Statistical Analysis of leak detection and repair in Canada

Oil and gas facilities represent the largest source of methane emissions in Canada. The Oil, Gas and Alternative Energy Division (OGAED) at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has asked Carbon Limits to analyse information from surveys of existing LDAR programs in order to design requirements that will reflect the best possible balance between cost-effectiveness and environmental outcomes.
Carbon Limits analysed data from 4,378 LDAR surveys in NorthAmerica. The analysis shed some light on a number of aspects of repeated LDAR, including:

  • In average, through the large sample of information, six leak points were identified during each survey. The number of leak points per facility varies widely. A small number of facilities, however, present an important number of leaks (up to 267 leaks for one of the facilities surveyed).
  • A detailed review of the repairs recommendations depending on the component/equipment type has allowed to understand in more details the types of repairs which can be performed without shutdown and the repairs which may need to be postponed to the next maintenance. Overall, at least 64% of the leaks detected and 50% of the leak rate can be fixed either immediately or without shutdown. Delaying all the repairs by one year increase the aggregate abatement cost by only up to 1 CAD/tCO2eq. Though the abatement cost is only slightly impacted by the delay, the cumulative emissions is, of course, heavily impacted by the delay
  • Super emitter: In the dataset analyzed, only about 6% of the emitting components emit more than 1cfm, but these components represent more than 50% of the emissions.The most important conclusion that can be drawn from this analysis is that these large emitters can be found in all types of facilities and for all types of components. Though some components are more likely to become large emitters, large emitters were identified in all the component categories and subcategories defined. As pointed out in previous reports, identifying as early as possible these large emitters will have a significant positive impact on the emissions

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