The Importance of Controlling Fugitive Emissions in the Petrochemical Industry

Petrochemical plants and industrial operations often struggle with a problem that is both difficult to detect and correct. Tiny leaks in a pressurized system can often become a huge issue for these facilities. As much as a third of all emissions from some industrial plants can come from inadvertent leaks in pressurized systems. Gases released from these small leaks are called fugitive emissions. Pressurized systems across the upstream, midstream, and downstream petrochemical markets experience losses due to fugitive emissions. Unfortunately, fugitive emissions in the petrochemical industry have a number of negative impacts on both petrochemical companies and their employees as well as the outside environment.

The Dangers of Fugitive Emissions

There are three main negative impacts associated with fugitive emissions. First, leaks in petrochemical operations can hurt companies economically. Preventable fugitive emissions could potentially account for a significant percentage of a petrochemical facility’s total emissions. In addition, companies can face financial consequences if they violate health and environmental regulations on fugitive emissions. Second, many of the fugitive gases released in oil and natural gas operations are very dangerous to humans, even in small amounts. Fugitive emissions can threaten the health of workers in petrochemical facilities and operations, as well as the well-being of others in proximity to these emissions. Finally, fugitive emissions can negatively affect the environment. Reports have shown that fugitive emissions account for 5.2 percent of greenhouse emissions worldwide.

Mitigating Fugitive Emissions

In a pressurized system, points like valves, pumps, pipe connections, and seals are some of the most prominent locations for fugitive emissions to escape. Not all pressurized systems release the same amount of fugitive emissions. The design, quality, and condition of this primary equipment can drastically affect the amount of fugitive emissions released. Operations procedures, specially designed equipment, and regular maintenance can help mitigate the amount of fugitive emissions released during an operation. CPV Manufacturing creates valves and fittings for the petrochemical industry that are designed to reduce fugitive emissions and resist corrosion. High-quality, well-designed valves can reduce the financial burden of fugitive emissions, help keep workers safe, and mitigate the negative environmental impacts of a petrochemical operation.

At CPV Manufacturing, we have decades of experience controlling fugitive emissions in the petrochemical industry. For assistance, contact our team at

Certified Low-E Valves

Effects of consent decree compliance on certified low E valves and certified Low-­E packing procurement and approvals

In old movies about the beginning of the petroleum industry, a well was drilled with hope and promise and just when everyone was about to give up, the ground would shake and a giant plume of black liquid would shoot into the air, covering the land, plants and drillers, who danced around whooping and hollerin’.

This might also be what was considered early leak detection. Things have tightened up since then.

Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 60% of fugitive leaks come from valves, which makes them very interested in valve leak performance. A consent decree means that the plant did not meet the EPA’s standards for fugitive emissions and specifies the changes required to avoid a permanent shut down. This involves the implementation of a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program for the plant. (more…)

Preventing Seal Leaks

O-Rings: How a Small Part Plays a Huge Role

One of the attributes that determine the quality of a valve or fitting is its seal. A leak-proof control valve seal is not only desired but is an absolute necessity in many applications.

Leaking valves (or fittings), under the wrong circumstances, can allow toxic substances into the atmosphere or environment. Escaping oxidizers can lead to fire or explosion. And valuable products may go to waste.

Although it’s not the only factor involved, the O-ring is a crucial player in providing a no-leak high- (or low-) pressure control valve seal.

Since they were first patented in 1896 in Sweden by J.O. Lundberg, O-rings have become the standard in leak-proof design. (The U.S. patent was not issued until 40 years later to Niels Christensen.) The U.S. military created such a demand for them that the government took over the patent in order to have them manufactured by different companies for military aircraft use.

Jump forward another 15-20 years to the 1950s. CPV Manufacturing designed a full line of leak-proof valves and fittings using O-ring seals for the U.S. Navy.

Today, O-rings are the most sure-fire way to prevent seal leaks, and they are widely used across the world for leak-free valve and fittings.

