Leak Detection and Repair

Texas has adopted the federal standards of performance for hazardous air pollutants.

Venting and/or Flaring

Releases of gas that are not measured by devices routinely used in the operation of oil/gas wells are not required by the commission to be reported. Releases of gas exempt include the following: tank vapors from storage tanks, gas well condensate storage tanks, or salt water storage tanks; fugitive emissions of gas; acid gas removal, removal of water from natural gas; blowdown gas from flow lines; gas purged from compressor cylinders or other gas handling equipment for startup; gas released at a wellsite during drilling operations and prior to the completion date of the well; or gas released at a wellsite during initial completion.

The commission may require the flaring of releases of gas not measured by devices routinely used, if the commission determines that flaring is required for safety reasons.

Gas Releases to be Burned in a Flare.

All gas releases of greater than 24 hours duration shall be burned in a flare if it can be burned safely. All gas releases of 24 hours' duration or less may be vented to the air if flaring is not required for safety reasons or by other regulation and the gas can be safely vented.

An exception to the requirements may be granted to allow the venting of gas to the air for releases of greater than 24 hours' duration if the operator presents information that shows the gas cannot be both safely and continuously burned in a flare, and the gas can be safely vented.

The commission may require that the gas be flared if flaring is required for safety reasons.

Gas Releases in Oil and Gas Production Operations.

The following releases of gas resulting from oil/gas production operations are necessary and are hereby authorized subject to the following requirements.

Gas may be released for a period not to exceed ten producing days after initial completion.

Gas from a well that must be unloaded may be vented to the air for periods not to exceed 24 hours in one continuous event or a total of 72 hours in one calendar month.

In the event of a full or partial shutdown, gas may be released for a period not to exceed 24 hours. The operator shall notify the appropriate office by telephone as soon as reasonably possible after the release of gas begins. The volume of gas that is released must be measured and reported. An operator may continue the release by flaring or venting the gas pending commission approval or denial of a request for an administrative exception. The operator shall file the request with the commission by the end of the next full business day following the first 24 hours of the release. The following are examples of situations that may qualify for an exception: gas plant construction, repairs or maintenance; gas plant turnaround; or emergency situations.

Hydrocarbon gas contained in the waste stream or other contaminants may be released, provided that at least 85% of the hydrocarbon gas in the inlet gas stream is recovered and directed to a legal use.