(British Columbia) Drilling and Production Regulation (2019 updates)

Last updated: 11 December 2020

British Columbia's general upstream oil and gas regulation includes provisions that limit venting and flaring of methane,  and require a fugitive emissions management program.

The rule was initially promulgated in September 2010 (B.C. Reg. 282/2010) and amended May 2019.

Section 26 sets forth plugging requirements for abandoned wells.

Section 41 prohibits venting unless the gas value, volume or flow is insufficient to support stable combustion and

* is not a safety hazard, and * within 1 year of rig release, is minimized (quantity and duration).

Operators must check each well for surface casing vents, at key moments in well development (end of completion; within a year of rig release; before abandonment; etc.) and as part of routine maintenance over the life of the well. If vents are discovered, the operator must notify the regulator and eliminate the hazard. If gas migration is discovered, the operator must notify the regulator and submit a risk assessment. Operators must also implement a fugitive emissions management program.

Section 42 requires operators to minimize flaring, and in fact prohibits flaring at wells except for emergency situations or for drilling operations (workover, maintenance, never more than 50,000 m3/yr or as alllowed under the permit). Prohibits flaring at facilities except when required for maintenance purposes or as allowed under the permit.

Operators must notify regulators of flaring > 10,000 m3 (24 hrs in advance if planned; within 24 hrs if not). Operators must keep a flaring log and report volumes each month (Section 43).

Flares must meet certain specs, including being anchored to the ground, and equipped with auto-ignition systems. They may not emit black smoke (Section 44).

Operators must take steps to prevent loss or waste of product (Section 50).

Operators must analyze the chemical components of the oil and gas and report their findings to the regulator (Section 67).

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