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BLM Venting & Flaring Rule

Posted April 5, 2018

On-again, off-again Obama-era standards for methane emissions on public lands are off, again.  A federal court in Wyoming on April 4, 2018 halted core parts of the Bureau of Land Management’s methane venting and flaring rule, which had been fully revived by a different court six weeks ago.

Timeline of Rule:

  • NOVEMBER 2016 Obama administration finalizes BLM methane rule; industry groups and Western states file suit in Wyoming

  • JANUARY 2017 Wyoming district court declines to freeze rule

  • MAY 2017 Effort to kill methane rule via Congressional Review Act fails

  • JUNE 2017 BLM temporarily delays rule’s upcoming compliance deadlines, citing Administrative Procedure Act provision

  • JULY 2017 California, New Mexico and environmental groups sue over APA delay in California district court

  • AUGUST 2017 BLM unveils broad proposal to suspend rule until 2019

  • OCTOBER 2017 California court overturns APA delay

  • DECEMBER 2017 BLM finalizes broad suspension of rule until 2019; states and environmental groups file new suits in California

  • FEBRUARY 2018 BLM unveils “revision” proposal that would permanently erase key provisions; California court revives full Obama rule

  • APRIL 2018 Wyoming court agrees to stay implementation of the key provisions

Posted February 23, 2018

On Thursday February 22, 2018 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reversed Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) suspension of the Venting and Flaring rule.  According to BLM personnel the rule is now in effect. 


Requirements within this rule include:

  • Quad Oa for existing facilities that are located on BLM land (Quad Oa already is in place for new and modified BLM facilities)

  • Prohibits venting (except under certain circumstances)

  • Step down approach to flaring

  • Development of a waste minimization plan (plan for gas sales/disposition prior to drilling) this is a condition of approval of the APD

  • Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) for existing well sites and compressor stations (regardless of when the well was drilled or compressor station installed, if you are located on BLM land then you must do LDAR surveys either every 6 months or quarterly)

  • Pneumatic controller and pump replacement or minimized use

  • Storage vessel must emit less than 6 TPY of VOC

  • Minimize venting during well unloading including plunger lifts

  • Green completions – this is already required

If you have properties located on BLM land and do not have a plan,

call Scott Baber at 405-659-8115 or email,

we can help.

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