Advantages of O-Rings

O-rings have a number of advantages over other types of seals.

Tight seal

Because they are almost all made of elastomers they can conform to hard surfaces to form a bubble-tight seal. When used correctly with a recessed close-tolerance groove, the internal system pressure (or external pressure) pushes the O-ring against the edge of the groove, forming a seal.

High pressure tolerance

Because of this O-ring face seal design, the bi-directional seal becomes tighter with increased pressure. The maximum pressure that an O-ring can withstand is dependent on the design of the system. Those with a smaller extrusion gap can handle higher pressures.

Make and break

The use of O-rings in valves and fittings allows for low-torqueing connections. There is no deformation of metal needed due to high torqueing requirements. They can be detached and reattached repeatedly without compromising the seal.

Ease of replacement

Use of O-rings in flat faced unions allows for versatility within the system that could never exist otherwise. CPV’s O-SEAL® line is the perfect example. Components can simply be lifted out and replaced with no cutting required.

Versatility in applications

O-rings come in almost any size and can be made of a number of different materials, which means there’s an O-ring for just about every application.

Material Selection

Choosing the right material for the intended use requires gathering some important information. Of critical importance when deciding on the right elastomer for a valve are:

Operating temperature

The temperature range at which an elastomer will retain its elasticity varies by material. For example, Viton® (fluorocarbon) can handle heat up to 400°F (204°C), but its low temperature limit is only -15°F (-26°C). Buna-N (nitrile), on the other hand, has a low temperature threshold of -65°F (-54°C) but a maximum of only 225°F (107°C).

Media composition

The elastomer can only be selected once the system fluid or gas is known. For example, oxidizers will degrade some materials while petroleum oils and/or fuels will damage others.

The extent to which the process chemicals will attack the elastomer is compounded by the operating temperature. The amount of damage will roughly double for every 18°F (10°C) of rising temperature.

Environmental conditions

Because the seal will be partially exposed to the external environment, those conditions also need to be taken into account. Outside temperature as well as pressure and chemical composition (for example, in an underwater valve) will all be in contact with, or will directly affect, the seal.

Common O-Ring Materials

Due to their tolerance levels for many of the chemical compounds that are used in industry, Viton®, Buna-N, and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber) are some of the most commonly used elastomers in O-ring seals. In general, these three are used as follows:


Good resistance to: petroleum-based oils and fuels, water, alcohols, and some acids and bases

Poor resistance to: strong oxidizers, acetone, and methyl ethyl ketone,


Good resistance to: chemicals and oils (preferred for oil refining and chemical processing due to high temperature tolerance)


Good resistance to: alcohol, acetone, solvents like methyl ethyl ketone, water, and steam

Poor resistance to: petroleum-based oils


Proper installation can mean the difference between a leak-proof seal and a disaster. Leakage can occur both around the seal and through it if not designed and installed correctly. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

A few points worth emphasizing:

  • only use compatible lubricants when needed
  • never allow an O-ring to come into contact with any sharp edges or abrasive surfaces
  • always stretch the O-ring evenly and to within the specifications of the specific elastomer


O-rings made by our leak proof valve manufacturers and suppliers may appear to be just a small component of a valve or piping system, but they play a significant role in maintaining a leak-free process.

As leak proof valve manufacturers and suppliers, CPV’s O-SEAL® line of valves and fittings are the industry standard for no-leak, enduring performance. Take a look at our product lines or contact us to find out how we can help fill all of your valve and fitting needs.

Emissions Leaks

Testing for Fugitive Emissions in Pressure Relief Valves

Unintentional emissions of gases or vapors from pressurized equipment, or fugitive emissions, are more than an environmental concern. Besides the human health risks, pollution, and potential fines, they can hit the bank account more directly in the form of product loss.

A 2015 study as reported in Forbes, suggested that 3.6 trillion cubic feet or more of natural gas is inadvertently released every year. That’s an income loss of $30 billion plus.

