OGA updates guidance on North Sea emissions management

June 23, 2021
Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority has issued new guidance on flaring and venting.

Offshore staff

LONDON – Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has issued new guidance on flaring and venting.

According to the Authority, flaring accounts for one-fifth of the UK’s offshore oil and gas production-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 1% of the UK’s total annual CO2 emissions.

Vented gas offshore represents around 0.15% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions, including around 1% of annual methane emissions.

The new guidance includes:

  • Principles the industry should follow, limiting flaring and venting and associated emissions to the lowest possible levels; planning and developing all new developments pre-concept selection on the basis of zero routine flaring and venting; and ensuring zero routine flaring and venting by 2030 at the latest.

In addition, the guidance details the OGA’s approach to using its consenting regime to drive continuous reduction and, where possible, eliminate flaring and venting. The OGA may order a halt to production in cases where flaring and venting appears to be excessive.

Operators must report any risk of flaring or venting consent breach as soon as evidence comes to light, and may have to curtail or stop production to stay within consent limits.

The OGA expects operators to make use of the best available technology to measure, monitor, and manage flaring and venting and associated emissions.

Finally, the updated guidance covers new data reporting requirements to support OGA emissions monitoring, stewardship, and regulation.

Hedvig Ljungerud, director of Strategy, said: “We will monitor actual outcomes closely and reflect in decision-making when operators apply for consents and authorizations.”