Analysis and Reporting of a Trial of an Auxiliary Burner System in Glycol Dehydration Units


On behalf of Natural Resources Canada CanmetENERGY-Devon, PTAC is collecting proposals from academic research institutions to provide research services described in this request for proposal document with a completion date of no later than March 31, 2016.


There is a current lack of understanding of short and long term environmental impacts from hydraulic fracturing, liquid hydrocarbon storage tank emissions, and black carbon emissions from flaring in Canada, and little or no Canadian data are available. This absence of knowledge results in a slow pace of policy or regulatory developments and as such, critical knowledge gaps, and policy and regulatory uncertainties have resulted.

Emissions from hydraulically fractured wells are categorized as resulting either from the well drilling and completion phase, or the production phase, and it was recently believed that the majority of emissions result during drilling and completion. Canadian and international regulators have assumed that regulations requiring the “green completion” of hydraulically fractured wells will be sufficient to ensure environmental and social sustainability of energy produced from hydraulically fractured wells. However, recent analysis of tight gas wells in the Province of Alberta has indicated that over the production life of a well, operational flaring, venting, and natural gas fuel use emissions play a dominant role relative to well drilling and well-completion activities. In order to ensure environmental sustainability and obtain and maintain the necessary social license to practice hydraulic fracturing, there is a requirement to understand the total per-unit-of-energy-production emissions of hydraulically fractured wells and to develop necessary and cost effective technologies, practices, policies, and regulations that effectively and verifiably minimize all emissions over the life of hydraulically fractured wells.

Both through the rapid development of tight oil and gas resources as well as through a general increase in production of heavier oils, there has been a proliferation in the use of fixed roof liquid storage tanks at upstream facilities. These tanks are an especially important emission source in the Canadian upstream energy industry. Recent issues in the Peace River area of Alberta have identified air quality problems that were ultimately attributable to emissions from heated liquid storage tanks. More generally, these events have revealed a need for closer investigation of liquid storage tank emissions where there is a clear need for practical, quantitative measurement methodologies to verify emission reporting protocols and to support proper engineering design of mitigation approaches.

Finally, there are specific climate forcing and health concerns associated with flare-generated black carbon emissions during conventional and unconventional resource production. Impacts of black carbon emissions are further exacerbated in northern regions where airborne transport can lead to deposition in sensitive Artic regions. Recent studies have demonstrated that deposited black carbon on snow and ice in the Arctic is largely attributed to global gas flaring. However, there are essentially no quantitative data from full scale field measurements of operating flares sufficient to predict black carbon emissions as a function of flare gas flowrate and composition. This severely hampers scientific understanding of potential emission rates and impedes ability to develop informed policy sufficient to control and mitigate these emissions.


The objectives of this project are to provide federal and provincial regulators, and industry practitioners, with knowledge, practices and technologies which are necessary to advance the environmentally, economically and socially sustainable growth in production of unconventional oil and gas resources in Canada.


The requested proposal will undertake activities to measure and characterize emissions related to unconventional oil and gas resource development in Canada. The following specific activities are proposed:

Well-level analysis of production volumes and/or emissions data from hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells in Alberta to derive new GHG emission factors and/or models to enable estimation of emissions on a per unit of production basis. This analysis should be sufficiently detailed to account for production decline rates specific to hydraulically fractured wells in Alberta/Canada. Newly derived results should be quantitatively compared with available published data or emission factors from recent studies in other jurisdictions where possible.

Experimental investigation of potential emissions associated with flaring at hydraulically fractured wells. Specific knowledge gaps to be investigated should include potential effects of entrained aerosols in the flare stream on criteria air contaminant (CAC) emissions during flowback operations. As this is likely to be an exploratory investigation, experiments should attempt to span a parametric range of conditions, and results should be designed to inform subsequent phase research sufficient to model and predict flare emissions associated with hydraulic fracturing operations in Canada.

Field measurements to quantify black carbon yields from operating flares. Acquired data should ideally include quantitative measurements of black carbon emission rates, flare gas flow rates, and flare gas composition. The objective of these measurements would be to acquire quantitative data suitable for assisting in the development of new emissions models for flare generated black carbon.

Experimental measurement of vapour emissions from fixed-roof liquid storage tanks typical of Canadian oil and gas production sites. The objectives of this activity will be to design and perform experiments to determine the importance of convective breathing loss emissions and assess the relevance and appropriateness of current models for predicting liquid storage tank emissions.


The Researcher will be available to teleconference with the PTAC designated project manager throughout the duration of the RFP process.


Measured data and derived results for the four main activities identified above in the project scope

Status and progress reviews during scheduled teleconferences or face-to-face meetings with the Natural Resources Canada CanmetENERGY-Devon designated project manager

Interim technical reports detailing progress achieved relative to proposed major project milestones

Final technical report and presentation


The applicant will indicate the cash budget and any other resources required to complete the project.


Contractor shall indemnify, save and hold harmless, and defend at its own expense, PTAC, from and against all suits, claims, demands and liability of any nature and kind, including their cost and expenses, arising out of the actions or omissions of Contractor or its personnel.


October 16, 2015 RFP issued

October 30, 2015 Deadline for receipt of Full Proposals by PTAC to Lorie Frei at [email protected]

November 15, 2015 Selection of the best value proposal by the PTAC review committee


The requested full proposal should contain a detailed project description, budget and schedule which would be used as the basis of a contract. Applications must be delivered electronically to PTAC by the deadline stated above and should include the following elements:

Project / work plan overview

Project Activities and Tasks

Overall Timeline not to extend beyond March 31, 2017

Overall Budget (Max: $850K)

CVs of principle investigators

Any additional attachments such as literature references that the applicant may wish to include

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