Fugitive emissions consist of gases like methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide, as well as more hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene that present long-term health risks. In situations where large amounts of flammable liquids and gases are contained under pressure, leaks also bring an increased risk of fire and explosion.

Emissions leaks can come from numerous places, including pumps, seals, and flanges, with valves being among the highest sources of leakage from industrial activities at 75 percent. Of the valves responsible, about ten percent of fugitive emissions stem from pressure relief valves, the rest from control valves.

Pressure Relief Valve Emissions

Unlike control valves, pressure relief valves are self-actuated and self-contained. They open or close depending on the pressure within the system or line. When that pressure exceeds a maximum operating pressure, the pressure relief valve will open, releasing the excess gas into the air or atmosphere.

The pressure relief valve’s seats are subject to normal wear and tear. They also can become dirty, which will compromise the seal and lead to leakage with such leaks growing larger over time. There are no widely adopted standards (even within specific industries, such as oil and gas) for measuring or testing fugitive emissions from pressure relief valves.

In control valves, the packing is the focus of fugitive emissions, with certain types or styles of packing being much better at reducing emissions. Since pressure relief valves don’t have packing, fugitive emission compliance depends largely on factors like O-ring design, bolt torque, gasket seals, and the density and porosity of the valve materials.

Challenges of Emissions Testing

Although fugitive emissions come in multiple forms, the primary focus of emissions testing continues to be on methane, as methane emissions have the greatest impact on the atmosphere. But the question is, should methane be used for testing when such a test may result in more of the gas being released into the surrounding air? Many testing methods substitute helium for the methane. Because helium is a much smaller molecule, it will escape through spaces smaller than what would allow methane through. This brings up an even bigger question: what, if any, is the actual correlation between the two?

Leaks can be detected using several methods as well. While methane is best detected with a sniff test (the nose knows), either methane or helium can be detected with a sniff test, bagging (enclosing the valve to collect emissions), or a vacuum test.

Testing for Fugitive Emissions

Because there continues to be no common standard for testing pressure relief valves for fugitive emissions, currently used testing standards vary. There are governmental standards, standardization organizations (such as ISO), industry standards (such as API), and end-user guidelines (such as Shell and ChevronTexaco).

One method of testing uses control valve test standards as a starting point for pressure relief valves. These standards have both pressure and temperature cycling tests for liquid natural gas. It focuses the temperature cycling on the inlet of the valve using liquid nitrogen for the cold cycle and a heater for the hot cycle. The valve is fugitive emissions compliant if it passes the test from ambient to cryogenic back to ambient to high temperature and back to ambient. A sensor checks for gas leaks through the temperature cycle.

The second type of test uses a soap or detergent solution. When applied to a leak, bubbles will appear. However, with this method, there is no way to determine the amount or magnitude of the leak. The temperature of the equipment, as well as the size of the leak, will also affect results.

The EPA’s Method 21 allows for any portable instrument to be used for detection of emissions provided it meets certain criteria. One such test uses an organic vapor analyzer to measure total volatile organic compounds yielding numeric results. This does, however, sometimes give false positive or negative results and is more expensive to run than some other methods.

The ultrasonic test uses a portable device to detect ultrasonic sound produced by the escape of pressurized vapors. It’s less effective when in the vicinity of pneumatic actuated valves and must be within a certain physical range of the valve being tested. Although this method is capable of pinpointing individual leaks, too high of a concentration of leaks makes the individual location of emissions difficult.

Smart Leak Detection And Repair (LDAR) uses remote sensing technology to identify leaks. This technology uses a laser directed at the area to be scanned. A camera captures the image of the area with the escaping gas appearing as a black cloud. It provides accurate results with no false positives or negatives.

Remote Methane Leak Detection (RMLD) uses a laser-based natural gas sensor to identify leaks. It’s handheld and produces an audible alarm when it detects a high concentration or changing gas cloud.

Airborne Natural Gas Emission Lidar (ANGEL) detects natural gas in the atmosphere. It maps the location and quantities of gas emissions by plane, covering large geographic areas.

Be on the lookout for more formal standards from industry organizations such as API related to pressure relief valve fugitive emissions.

CPV pressure release valves for emissions testing are manufactured to meet or exceed the highest quality standards. Check out their full line of high-quality, American-engineered valves, including pressure relief valves.




Low-E Valves

Effects of consent decree compliance on certified low E valves and certified Low-­‐E packing procurement and approvals

In old movies about the beginning of the petroleum industry, a well was drilled with hope and promise and just when everyone was about to give up, the ground would shake and a giant plume of black liquid would shoot into the air, covering the land, plants and drillers, who danced around whooping and hollerin’.
This might also be what was considered early leak detection. Things have tightened up since then.
Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 60% of fugitive leaks come from valves, which makes them very interested in valve leak performance. A consent decree means that the plant did not meet the EPA’s standards for fugitive emissions and specifies the changes required to avoid a permanent shut down. This involves the implementation of a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program for the plant.
While being under a consent decree mandate sounds drastic, consent decrees are common and allow a plant to keep operating while the required changes are made. About five years ago, 85% of US refiners tested were operating under a consent decree.
One of the primary parts of these consent decrees was the mandate that specific valves and packing should be certified Low-­‐E.

The various consent decrees outlined the qualifications for a valve or packing to be certified Low-­‐Emission or Low-­‐Leaking:

“Certified Low-­‐Leaking Valves” shall mean valves for which a manufacturer has issued either:

  • a written guarantee that the valve will not leak above 100 ppm for five years; or
  • a written guarantee, certification or equivalent documentation that the valve has been tested pursuant to generally-­‐accepted good engineering practices and has been found to be leaking at no greater than 100

“Certified Low-­‐Leaking Valve Packing Technology” shall mean valve packing technology for which a manufacturer has issued either:

  • a written guarantee that the valve packing technology will not leak above 100 ppm for five years; or
  • a written guarantee, certification or equivalent documentation that the valve packing technology has been tested pursuant to generally-­‐accepted good engineering practices and has been found to be leaking at no greater than 100

The tests also require documentation, not just a warranty stating that the valve or packing meets those requirements.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) released testing protocols for manufacturers to follow and the valves and packing should meet these testing standards and procedures. The International Organization of Standards (ISO) also has testing guidelines, ISO test 15848-­‐1, but the test media must be methane not the usual media, helium, and the test method must be EPA’s Method 21. The EPA requires methane as the testing media because they have determined that methane is the most destructive to the environment.

If the API protocols are followed, valves and packing tested should meet the applicable testing procedures of:

  • API 622 -­‐ Type Testing of Process Valve Packing for Fugitive The tests consist of mechanical and temperature cycles, while the tested packing is contained in a precision-­‐machined test instrument.
  • API 624 -­‐ Type Testing of Rising Stem Valves Equipped with Graphite Packing for Fugitive Emissions (linear type.) It must be done with packing material that meets API
  • API 641 -­‐ Type Testing of Quarter-­‐turn Valves for Fugitive Emissions. Also needs to meet API 622

It should be noted that the EPA has not implemented an overall definition of a Low-­‐E valve or packing. It just specifies in the consent decrees the performance levels both must meet. This has allowed manufacturers to use different language in their own definitions which can lead to some confusion over what is designated Low-­‐E valve and packing.

The effects of these consent decrees on procurement have been wide ranging.

Manufacturers had to decide whether they would produce valves and/or packing that could be certified Low-­‐E. Most manufacturers have decided to produce Low-­‐E valves and packing and some now make only Low-­‐E products. For example, CPV products are now designed to meet or exceed fugitive emissions standards.

