The rule generally requires the utilisation of natural gas from oil well, gas well, gas gathering system, gas plant or other gas handling equipment. Any venting of gas greater than 24 hours is prohibited and must be flared instead, in addition to being reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas and measured. Certain exemptions apply:
Releases of gas that are not readily measured by devices routinely used in the operation of oil wells, gas wells, gas gathering systems, or gas plants, are not required to be reported or charged against lease allowable production. However, the commission may require it to be flared on safety considerations.
The rule also requires well operators to apply for permits in order to flare for more than 10 producing days following well completion, as well as other short-term requests. Extended flare permit could be granted pending the commission’s approval and will generally not exceed 180 days. Operators must provide additional documentation for an extension beyond 45 days, and up to 180 days. A few exceptions apply:
· Requests for exceptions for more than 180 days could be granted only when volumes greater than 50 mcf/day of hydrocarbon gas and in a final order signed by the commission.
· If operators present that initial exception or latest renewal granted have not significantly changed conditions of the facility despite a good-faith attempt by the operator to direct the gas to or utilise the gas, the commission might grant a renewal up to 180 days.
· An exception may be indefinitely approved administratively if flaring is less than 50 mcf/day.