The term facility is used to describe a number of different pieces of equipment used for producing, processing or transporting oil and natural gas.
Facility equipment can be used in the treatment, processing and sometimes storage of disposal fluids. Equipment is used for testing and measuring gas, adjusting the temperature and pressure of produced fluids, reducing water content and removing particulates. These steps help prevent corrosion and erosion and potential damage to other equipment further in the process.
Facilities are defined in the Oil and Gas Activities Act as: a system of vessels, piping, valves, tanks and other equipment that are used to gather, process, measure, store or dispose of petroleum, natural gas or water.
Types of facilities and their definitions:
Battery site: A system of tanks or other surface equipment used to receive the effluents of one or more wells before it is delivered to market or for other disposition. It may include equipment used to separate and measure the effluents.
Compressor dehydrator: A facility that includes natural gas compression equipment and dehydration equipment for one or more wells.
Compressor station: Equipment used to compress natural gas to a higher pressure to increase the rate of production and send the gas into a pipeline system for further processing or to market.
Disposal station: A facility that includes equipment to handle oil and gas waste. The equipment may include, but is not limited to the treatment, recovery, storage or disposal of drilling or completions waste, well fracture returns/flowback and acid gas from a processing plant.
Gas dehydrator: Facility equipment used to remove water vapour from gas. Dehydration of natural gas is needed to prevent the formation of gas hydrates and reduce corrosion. Molecular sieve and glycol regenerative systems both fit within this definition.
Gas processing plant: A facility used to extract the following from natural gas: hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, helium, ethane, natural gas liquids or other substances.
This definition does not include facilities that use:
- low-volume fuel gas exclusively for processing;
- a regenerative system for the removal of hydrogen sulphide or carbon dioxide and emits less than 2 tonnes/day of sulphur;
- a liquid extraction process such as refrigeration to extract hydrocarbon liquids from a gas stream;
- a non-regenerative system for the removal of hydrogen sulphide or carbon dioxide.
Gas sales meter: A natural gas metering station is used to measure the volume and composition of natural gas transported through a pipeline. A gas sales meter can be a separate facility located on its own site or it can be located on an existing facility site such as a gas plant or compressor dehydrator site.
Injection station: A facility that includes gas compression or fluid pumping equipment to enhance production by injecting the gas or fluid into the underground reservoirs.
Oil sales meter: A facility where oil or hydrocarbon liquid is metered. It typically includes pumping equipment, such as a Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) unit, to measure the net volume and quality of liquid hydrocarbons. An oil sales meter can be a separate facility located on its own site or it can be located on an existing facility site such as a gas processing plant or battery.
Processing battery: A battery where additional equipment is added to process the oil or solution gas. This includes compression, gas dehydration, injection, or disposal equipment, but not gas processing equipment.
Satellite battery: A facility for testing oil wells which typically includes a test separator with no oil storage.
Tank terminal: A facility where produced water or produced hydrocarbons are delivered to or from the facility by either truck, rail or pipeline. Equipment includes fluid storage tanks or pumping equipment, or both.
Water hub: A facility where produced water or well fracture flow back is stored and used in completions operations on multiple wells or for a multi-well pad. Storage includes above ground tanks, open top containers, or excavated ponds. Associated equipment may include storage tanks, generators, pumps, piping, meters and filters.
Further definition for a water hub can be found on page 44 of the BC Oil and Gas Commission’s Glossary.
Well facility: Equipment at a stationary source directly associated with one or more wells that may include flow lines, effluent meters, test separators, sand separators, emergency shut down valves or pressure control valves. It can also include production tanks and flare systems.
Pump station: Pumping equipment used to transport hydrocarbon liquid in a major pipeline (oil or natural gas liquids), or a facility that is used to pump fresh water from a major water source.
The Definitions in the Drilling and Production Regulation outline:
“facility” does not include the following:
(a) a processing facility within the meaning of the Oil and Gas Processing Facility Regulation;
(b) an LNG facility within the meaning of the Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulation;