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Asset Integrity Engineering (AIE): An Innovative and Structured Approach to Methane Emissions Monitoring and Reduction 

Asset Integrity Engineering (AIE) is supporting oil and gas operators with their emission reduction efforts. AIE’s staged approach incorporates technical guidance developed by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) to assess nine core methane emission sources. Using its proprietary Veracity software, AIE identifies areas with significant methane emissions through desktop screening of the facilities and creates inspection plans that use optimized infrared (IR) imaging to validate leaks. Once methane emissions are validated through inspection, the team develops and implements an action plan for emissions reduction and monitoring. Currently, AIE supports oil and gas facilities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and intends to expand the use of this approach globally.

AIE’s Staged Approach to Methane Emission Reductions

AIE’s staged approach consists of four stages, as described below. Sample tables and charts that are used during each stage are provided as examples.

  1. In the Desktop Screening stage, AIE conducts a study of the facility to evaluate the presence of nine core methane emission sources with reference to the OGMP technical guidance documents, quantify the facility’s potential methane emissions, and generate an IR imaging inspection plan based on system criticality.

Example: Identification of Nine Core Elements

Core Emission Source Identified (✓/✗)
Natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers and pumps
Fugitive component and equipment leaks
Centrifugal compressors with “wet” (oil) seals
Reciprocating compressors rod seal/packing vents
Glycol dehydrators
Unstabilized hydrocarbon liquid storage tanks
Well venting for liquids unloading
Well venting/flaring during well completion for hydraulically fractured gas
Casinghead gas venting

Example: Quantification of Potential Emissions

Quantification of Potential Emissions
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Example: Ranking of Criticality of Systems

System Pressure Score Degradation Score Methane Content Score Criticality Score Inspection Frequency (Months)
Inlet Coolers & Separators 2 2 3 12 36
Inlet Compression 3 2 3 18 12
Molecular Sieve System 3 2 3 18 12
LPG Plant 3 2 2 12 36
Condensate Plant 2 2 1 4 Opportunity Based
Amine Plant 2 2 2 8 Opportunity Based
Sales Gas 3 2 3 18 12
Propane Treater 2 2 1 4 Opportunity Based
Hot Oil System 1 2 0 0 Not Required
Reinjection System 3 2 3 18 12
Fuel Gas System 2 2 3 12 36
Flare Header System 1 2 2 4 Opportunity Based
LPG Terminal 2 2 1 4 Opportunity Based
Condensate Terminal 2 2 1 4 Opportunity Based
Field Manifolds and Pipeline Networks 2 2 2 8 Opportunity Based
Field-1 2 2 2 8 Opportunity Based
Field-2 2 2 2 8 Opportunity Based
Full Field Compression 2 2 2 8 Opportunity Based

  1. During the Site Validation stage, AIE implements the IR imaging inspection plan and determines the actual methane emission rates. During this stage, AIE uses quantifications to verify and update estimates made during the Desktop Screening stage.

Example: IR Imaging of Leaks

  1. In the Action Plan Development stage, AIE identifies and selects mitigation actions based on a cost-benefit analysis.

  2. Example: Validated Emission Reduction Opportunities and Costs

    Validated Emission Reduction Opportunities and Costs
    Click to enlarge the image

  1. During the Action Plan Close Out, Reporting & Management stage, AIE implements Directed Inspection and Maintenance (DI&M) plans via the computerized maintenance management system. AIE sets key performance indicators and monitors and reports action items using the Veracity software. For example, the percentage of overall compliance for the control system, with no emission management, is compared to the percentage of overall compliance of the system using AIE’s emissions management approach.

Example: Performance Indicator Measurement