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linde group

Oil and Gas Operators Face Updated VOC Emissions Laws

linde groupCryogenic condensation can be a safe and cost effective way for oil and gas operators to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds to meet new EPA regulations, according to a white paper by Linde Group.

The white paper, Solutions to Contain VOC Emissions and Comply with Evolving EPA Regulations, addresses updates by the EPA to its 2012 New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas producers.

The updated regulations require operators to control VOC emissions by 95 percent if the storage tanks used in oil or natural gas production and transmission have the potential to emit 6 or more tons of VOCs a year.

The new requirement has led oil and gas operators to evaluate their methods for controlling VOC emissions; and some may need to implement a solution quickly to comply by April 2014, Linde says.

Linde found that cryogenic condensation is particularly effective for reducing emissions if a facility recovers and re-routes VOCs emitted or reuses the vaporized nitrogen.

The white paper outlines the challenges of meeting EPA air quality regulations and lists potential methods to control VOC emissions as well as the benefits of capturing those emissions. The paper also offers details on how a facility can pick the correct solution, including what experience and technology is needed to install cryocondensation systems or other abatement technologies for controlling VOC emissions.

A report released last week by Verdantix forecasts sustainable business spending in the oil and gas industry will grow from $5.4 billion in 2012 to $6.5 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 4 percent. Environmental remediation, pollution control and prevention, and industrial energy management comprise the largest areas of investment, while on-site renewable energy is the fastest growing.

The environment, health and safety (EHS) category will comprise two-thirds of sustainability spending in 2014, while environmental remediation initiatives comprise 38 percent of sustainable spend this year, the report says.

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