October 6, 2003

Upstream petroleum industry achieves record flaring, venting reductions

Figures released last week in the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board's fourth annual Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring and Venting Report show a 16% decrease in 2002 from 2001 in volumes of solution gas flared and vented from all upstream oil and gas sources. Operators last year flared and vented 1545 million cubic metres (10 6 m3), down from 1839 10 6 m3 in 2001.

Flaring of solution gas declined to 514 106 m3, 18% less than 2001 and approximately 62% from the baseline year of 1996. This surpassed the 2002 target of 50% reduction.

Venting of solution gas declined to 502 10 6 m3, a reduction of 16% from 2001 and 29% from the 2000 venting baseline of 704 10 6 m3.

Well test flaring decreased by 14%, from 326 10 6 m3 in 2001 to 280 10 6 m3 in 2002. Gas plants flared or vented a total of 127 10 6 m3, a decrease of 32 10 6 m3, or 20%.

The report also notes that the upstream petroleum industry achieved a 94.7% solution gas conservation rate in 2002, compared to 94.1% in 2001. This is the best conservation rate achieved to date.

The EUB attributes the reductions in flaring and venting achieved in 2002 to the efforts of operators and the work done as part of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) flaring/venting project, as well as high commodity prices, the development and enforcement of EUB Guide 60: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring Guide, and publication of the annual flaring and venting statistics.

Included in the report are tables of various companies' rankings, based on volumes of solution gas both flared and vented, solution gas flared, and solution gas vented. Solution gas is the largest source of flaring and venting in Alberta; other industry sources include well tests, gas plants, gas gathering systems, transmission lines and oil, bitumen and gas batteries.

The Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring and Venting Report for 2002 (Statistical Series (ST) 2003-60B) may be viewed on the EUB Web site, www.eub.gov.ab.ca. More information is available from Brenda Poole Bellows at the EUB, 403/297-7012, FAX 403/297-3757, E-mail brenda.poolebellows@gov.ab.ca.

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