A purchaser needs to carefully check both the manufacturers and/or suppliers warranties and guarantees, but it is more important to review the actual data from the tests. That includes the test “small print” -­‐ results from each part of the test to make sure no part failed. As for the warranty, it should include the statement that it is good for at least 5 years, not just that the valve and/or packing met the 100 ppm test.

While an LDAR refers to leak detection and repair, consent decrees have prompted companies to shift their focus to preventative maintenance. This proactive approach looks to implement a maintenance program that catches and prevents problems before they happen. This means the valves and packing don’t reach the point that they fail the consent decree requirements or, better yet, are kept in such good condition that a consent decree is avoided altogether.

One of the recommendations to insure the plant is in compliance is to replace all valves in a plant with Low-­‐E valves to prevent mix-­‐ups. Plants that have made the switch found that the cost differential is negligible when replacing non-­‐Low-­‐E valves with Low-­‐E valves rather than non-­‐Low-­‐E valves.

Making sure all the valves required to be certified Low-­‐E are in place and working properly takes cooperation and buy-­‐in from all divisions of the plant, from management to maintenance. Proper training of employees is important and looking at the manufacturer or suppliers training programs should be part of the procurement process.

Record keeping has become even more important, from tracking and storing purchase orders to leak monitoring data. Software and tags have both been developed and continue being upgraded to facilitate these tasks. Some companies are now asking that the Low-­‐E certification status be on the packing slip documents.

Consent decrees have also created opportunities for valve and packing manufacturers to share and cooperate in the development of their products like never before. Overall, they have made the industry re-­‐evaluate its practices and standards. Leak detection has come a long way from its whooping and hollerin’origins.



Fugitive Emissions Packing Standards: Understanding API 622

Fugitive Emissions Packing Standards: Understanding API 622Increasing pressure from the public and lawmakers about global warming and other environmental hazards has resulted in stricter standards for fugitive emissions. Fugitive emissions are gases or vapors, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and greenhouse gases, that leak from pressurized equipment into the atmosphere. Fugitive emissions are costly not only in terms of human and environmental health, but they also pose a threat to profits in many industries.

Fugitive emissions can emanate from a number of sources in machinery, including valves, flanges, seals, sample connections, open-ended lines, pressure relief devices and screwed fittings. However, valves account for the greatest amount of fugitive emissions released from industrial processes, so selecting the right valve is key to ensuring an effective emissions control strategy.

The Evolution of Emissions Testing

The problem of air pollution was first brought to light in 1955 with the passing of the Air Pollution Control Act, which provided funds for government research into air pollution. This was followed by the Clean Air Act of 1963, which was aimed at improving and accelerating programs to prevent and decrease pollution. Amendments to the Clean Air Act in the 1970s meant new approaches to regulation, including national air quality standards as well as measurement and tracking of fugitive emissions.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began pursuing refineries, chemical plants, and other emissions-producing industries to institute leak detection and repair programs and to ensure that they were not under-reporting emissions. Companies that were found to be in violation were fined and issued consent decrees.

To ensure that they complied with regulations and help determine which valve manufacturers offered the best products to protect against leakage, end users and even some manufacturers developed their own testing methods and standards. These tests varied widely, however, rendering them unreliable.

Today, the EPA, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and TA-Luft set the standards for emissions around the world. Here we detail API Standard 622, “Type Testing of Process Valve Packing for Fugitive Emissions.”

API Standard 622: Valve Packing

The valve packing standard API 622, which was revised most recently in 2011, is the industry standard for determining whether valve packing is sufficient to prevent or abate emissions leaks. Set by the American Petroleum Institute, the test evaluates three areas of the packing:

  • Emissions, or leak rate
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Materials

To ensure test uniformity, the standard dictates that every test rig mimics a 4-inch 300-pound gate valve. For accurate results, it’s important to use the most current version of the standard.


