Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 9, 2015
Three zeroes stand out in the first annual performance report by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), the oil and natural gas industry-led initiative to promote continuous offshore safety improvement following the 2010 Macondo incident: Zero fatalities, zero loss-of-well-control incidents and zero oil spills equal to or greater than 10,000 gallons in Gulf of Mexico operations.
Posted December 9, 2014
New research by the University of Texas shows what other studies have shown: methane emissions from natural gas production are lower than previously estimated. The UT study found that emissions represent just 0.38 percent of production – about 10 percent lower than a 2013 study by the same research team.
The UT study checked two sources of methane emissions in natural gas production: processes to clear wells of accumulated liquids to increase production, called liquid unloadings; and pneumatic controller devices that open and close valves.
The study found that just 19 percent of pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of emissions from that equipment, and that just 20 percent of wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 85 percent of those emissions. David Allen, the study’s principal investigator:
“To put this in perspective, over the past several decades, 10 percent of the cars on the road have been responsible for the majority of automotive exhaust pollution. Similarly, a small group of sources within these two categories are responsible for the vast majority of pneumatic and unloading emissions at natural gas production sites.”
The results suggest that technologies and practices already in use by industry – voluntary efforts and those to comply with federal green completions rules that become standard in January – are working to reduce methane leaks.
Posted November 26, 2014
The New York Times has an editorial urging Washington to regulate emissions of methane – no surprise as “The Gray Lady” has to uphold her “green” bonafides. But methane as an “overlooked” greenhouse gas, as the editorial’s headline states? Hardly.
While the Times may have just discovered methane, industry has been working to reduce emissions – and is succeeding, at a rate that casts doubt on the need for a new federal regulatory layer.
Posted July 9, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing is a proven, safe technique that has been used since 1949 in over one million wells right here in the U.S. As a result, America is now the number one producer of natural gas in the world, and by 2015, it is expected that we will take the top spot in crude oil production. Of course, with this success, come both benefits and challenges.
Posted November 11, 2013
The oil and natural gas industry supports safe and responsible energy development of America’s shale reserves. Three recent news reports underscore the time, innovation and energy various companies are investing in reducing surface impacts while protecting water supplies and air quality.
The Greeley (CO) Tribune reports on environmentally friendly measures companies are using in energy-rich Weld County. These include:
- Recycling water – Water produced during hydraulic fracturing is being captured and recycled, helping reduce water needs for future fracking jobs.
- Water supply – Companies are piping water into sites where hydraulic fracturing is being used to reduce the need for water supplied by trucks, also reducing traffic.
Posted June 11, 2012