This standard was developed out of a joint industry project (JIP) initiated by Nexen, Inc. to determine why their vent gas emission measurements were over-estimating the amount of gas they were eventually able to conserve, with the intent of improving the quality of vent gas measurements, forecasts and
mitigation actions. New Paradigm Engineering was approached to develop and carry-out the project as a JIP, supported by various heavy oil producers who each contributed $15,000 towards the project resulting in a $75K overall budget.
The project was motivated by the relatively high value of natural gas at the time ($5-$8/GJ), perceptions of future gas supply shortages, and the mandated need to reduce vent gas volumes to capture the economic value. It was recognized that the practices being used at the time by various operators could give a wide range of results for the same well. The conceptual chart below was developed to illustrate the advantages of improving vent quantification methods to improve accuracy, with the initial target being to achieve at least +/- 20% accuracy for wells producing less than 500 m3/d and higher accuracies +/-10% for wells with higher vent rates. The primary objective was to minimize gross errors in vent volumes measured or estimated, recognizing that volumes are continually changing for wells as production declines. The Do Nothing and Level 1 cases reflected unacceptable levels as they would result in problems such as those encountered
by Nexen, which had costly impacts as a result of over-estimating the gas volumes.
Producers contributing included the main sponsor, Nexen, as well as Husky, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), ExxonMobil and Petrovera (taken
over by CNRL by the time the work was completed). Producers also agreed to the participation of representatives of the Alberta Energy Utilities Board (AEUB now AER) and Saskatchewan Industry and Resources (SIR). New Paradigm sub-contracted Ms. Shan Pletcher, P.Eng. (ADOA Consulting) to assist with the project.