Regulamentações de emissões para motores a diesel usados em atividades de petróleo e gás upstream

Emission regulations for diesel engines used in upstream oil and gas activities

Rapid progression of emission regulations in recent years, combined with regulatory variations across geographies made it more challenging to understand how these evolving regulations apply to engines used in the oil and gas industry. 

Este artigo descreve duas regulamentações principais de emissão de escapamento focadas em motores a diesel frequentemente usados em atividades de petróleo e gás a montante. These are the diesel engines often used in equipment such as cementers, blenders, mixers, mud pumps and frac rigs you would see in upstream oil and gas activities.

Environmental Protections Agency’s (EPA) Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards

Most recently in the United States, the EPA's Tier 4 emission regulations have replaced the previous Tier 4 transitional, Tier 3 and Tier 2 regulations depending upon the engine range. For many of the upstream oil and gas activities, diesel engines now need to comply with the limits outlined in the EPA Nonroad Compression Ignition Exhaust Emission Standards.

The key focus of current Tier 4 emission standards, in comparison to Tier 3 and Tier 2, has been the reduction in nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). 

Por exemplo:

  • Diesel engines used in cementers, blenders, mixers and acidizing equipment often deliver 100 to 750 horsepower. These engines are required to comply with Tier 4 regulations since 2014 and 2015. These Tier 4 engines emit 90% less particulate matter than their Tier 3 versions. These engines also emit 85% less nitrous oxides compared to their Tier 3 versions.
  • Diesel engines used in frac rigs, electric power modules, mud pumps and some of the larger cementers and acidizing equipment often deliver over 750 horsepower. These engines were required to comply with Tier 4 regulations since 2015 and emit 85% less particulate matter than their Tier 2 versions. They also emit 45% less nitrous oxides compared to their Tier 2 versions.
Progression of EPA's Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards over the last two decades
Progression of EPA's Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards over the last two decades

With the most recent Tier 4 emission regulations, the U.S. EPA has also chosen to regulate the amount of sulfur within the diesel fuel used by these engines to 15 parts per million (ppm), a 97% decrease from the previous requirement of 500 ppm 

European Commission’s Non-road Mobile Machinery emission regulations

European Commission's Non-road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) emissions regulate many of the diesel and natural gas engines used in various upstream oil and gas activities. The European Commission, like the EPA, chose to focus on reducing the emission of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter with these regulations.

Stage V is the latest and the strictest tier of these regulations. Here are the key highlights of Stage V emissions with regards to upstream oil and gas applications:

European Commission's NRMM emission regulations drove dramatic decreases in the emission of harmful pollutants
European Commission's NRMM emission regulations drove dramatic decreases in the emission of harmful pollutants
  • Stage V diesel engines that produce a power output of 130 to 560 kW, often used within cementers, blenders and mixers, emit 40% less particulate matter in comparison to their Stage IV counterparts. They also emit over 90% less particulate matter and nitrous oxides in comparison to their Stage II counterparts.
  • Diesel engines that produce over 560 kW, often used in frac rigs, power modules, mud pumps and larger cementers, are also included in the scope of Stage V emissions. These engines' emissions were previously not regulated by Stage IV or Stage III regulations.
  • The other scope expansion introduced with Stage V is the inclusion of particle numbers for engines that produce 19 to 560 kW power. 

How are the EPA and European Commission’s engine emission regulations different?

The most recent emission regulations from the EPA and European Commission (EC) have many commonalities. They both focus on similar pollutants, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulate matter. They also have very similar target emission levels: 3.5 g/kW-hr of CO and 0.4 g/kW-hr of NOx emissions for larger high horsepower engines.

Comparison of emission requirements across selected exhaust emission regulations
Comparison of emission requirements across selected exhaust emission regulations

One key difference between the EPA and European Commission’s engine emission regulations is the particulate number introduced with Stage V by the European Commission; the EPA’s Tier 4 regulations don’t have the same criteria. 

There are several more regional and local emission regulations that could impact your oil and gas equipment. This article aimed to provide you the basics around the emission regulations; you can also reach out to your local Cummins partner to discuss emission topics specific to your location and application.

Inscreva-se abaixo para receber insights, atualizações e notícias periódicas relevantes sobre o setor de petróleo e gás. To learn more about oil and gas power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.



  1. Update of Engine Categories, Emission Rates and Speciation Profiles for Tier-4 Nonroad Compression Ignition Engines (December 2017). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [PDF file]. Retrieved from
  2. Non-Road mobile machinery emissions (September 2016). Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 of the European Parliament and of the Council [PDF file]. Retrieved from

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel é líder em marketing de conteúdo da Cummins Inc., com foco em mercados de sistemas de energia. A aytek ingressou na empresa em 2008. Desde então, ele trabalhou em várias funções de marketing e agora traz os aprendizados de nossos principais mercados, desde os mercados industriais até os residenciais. Aytek vive em Minneapolis, Minnesota, com sua esposa e dois filhos.

Equipe do SuperTruck II atinge 55% de eficiência térmica do freio, que nunca havia sido alcançada

DOE Cummins SuperTruck II

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently recognized the Cummins SuperTruck II team for pioneering research and development in heavy-duty diesel engine technology. This honor, which was presented to the team during the DoE's Annual Merit Review Conference, celebrates their achievement of 55% brake thermal efficiency (BTE) from an engine equipped with waste heat recovery, an important metric in the SuperTruck II program. The conference was held on June 21.

