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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.”
The source described in this document is well venting/flaring during well completion for hydraulically fractured gas. Completing new “workover” hydraulically fractured gas wells involves producing the fluids at a high rate to lift the excess sand to the surface and clear the well bore and formation to increase gas flow. Typically, the gas/liquid separator installed for normal well flow is not designed for these high liquid flow rates and three-phase (gas, liquid, and sand) flow. Therefore, a common practice for this initial well completion step has been to produce the well to a pit or tanks where water, hydrocarbon liquids, and sand are captured and slugs of gas vented to the atmosphere or flared. Completions can take anywhere from several hours to several weeks, during which time a substantial amount of gas may be released to the atmosphere or flared.