The emissions portion of API 622 is not a pass/fail test. Rather, it measures valve performance—how many thermal cycles the valve can withstand before emissions exceed the allowable rate of 500 ppm. An emission rate below 500 ppm is considered low, although many manufacturers hold themselves to an internal standard of 100 or 200 ppm during this test.

The emissions testing takes 6 days, during which 1500 cycles are completed. The first 5 days involve thermal actuation cycles. Day 1 includes 150 cycles at ambient temperature, followed by 150 cycles at 500°F. Everything is allowed to cool overnight, and the process is then repeated once daily for 5 more days.

If the packing continues to pass through day 5—proving that it can withstand a significant amount of stress—the process is repeated on day 6. The last thermal cycle on day 6 is followed by 10 more cycles at ambient temperature.

Because methane gas is used, the test is run outdoors. The leak detection method used is EPA method 21, which is employed in a number of valve standards and ensures consistency across tests. Leakage is measured with the valve stem in a stationary position. The test allows for 1 re-torque. That is, if the valve exceeds the allowable leakage of 500 ppm (or the set internal rate), the gland bolts can be re-torqued and the gland load reapplied one time. Typically, this allows the leak rate to come down to a safe emissions level and the test can continue.


The corrosion portion of the test is conducted in a different test rig than the emissions portion. It is a time-based, observational test; it is not pass/fail. Its purpose is to identify how much pitting occurs in the metal (which is based on how much the packing sticks to the stem) as well as the general condition of the packing.

To conduct the test, the packing is soaked and compressed to 30,000 megapascals and left to sit wrapped around a piece of metal. Different metals can be tested to see how the packing will affect different valve stems.


This portion of the standard is about getting to know the material properties of your packing. It tests the packing’s weight and density, how much lubricant it contains, the polytetrafluoroethylene content, and whether any chemicals (e.g., chlorides, fluorides) are leaching out of it.

This portion of the test does include a pass-fail component. If weight loss for graphite foil packing exceeds 15% at a temperature of 538°C, the packing is considered to have failed. For graded packing, 50% weight loss is allowed before it is rated as failing the standard.

The Future of API 622

API 622 has been in effect for 6 years. With technology continuing to improve packing, the achievable leak rate for most of the industry is already 100 ppm. It’s likely, therefore, that this will be the leak rate measured against in the next revision of the standard, with no re-torque allowed.

About CPV Manufacturing

CPV’s high-quality valves and fittings are also used in the oil and gas industry. In this industry, it’s essential that all products perform properly for efficiency and safety and to minimize risks.

CPV’s innovative designs have become fundamental in the daily functions of gas-filling stations and plants, increasing productivity as well as accuracy.

Click here to find out more about CPV’s products.

2016 Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas Expo Highlights

Distributors, manufacturers, suppliers, and EPCs gathered at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX, for the inaugural Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas on June 13 and June 14. For two days, industry leaders provided event goers with the necessary information to control fugitive emissions and discussed current trends, news, and best practices.

Here are a few highlights from the 2016 Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas Expo.

About Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas

plant thermal powerThe 2016 Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas was designed to help the industry better comply with the rules and regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the expo and conference, experts from Tesoro, United Valve, and many more organizations held workshops, plenaries, and short educational lectures to help many control fugitive emissions.

For example, Chris Lehmann of TRICORD Consulting discussed EPA regulations and consent degrees. Matt Wasielewski of Yarmouth Research & Technology spoke about common low E failure modes for valves.

Other plenary paper presentations at the conference and expo touched on a variety of topics, including:

  • Low emission testing
  • Industry trends
  • Valve and packing testing
  • Valve sealing technology
  • Refinery and chemical plant applications

Workshops at the 2016 Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas Expo and Conference focused on everything from standards and testing to gaskets and proper installation and maintenance of valves.

A Focus on LDAR

pollutionThe event also focused heavily on leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs and how current regulations affect all industries and what they can do to meet these guidelines downstream or upstream.

