Gas Processing Plant Compressor Plan Processing... In the first phase, gas plant owners/operators...

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  • Revision No. 0 Page 1 of 14 September 30, 2008

    Methane Emission Factor Development for Natural Gas Processing Plant Compressors

    Draft Quality Assurance Project Plan

    Prepared for:

    Lisa Hanle United States Environmental Protection Agency

    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington D.C. 20460

    Prepared by:

    URS Corporation 9400 Amberglen Boulevard

    Austin, TX 78729

    And

    The University of Texas at Austin Center for Energy and Environmental Resources

    10100 Burnet Road Austin, TX 78758

    September 2008

  • Revision No. 0 Page 2 of 14 September 30, 2008

    Table of Contents Page Table of Contents........................................................................................... 2 of 14 1.0 Problem Definition/Background.................................................................... 4 of 14 2.0 Project Description and Schedule .................................................................. 5 of 14 3.0 Quality Objectives and Criteria for Measurement Data ................................ 6 of 14 4.0 Special Training ............................................................................................. 7 of 14 5.0 Documents and Records ................................................................................ 7 of 14 6.0 Sampling Design............................................................................................ 8 of 14 7.0 Sampling and Analytical Methods................................................................. 9 of 14 8.0 Sample Handling and Custody..................................................................... 10 of 14 9.0 Quality Control ............................................................................................ 10 of 14 10.0 Instrument/Equipment Testing, Inspection and Maintenance ..................... 11 of 14 11.0 Instrument/Equipment Calibration and Frequency...................................... 11 of 14 12.0 Instrument/Acceptance of Supplies and Consumables ................................ 12 of 14 13.0 Non-direct Measurements............................................................................ 12 of 14 14.0 Data Management ........................................................................................ 12 of 14 15.0 Assessment and Response Action................................................................ 13 of 14 16.0 Reports to Management ............................................................................... 14 of 14 17.0 Data Review, Verification, and Validation.................................................. 14 of 14 18.0 Reconciling with User Requirements .......................................................... 14 of 14 List of Tables 1-1 Priority List of Emission Sources for Development of Emission Factors ..... 2 of 14 14-1 Hi Flow Sampler Data Fields....................................................................... 12 of 14 17-1 Hi Flow Sampler Error Codes...................................................................... 13 of 14

  • Revision No. 0 Page 3 of 14 September 30, 2008

    1.0 Problem Definition/Background The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Strategic Plan for 2006 –

    2011 establishes a national goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 160 million metric tons carbon equivalent by 2012 through voluntary climate protection programs. In order to identify the methods, programs, and/or initiatives to efficiently reduce greenhouse gas in accordance with this goal, a firm understanding of the quantities of greenhouse gases emitted by various source categories is needed.

    A significant fraction of manmade emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, is from natural gas industry sources. Like other source categories, many of the emission factors commonly used to estimate methane emissions from natural gas industry processes have large error bounds or have become outdated due to recent changes in equipment and operating practices aimed at emission reductions. To gain a better understanding of methane emissions from natural gas industry sources, EPA, with support from the American Gas Association (AGA), American Petroleum Institute (API), and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), has established a multiyear program to update default methane emission factors for specific natural gas industry equipment and processes. Table 2-1 lists the priority sources that this comprehensive program will address.

    The multiyear program will have four main components: (1) synthesis of existing emission factor data; (2) planning for new data collection efforts intended to fill significant gaps in existing emission factor data; (3) field testing to fill data gaps and develop new default emission factors; and (4) disseminating results to industry, government agencies, and other stakeholders. For the planning component, separate technical work plans will be developed for each segment of the natural gas industry (i.e., production, processing, transmission and storage, and distribution). This document addresses the gas processing segment of the natural gas industry, particularly gas processing plant reciprocating and centrifugal compressors.

    The current default emission factors for gas processing plant compressors derive from Volume 8 of the 1996 GRI/EPA study titled Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry (EPA-600/R-96-080). The reported emission factors and uncertainties for reciprocating and centrifugal compressors are 4,090,000 ± 74% scf/comp-yr and 7,750,000 ± 39% scf/comp-yr, respectively, where the units are standard cubic feet per compressor-year and uncertainties are given by the 90% confidence interval around the mean.

    The relative uncertainties for these emission factors are not extraordinarily large compared with default emission factors for other methane sources; however, they are leading contributors to the overall methane emissions uncertainty for the natural gas industry. This is partly because compressors emissions estimates comprise a relatively large fraction of the total

  • Revision No. 0 Page 4 of 14 September 30, 2008

    natural gas industry methane emissions. Moreover, the 1996 default factors do not reflect recent technology and inspection/maintenance practices intended to reduce emissions.

    Table 1-1. Priority List of Emission Sources for the Development of Default Methane Emission Factors

    Industry Segment Emissions Sources Reciprocating compressors (fugitive) Processing Centrifugal compressors (fugitive) Reciprocating compressors (fugitive Centrifugal compressors (fugitive) Centrifugal compressors (storage)

    Transmission and Storage

    Pneumatic devices (vent) Well clean ups Completion flaring Well workovers

    Production

    Pipeline leaks Meter and regulating stations Residential customer meters Mains – plastic

    Distribution

    Services - plastic

    2.0 Project Description and Schedule

    The purpose of this project is to gather measurement data for updating default factors for estimating methane emission from natural gas processing plant reciprocating and centrifugal compressors. The project will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, gas plant owners/operators will be surveyed to: (1) gather data on gas plant and compressor characteristics that may be useful for generalizing the U.S. gas plant compressor population, (2) identify sources of unpublished methane leak rate data, and (3) request permission to measure gas plant compressor emissions. The survey results will help set the boundaries of phase 2, during which new measurement data will be gathered at representative host sites.

    The specific number and locations of the test sites will depend on the funding level and the phase 1 survey results, particularly the availability of candidate hosts. Approximately 12 – 15 test sites are anticipated. Assuming an average of 8 – 10 compressors per gas processing plant, this would provide for emissions measurements for over 100 compressors from which to

  • Revision No. 0 Page 5 of 14 September 30, 2008

    develop average emission factors. Determination of the methane fugitive emission rate for each compressor will be based on the sum of the methane emissions from individual compressor- related components, which include open ended lines, compressor seals, pressure relief valves, and other miscellaneous fittings and valves attached to the compressor.

    Emission rate measurements will be obtained using a GRI Hi Flow Sampler. This is a portable, intrinsically safe, battery-operated instrument that measures fugitive leak rates by drawing air from around the leak source at a rate high enough to capture all the gas leaking from a particular equipment component. The Hi Flow Sampler was initially developed by Indaco Air Quality Services, Inc. for GRI as a more efficient alternative to the component bagging approach traditionally used for leak rate determinations. Hi Flow Samplers are commonly used by gas plant operators for directed inspection and maintenance of fugitive leak sources. Fugitive leak rate data will be recorded and stored in a database on the component level and subsequently analyzed to calculate average emission factors and uncertainty estimates for reciprocating and centrifugal compressors in units of standard cubic feet per compressor-year. The 1996 GRI/EPA study reported just single emission factors for each type of compressor. To update the 1996 factors, supplementary data gathered for each