Estimation of Air Emissions During Production Phase from Active Oil and Gas Wells in the Barnett Shale Basin: 2010-2013
Description: The Barnett shale basin, the largest onshore gas field in the state of Texas, mainly produces natural gas. The basin’s oil and gas productions have dramatically increased over the past two decades with the enhancement via shale fracturing (fracking) technology. However, recent studies suggest that air emissions from shale fracking have significantly contributed to the growing air pollution problem in North Texas. In this study, air emissions from the Barnett shale basin during the production phase of the oil and gas activities (once the product is collected from the wells) are quantified. Oil and gas production data were acquired from the Texas Railroad Commission for the baseline years of 2010 through 2013. Methodology from prior studies on shale basins approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was employed in this study and the emission inventories from the production phase sources were quantified. Accordingly, the counties with the most gas operations in the basin, Tarrant, Johnson, Denton and Wise, were found to be the highest emitters of air pollutants. Tarrant County was responsible for the highest emitted NOx (42,566 tons) and CO (17,698 tons) in the basin, while Montague County released the maximum VOC emissions (87,601 tons) during the study period. Amongst the concerned emitted pollutants, VOC was the largest emitted pollutant during the study period (417,804 tons), followed by NOx (126,691 tons) and CO (47,884 tons). Significant Sources of air emissions include: storage tanks, wellhead compressor engines, and pneumatic devices. Storage tanks and pneumatic devices contributed to about 62% and 28% of the total VOC emissions, respectively. Whereas, wellhead compressor engines are primarily responsible for about 97% of the total NOx emissions. Finally, in Tarrant, Wise and Denton counties, the emissions increased during the study period due to increase in the oil and gas production, while Johnson County’s emission ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Dohde, Farhan A.