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e-CFR data is current as of August 6, 2020

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart K → Subject Group


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart K—Oil and Gas Production Requirements


Flaring, Venting, and Burning Hydrocarbons

§250.1160   When may I flare or vent gas?

(a) You must request and receive approval from the Regional Supervisor to flare or vent natural gas at your facility, except in the following situations:

ConditionAdditional requirements
(1) When the gas is lease use gas (produced natural gas which is used on or for the benefit of lease operations such as gas used to operate production facilities) or is used as an additive necessary to burn waste products, such as H2SThe volume of gas flared or vented may not exceed the amount necessary for its intended purpose. Burning waste products may require approval under other regulations.
(2) During the restart of a facility that was shut in because of weather conditions, such as a hurricaneFlaring or venting may not exceed 48 cumulative hours without Regional Supervisor approval.
(3) During the blow down of transportation pipelines downstream of the royalty meter(i) You must report the location, time, flare/vent volume, and reason for flaring/venting to the Regional Supervisor in writing within 72 hours after the incident is over.
(ii) Additional approval may be required under subparts H and J of this part.
(4) During the unloading or cleaning of a well, drill-stem testing, production testing, other well-evaluation testing, or the necessary blow down to perform these proceduresYou may not exceed 48 cumulative hours of flaring or venting per unloading or cleaning or testing operation on a single completion without Regional Supervisor approval.
(5) When properly working equipment yields flash gas (natural gas released from liquid hydrocarbons as a result of a decrease in pressure, an increase in temperature, or both) from storage vessels or other low-pressure production vessels, and you cannot economically recover this flash gasYou may not flare or vent more than an average of 50 MCF per day during any calendar month without Regional Supervisor approval.
(6) When the equipment works properly but there is a temporary upset condition, such as a hydrate or paraffin plug(i) For oil-well gas and gas-well flash gas (natural gas released from condensate as a result of a decrease in pressure, an increase in temperature, or both), you may not exceed 48 continuous hours of flaring or venting without Regional Supervisor approval.
(ii) For primary gas-well gas (natural gas from a gas well completion that is at or near its wellhead pressure; this does not include flash gas), you may not exceed 2 continuous hours of flaring or venting without Regional Supervisor approval.
(iii) You may not exceed 144 cumulative hours of flaring or venting during a calendar month without Regional Supervisor approval.
(7) When equipment fails to work properly, during equipment maintenance and repair, or when you must relieve system pressures(i) For oil-well gas and gas-well flash gas, you may not exceed 48 continuous hours of flaring or venting without Regional Supervisor approval.
(ii) For primary gas-well gas, you may not exceed 2 continuous hours of flaring or venting without Regional Supervisor approval.
(iii) You may not exceed 144 cumulative hours of flaring or venting during a calendar month without Regional Supervisor approval.
(iv) The continuous and cumulative hours allowed under this paragraph may be counted separately from the hours under paragraph (a)(6) of this section.

(b) Regardless of the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section, you must not flare or vent gas over the volume approved in your Development Operations Coordination Document (DOCD) or your Development and Production Plan (DPP) submitted to BOEM.

(c) The Regional Supervisor may establish alternative approval procedures to cover situations when you cannot contact the BSEE office, such as during non-office hours.

(d) The Regional Supervisor may specify a volume limit, or a shorter time limit than specified elsewhere in this part, in order to prevent air quality degradation or loss of reserves.

(e) If you flare or vent gas without the required approval, or if the Regional Supervisor determines that you were negligent or could have avoided flaring or venting the gas, the hydrocarbons will be considered avoidably lost or wasted. You must pay royalties on the loss or waste, according to 30 CFR part 1202. You must value any gas or liquid hydrocarbons avoidably lost or wasted under the provisions of 30 CFR part 1206.

(f) Fugitive emissions from valves, fittings, flanges, pressure relief valves or similar components do not require approval under this subpart unless specifically required by the Regional Supervisor.

§250.1161   When may I flare or vent gas for extended periods of time?

You must request and receive approval from the Regional Supervisor to flare or vent gas for an extended period of time. The Regional Supervisor will specify the approved period of time, which will not exceed 1 year. The Regional Supervisor may deny your request if it does not ensure the conservation of natural resources or is not consistent with National interests relating to development and production of minerals of the OCS. The Regional Supervisor may approve your request for one of the following reasons:

(a) You initiated an action which, when completed, will eliminate flaring and venting; or

(b) You submit to the Regional Supervisor an evaluation supported by engineering, geologic, and economic data indicating that the oil and gas produced from the well(s) will not economically support the facilities necessary to sell the gas or to use the gas on or for the benefit of the lease.

§250.1162   When may I burn produced liquid hydrocarbons?

(a) You must request and receive approval from the Regional Supervisor to burn any produced liquid hydrocarbons. The Regional Supervisor may allow you to burn liquid hydrocarbons if you demonstrate that transporting them to market or re-injecting them is not technically feasible or poses a significant risk of harm to offshore personnel or the environment.

