By the Energy Act 1976 and the Petroleum Act 1998, operators are required to have consents in place for the flaring and venting of hydrocarbons during production operations. This is a guidance document on the process involved in gaining consent for the flaring and venting of gas during the production phase of a field development.
Consents during the production phase are issued on an annual basis (compared to commissioning consents, which are short term). New fields are subject to normal short-term commissioning flare consents until stable production is achieved.
Operators prepare consent applications based on guidance documents issued by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). Flare and vented sources are categorised as base load flare, flaring from operational changes, emergency shut down, and unignited vents. Consents are issued on a field basis. Unless the flare is associated with a field or facility whose production efficiency is below expectations or there are other indications that an improvement could be made, the OGA does not examine in detail applications for flaring levels that do not exceed 40 tonnes a day and vent levels that do not exceed 4 tonnes a day.