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This document provides technical guidance to Partners of the CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP). It is one in a series describing a core source of methane emissions from oil and natural gas production operations. The guidance documents introduce suggested methodologies for quantifying methane emissions from specific sources and describe established mitigation options that Partners should reference when determining if the source is “mitigated.”
This paper deals with natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers and pumps. A major component of remote, automated control of natural gas and petroleum industry facilities is the operation of control valves, which are often powered and actuated by natural gas through pneumatic controllers. In addition, there are natural gas-powered pumps used for injecting chemicals and other purposes. Several types of this equipment release or “bleed” natural gas to the atmosphere by design. In addition to emissions by design, pneumatic controller loops and pneumatic pumps can also emit gas because they have a defect or a maintenance issue. In fact, recent field measurement studies have pointed out that a large fraction of total emissions from pneumatic devices in the Production segment are a result of devices that are not operating as designed (due to a defect or maintenance issue).