Optical gas imaging cameras being certified for new EPA emission standards

WILSONVILLE, Oregon – Optical gas imaging cameras are being certified to ensure compliance with EPA’s new methane emission standards. These new rules are part of an amendment to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methane emission standards for new, reconstructed, and modified sources.

Dubbed Subpart OOOOa, or Quad Oa, the rules are aimed at curbing fugitive methane and volatile organic compound emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. Quad Oa adds a leak detection and repair (LDAR) component to upstream and midstream operations. It recommends quarterly or bi-annual surveys with an optical gas imaging (OGI) camera. Quad Oa also specifies a minimum sensitivity for the OGI camera in detecting methane. For the industry, this means making changes to how they find and repair leaks – a task that can be complicated and expensive.

In an effort to ease the transition, FLIR Systems is offering solutions such as program development support, enhanced training, and development of inspection parameters. In addition, FLIR is in the process of developing certifications for GF300 and GF320 cameras, so customers can be assured their cameras comply with Quad Oa equipment performance standards.

Many oil and gas operators have already incorporated OGI in their LDAR programs, including Anadarko Petroleum and Jonah Energy. Since implementing its OGI program, Anadarko has cut VOC emissions by at least 75% while doubling production. Jonah Energy reported cutting its fugitive emissions by 75%, too, as well as reducing repair times, cutting labor costs, and cutting gas losses significantly.