"Getting to 55% BTE was about optimally moving the needle in many areas. The interactions among the engine subsystems complicated defining how to operate each of these subsystems to reach the optimum engine performance. Achieving the final objective occurred with careful hardware selection and a month of optimization of the engine and Waste Heat Recovery systems at the test cell," said Jon Dickson, Cummins Principal Investigator for the SuperTruck II initiative. "There were a lot of people at Cummins that came together to make this happen, who never gave up even when we were down to the wire, and I'm thrilled to accept this award in recognition of their perseverance."

Cummins has been part of the DoE's SuperTruck initiative since it began in 2010 with the goal to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency. BTE quantifies the fraction of the fuel's chemical energy that is converted into useful work by the engine system, and acts as an important measurement of overall engine efficiency. As the SuperTruck II program progresses, the Cummins engine with 55% BTE will integrate into a Peterbilt truck to ultimately demonstrate improvement in freight efficiency.

"All of this invention did not happen solely during the SuperTruck II project—in fact, a lot of this work was set in motion with SuperTruck I," added Tim Shipp, Engine Performance Leader for the Cummins SuperTruck II team.

"The challenge of SuperTruck I allowed us those years to focus on improving efficiency, and Cummins hasn't stopped pressing forward since then. Everything we have learned ties so closely together, and reaching 55% BTE is the culmination of all that focused activity."

More than 200 Cummins employees supported the core SuperTruck team of 25 innovators, who inched toward the 55% BTE goal with incremental changes and improvements until finally, on a cold evening in January, they reached their goal.

Mr. Shipp adds, "When it was game time during those last months, the pressure was on to find the technology to push us to the finish line. That is where the team's persistence really came into play, but also the company's commitment to innovation. Without a real desire to deliver on this experiment from the team and company leadership, we never would have gotten there."

Cummins DOE SuperTruck I
Cummins and Peterbilt teamed together for SuperTruck I, pictured here, first demonstrating more than 50 percent BTE and analytically defining technologies needed to achieve 55 percent BTE. 

In his testimony to the United States Senate in March of this year, Cummins Vice Chairman Tony Satterthwaite confirmed the company’s commitment to developing the technologies of tomorrow, and the importance of industry and government partnerships such as SuperTruck. 

"The heavy-duty and non-road vehicle industry is undergoing significant change, and Cummins is leading the way by investing and innovating in a broad portfolio of power including advanced diesel, natural gas, hybridization, electrified power, fuel cell technology and alternative fuels -so our customers can have the right solution to get the job done," Satterthwaite said. "However, industry working alone will not get us where we need to be in a time frame that is feasible. Government supported innovation is needed to meet our global energy and environmental challenges."

When the technologies developed under the SuperTruck I initiative hit the market, they are projected to save 7.9 million gallons of diesel fuel per day and reduce CO2 emissions by 33% from the 2009 baseline. SuperTruck II demonstrates a further 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, doubling efficiency.

Daniel Mohr, System Integration Lead for the Cummins SuperTruck project, is excited to keep building on the team's success. "We set out to meet aggressive engine-level targets, but we will not meet all our goals simply by increasing engine efficiency; we need to think about investigating the use of low carbon fuels-- hydrogen, natural gas, and alcohols. This is our next focus."

Cummins’ quest for engine efficiency doesn’t end with 55% BTE.

"Greater engine efficiency is still feasible, and our work will continue toward that goal," said Dickson. "While we are all thrilled to celebrate this SuperTruck II achievement, we will continue to push ourselves to meet the needs of our customers and our planet."

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Os caminhões a gás natural da Califórnia tornaram-se negativos em carbono em 2020

Cummins Renewable Natural Gas - California

Vehicles in California powered by renewable natural gas (RNG) removed more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emitted for the first time in 2020, a direct result of the continued drop in carbon intensity of renewable natural gas. 

Adoption of RNG in trucks, buses and other vehicles grew 25% across the state from 2019 to 2020, and RNG use is up more than 170% in the past five years, according to new data from California's Air Resources Board (CARB). 

Meanwhile, the carbon intensity of natural gas derived from renewable sources continues to drop. RNG is increasingly made using methane captured from agricultural waste, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. By capturing gases that may otherwise be released into the atmosphere, RNG can even deliver sub-zero carbon emissions.

Ninety-two percent of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in California last year was renewable natural gas.  

"This verified data means California's trucks and buses leave a zero-carbon footprint while virtually eliminating criteria pollutant emissions that contribute to asthma, heart disease, and poor air quality,” said Dan Gage, President of NGVAmerica

In addition to their negative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ultra-low NOx natural gas engines perform at levels that are 95 percent below the federal nitrogen oxide (NOx) standard and 98 percent below the federal particulate matter (PM 2.5) standard. 

According to NGVAmerica, RNG used as a motor fuel in California in 2020 displaced 1.83 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). To put those numbers into perspective, California RNG motor fuel use:

  • lowered greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent amount generated by driving the average passenger car 4.6 billion miles
  • eliminated CO2 emissions, equal to 205.7 million gallons of gasoline consumed, or the energy use of 220,118 California homes in one year
  • sequestered the amount of carbon captured by 2.24 million acres of U.S. forests in one year 

The success of RNG in California is part of a broader trend happening across the United States. According to The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, 53% of all on-road natural gas fuel used in 2020 was RNG. Increased availability in RNG has led large nationwide fleets like UPS and Amazon to make significant investments in the number of natural gas powered trucks in their fleet.

Natural gas vehicles fit seamlessly into current transportation, people and goods movement models because they don’t require radical changes in vehicle technology, transportation infrastructure or support networks. 

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