During the expo and conference, a plenary was presented by Bronson Pate of Sage Environmental Consulting that discussed the modernization of LDAR. Pate also led a workshop that focused on compliance sustainability in LDAR and whether consent decrees were possible.

According to Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas Chairman Rodney Roth, “The program will be based on the presentation of new and innovative technologies to help everyone succeed with the development and continued improvement of the LDAR programs you are charged with managing.”

2018 Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas

Following the success of this year’s event, we can confirm that the Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas expo and conference will return in the summer of 2018. Exact dates and event details have yet to be released. Stay tuned for updates about Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas 2018.

CPV Manufacturing strives to control fugitive emissions. Our shutoff and control valves are designed to meet even the strictest fugitive emissions standards and ensure safer operation and cleaner air. For more information, contact CPV Manufacturing.

New Regulations for Methane Emissions from Gas and Oil Industries

The Obama administration has announced plans to regulate methane emissions in oil and gas industries for the first time, according to a recent press release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It stated that new rules and regulations will address methane emissions in the gas and oil industry.

But what exactly does this mean? Read on to find out.

About the EPA’s New Regulations

Methane EmissionThe EPA’s new rules will target both new and existing sources in the gas and oil industries. They will finalize a set of standards that will help to reduce a number of harmful pollutant emissions, especially methane, in new, modified, or reconstructed sources.

Methane is one of the key components of natural gas and considered a potent greenhouse gas. It also makes up nearly one-third of the emissions coming from oil production as well as the production, transmission, and distribution of natural gas. According to the EPA, it has 25 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.

The EPA also states that they will issue an information collection request (ICR) to existing sources. This will legally require oil and gas companies to provide the information needed to control emissions.

These regulations are part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and will help the administration achieve its goal of reducing methane emissions from oil and gas companies by up to 45% from 2012 levels by 2025.

Industry Opinions on Regulations

methane emission

For the most part, oil and gas companies had negative reactions to the EPA’s recent regulations. In a Washington Post article, Kyle Isakower, the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) vice president for regulatory and economic policy, said, “It doesn’t make sense that the administration would add unreasonable and overly burdensome regulations when the industry is already leading the way in reducing emissions.”

He also mentioned that these new regulations address the high emissions many companies are already trying to reduce and that they could pose more issues in the future. “Natural gas is a proven source of clean, affordable, and reliable energy. The development and use of natural gas from shale has helped the U.S. lead the world in cutting power sector carbon emissions, which are near 20-year lows,” Isakower said in a recent API press release. “The last thing we need is more duplicative and costly regulation that could discourage natural gas production, disrupt our progress reducing emissions, and increase the cost of energy for American consumers.”

Other companies, like the Natural Gas Supply Association, also don’t agree with these new standards. However, they will comply to further help reduce emissions. “EPA is taking a misguided approach to reducing methane emissions from natural gas systems, our companies take all compliance obligations seriously,” the company said in a statement. “Our industry is wholeheartedly committed to continued reductions of methane emissions, as our record has demonstrated continuously for the past 25 years.”

Benefits Will Outweigh the Negatives

While some companies oppose the EPA’s new regulations, the Obama administration states that the long-term benefits of these rules will outweigh the short-term drawbacks.

The finalized standards are expected to cut 510,000 short tons of methane by 2025. This is equal to 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. On top of that, the EPA predicts that these policies will yield climate benefits of $690 million by 2025, outweighing the projected costs of $530 million.

In addition, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said these new rules are expected to ensure cleaner air and a healthier population. “Together these new actions will protect public health and reduce pollution linked to cancer and other serious health effects while allowing industry to continue to grow and provide a vital source of energy for Americans across the country.”

At CPV Manufacturing, we understand how important it is to control fugitive emissions. This is why our shutoff and control valves are compliant with the highest fugitive emission standards and designed to deliver safer operation and cleaner air.

For more information about our valves, fittings, and other products, contact CPV Manufacturing.