- Consent Needed and How to Obtain It
- Performance Standards
- Sampling/Monitoring Requirements
- Reporting Requirements
- Non Compliance
- Renewal and Variation
- Pending Legislation
For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:
|Guidance Notes||The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is responsible for flaring consents. The OGA has just issued guidance on the review of flare and vent applications during commissioning and production operations, available here.
For EU ETS Guidance see EU ETS.
|Consent Needed:||Consent to Flare Where a field is flaring > 40 tonnes per day the flare level will be reviewed and a flare consent issued annually. These applications will be subject to detailed review by BEIS and operators must exercise a high level of technical and operational dilligence in estimating quantities. This level of flaring is considered to represent a potential opportunity for further reduction in levels. These applications will need full supporting details with medium and long term plans for flare reduction. Where a field is flaring < 40 tonnes per day, a longer term flare consent may be applied for or issued (see Renewal and Variation tab). Less detailed (minimum) information may be provided on the application form for these flaring levels.See the Performance Standards tab for options on multiple fields producing across the same facility.Note that at the field start-up a series of consents may be issued for short periods (usually for 28 days or a calendar month) to allow BEIS closer control over the operation. As the commissioning programme progresses, BEIS may issue consents for longer periods as greater plant stability is achieved.EU Emissions Trading SchemeSee EU ETS Topic.|
|How to Apply||
Consent to Flare
For a new flare consent, contact should be made in the first instance with the appropriate Consents Unit within BEIS (see below) approximately 3-4 months before start-up. This will kick off a series of meetings and a request for background information (see below). Formal written application for the first flare consent should be made approximately 2 weeks prior to first oil. The consent will not be issued until the first oil date is confirmed.
The OGA Guidance Notes for the Completion of Flare and Vent Applications provide further information.
Information that will be required during initial discussions with OGA for a first flare consent application will include the following:
Initial consent application in the form of a letter, should include the following as a minimum:
For an annual flare consent application (see Renewal and Variation tab for more information), information required includes
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
See EU ETS Topic
|Who to Apply to||Flare Consent Applications to be submitted via the UK Oil PortalEU Emissions Trading Scheme See EU ETS Topic|
|When to Apply||Flare Consent First discussions with OGA should be held at least 3-4 months before “first oil”. However, it is advised by OGA that the operator is in contact at all stages, from design through construction to commissioning planning and demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to keep flaring to a minimum. Application for a first consent should be made at least 2 weeks before “first oil”. Consent will not be issued until the “first oil” date is confirmed.See Renewal for more information on ongoing annual applications.EU Emissions Trading SchemeSee EU ETS Topic.|
|Flare volumes and performance of gas compression plant:||
Note: Cold flaring is considered a venting activity and should not be included in flaring reports or against a flaring consent.
|Accuracy of Measurement and Reporting:||Reporting must be in mass units (water dry metric tonnes). There are a number of methods to quantify gas volume flared and likewise a number of methods to convert this to a mass basis. Flare quantification is in accordance with the requirements for flaring associated with the EU-ETS Phase II. Operators should ensure that the methodology they have in place meets or exceeds the necessary levels of accuracy (see EU ETS).|
|EU Emissions Trading Scheme:||See EU ETS Topic for EU ETS monitoring and sampling requirements.|
|Note: the following information only applies to Flare Consents. Reporting for Flaring under EU ETS is covered under the EU ETS Topic.|
|What to Report:||There are two types of reporting required for flaring. The first is statutory reporting to DECC the second is voluntary reporting of environmental emissions due to flaring which is used by Oil & Gas UK to report industry performance.Flare Consent : the following shall be sent to DECC for the previous reporting period (as specified in the Flare Consent).
Some consents may include the provision that specific monthly flare reporting is not needed and that flare volumes are reported in the routine field reporting into DECC Petroleum Production Reporting System (PPRS). In this case, specific flare reporting would be by exception only if flaring is out of consent.
Complete relevant parts of applicable atmospheric emissions inventory EEMS pro forma that can be downloaded from the EEMS Website. Guidance notes are also available from the EEMS site.
|How to Report:||See Above|
|Who to Report to:||Flare Consent DECC’s Petroleum Production Reporting according to terms of consent.EEMS Reporting Completed reports should be submitted electronically via the EEMS website.|
|When to Report:||Statutory information Frequency of reporting will be established through consent (e.g. weekly or monthly). It varies widely according to stage of field production and between fields and operators. For fields on long-term flare consents there will be no need for end of year flare reporting.EEMS Reporting Annually by 7 February.|
|What to do if in breach of consent:||If there is a possibility of exceeding the flare consent value, contact should be made with DECC to discuss the problems, and if appropriate arrange for a revised consent. It is unlawful to flare gas without a current consent and in extreme cases this could lead to withdrawal of the licence. Non-compliances should be reported through the routine flare consent reporting or, if there is no specific routine flare reporting, then breach of exemption conditions should be reported at month end as they occur. Early phone contact with DECC is recommended before consent limits are exceeded.|
|EU ETS:||See EU ETS Topic|
|OPPC Regulations:||A permit is no longer required for potential flare drop-out. However, if flare drop out does occur resulting in an oil sheen at sea, a PON1 report must be submitted.|
|Offshore Inspection:||The DECC Environmental Inspectorate Enforcement Policy (PDF document) sets out the general principles that Inspectors shall follow in relation to enforcement including prosecution.|
|Duration of Consent:||Applications can be made for flare consents covering the remaining duration of Phase 2 of the EU-ETS (the period 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2012) or on an annual basis, depending upon the total daily hydrocarbon flare level from a field or a grouping of fields going through an installation(s). Long term flare consents will not be permitted for any field or grouping of fields going through an installation(s) that seek permission to flare at rates in excess of 40 tonnes a day. If a field is flaring less than 40 tonnes of hydrocarbon gas a day, and if, for the period 2010 to 2012 the flare application does not request any increase in the levels permitted in the extant flare consent, licensees can apply for a three year flare consent. If this application is approved by the Department, a long term consent will be issued, subject to a number of conditions (see DECC Guidance on the Completion of Flare and Vent Applications)|
|When to renew consent/exemption:||Commissioning phases – re-application should be made approximately 2 weeks before the next consent period. Annual ongoing flare consents. DECC will invite applications for renewal in September each year, with annual consents being issued in December for the following year. DECC Guidance on the Completion of Flare and Vent Applications is available on the DECC website.|
|EU ETS Permit – Variation:||See EU ETS Topic|
|EU ETS Permit – Closure of Installation:||See EU ETS Topic|
|None known at present. Also see EU ETS.|
|Updated Energy and Emissions projections: 2015||A report detailing projections of the UK emissions performance against national greenhouse gas targets under existing policies has been released by DECC. It includes projections of the demand for each type of fuel for different sectors of the economy. The report includes projected energy demand for electricity and indicates what mix of generation will meet it (link here).|
|Cold Flaring:||This is considered to be a venting activity, and controlled under the venting consent (see Venting). It should not be reported as flaring or counted against the flaring consent.|
|Flare Consent Levels:||DECC has an objective to reduce non-safety related flaring by 5% per year. It has been left to individual Field Teams to decide how to meet that objective. The Southern North Sea Field Team (London based staff of LCU-LED) have decided to meet the objective by an across the board reduction in flare consents. The Aberdeen based staff have decided to take a different approach and are assessing proposals on a case-by-case basis to achieve the same overall reduction.|