everyday actions that are performed by countless O&G professionals every day. Just like diesel emissions rules starting with large equipment and now affecting every air compressor and pump, methane emissions rules that are now looking at the biggest blowdowns will eventually affect every pig trap and filter vessel.
Is your company prepared to perform regular maintenance and operations with Total Emission Control? That is, could you do every part of your job without ever venting methane? With our ZEVAC (Zero Emission Vacuum and Compressor), you can. Just fasten the drawdown hose onto the equipment you need to remove the gas from (connect to the existing "vent" valve) and connect the discharge hose wherever you will compress the gas (a bottle or another portion of your system), and let ZEVAC work. Just like any compressed air tool, it is non-sparking with no electronics to worry about. The ZEVAC enables emissionless pigging, emissionless filter vessels, emissionless separation, emissionless hot-tapping, and loads of other applications that involve venting methane as a standard operating procedure. You can get ahead of the regulations and start operating with Total Emission Control using the ZEVAC today.