(b) If you burn liquid hydrocarbons without the required approval, or if the Regional Supervisor determines that you were negligent or could have avoided burning liquid hydrocarbons, the hydrocarbons will be considered avoidably lost or wasted. You must pay royalties on the loss or waste, according to 30 CFR part 1202. You must value any liquid hydrocarbons avoidably lost or wasted under the provisions of 30 CFR part 1206.

§250.1163   How must I measure gas flaring or venting volumes and liquid hydrocarbon burning volumes, and what records must I maintain?

(a) If your facility processes more than an average of 2,000 bopd during May 2010, you must install flare/vent meters within 180 days after May 2010. If your facility processes more than an average of 2,000 bopd during a calendar month after May 2010, you must install flare/vent meters within 120 days after the end of the month in which the average amount of oil processed exceeds 2,000 bopd.

(1) You must notify the Regional Supervisor when your facility begins to process more than an average of 2,000 bopd in a calendar month;

(2) The flare/vent meters must measure all flared and vented gas within 5 percent accuracy;

(3) You must calibrate the meters regularly, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation, or at least once every year, whichever is shorter; and

(4) You must use and maintain the flare/vent meters for the life of the facility.

(b) You must report all hydrocarbons produced from a well completion, including all gas flared, gas vented, and liquid hydrocarbons burned, to Office of Natural Resources Revenue on Form ONRR-4054 (Oil and Gas Operations Report), in accordance with 30 CFR 1210.102.

(1) You must report the amount of gas flared and the amount of gas vented separately.

(2) You may classify and report gas used to operate equipment on the lease, such as gas used to power engines, instrument gas, and gas used to maintain pilot lights, as lease use gas.

(3) If flare/vent meters are required at one or more of your facilities, you must report the amount of gas flared and vented at each of those facilities separately from those facilities that do not require meters and separately from other facilities with meters.

(4) If flare/vent meters are not required at your facility:

(i) You may report the gas flared and vented on a lease or unit basis. Gas flared and vented from multiple facilities on a single lease or unit may be reported together.

(ii) If you choose to install meters, you may report the gas volume flared and vented according to the method specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(c) You must prepare and maintain records detailing gas flaring, gas venting, and liquid hydrocarbon burning for each facility for 6 years.

(1) You must maintain these records on the facility for at least the first 2 years and have them available for inspection by BSEE representatives.

(2) After 2 years, you must maintain the records, allow BSEE representatives to inspect the records upon request and provide copies to the Regional Supervisor upon request, but are not required to keep them on the facility.

(3) The records must include, at a minimum:

(i) Daily volumes of gas flared, gas vented, and liquid hydrocarbons burned;

(ii) Number of hours of gas flaring, gas venting, and liquid hydrocarbon burning, on a daily and monthly cumulative basis;

(iii) A list of the wells contributing to gas flaring, gas venting, and liquid hydrocarbon burning, along with gas-oil ratio data;

(iv) Reasons for gas flaring, gas venting, and liquid hydrocarbon burning; and

(v) Documentation of all required approvals.

(d) If your facility is required to have flare/vent meters:

(1) You must maintain the meter recordings for 6 years.

(i) You must keep these recordings on the facility for 2 years and have them available for inspection by BSEE representatives.

(ii) After 2 years, you must maintain the recordings, allow BSEE representatives to inspect the recordings upon request and provide copies to the Regional Supervisor upon request, but are not required to keep them on the facility.

(iii) These recordings must include the begin times, end times, and volumes for all flaring and venting incidents.

(2) You must maintain flare/vent meter calibration and maintenance records on the facility for 2 years.

(e) If your flaring or venting of gas, or burning of liquid hydrocarbons, required written or oral approval, you must submit documentation to the Regional Supervisor summarizing the location, dates, number of hours, and volumes of gas flared, gas vented, and liquid hydrocarbons burned under the approval.

§250.1164   What are the requirements for flaring or venting gas containing H2S?

(a) You may not vent gas containing H2S, except for minor releases during maintenance and repair activities that do not result in a 15-minute time-weighted average atmosphere concentration of H2S of 20 ppm or higher anywhere on the platform.

(b) You may flare gas containing H2S only if you meet the requirements of §§250.1160, 250.1161, 250.1163, and the following additional requirements:

(1) For safety or air pollution prevention purposes, the Regional Supervisor may further restrict the flaring of gas containing H2S. The Regional Supervisor will use information provided in the lessee's H2S Contingency Plan (§250.490(f)), Exploration Plan, DPP, DOCD submitted to BOEM, and associated documents to determine the need for restrictions; and

(2) If the Regional Supervisor determines that flaring at a facility or group of facilities may significantly affect the air quality of an onshore area, the Regional Supervisor may require you to conduct an air quality modeling analysis, under 30 CFR 550.303, to determine the potential effect of facility emissions. The Regional Supervisor may require monitoring and reporting, or may restrict or prohibit flaring, under 30 CFR 550.303 and 30 CFR 550.304.

(c) The Regional Supervisor may require you to submit monthly reports of flared and vented gas containing H2S. Each report must contain, on a daily basis:

(1) The volume and duration of each flaring and venting occurrence;

(2) H2S concentration in the flared or vented gas; and

(3) The calculated amount of SO2 emitted.

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