The following is official video from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It reveals fugitive emissions from several Barnett Shale gas well sites.
Fugitive emissions occur at every stage of the natural gas production process.
- Production Fugitive Emissions
- Well Drilling, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Completions
- Natural Gas Processing
- Natural Gas Transmission Fugitives
Cost effective remedies are available to prevent fugitive emissions but Big Gas will not willingly use these remedies. Instead, they hide their dirty secret while peddling natural gas as a “bridge fuel” that is “clean-burning. “
The oil and gas industry has broad exemptions from our federal environmental laws that were enacted to protect public health and safety. A loophole in the Clean Air Act allows this kind of pollution to go unregulated.
Emissions from all oil and gas facilities must be aggregated under the Clean Air Act in order to ascertain the true hazardous effect on air quality.
A comment from Dr. Theo Colborn who viewed the videos when I was in Colorado recently:
The tanks you see in this picture can be found across the gas fields in the US. They look harmless as you drive by just like the other stationary equipment you see on well pads. Without an infrared camera, as in this case, that picks up the plume of the highly active volatile chemicals escaping from the tanks, no one would suspect that the tanks could possibly pose a public health problem. As natural gas extraction continues to increase, federal, state, and local public health authorities and regulatory agencies are unprepared to deal with the problem.
Theo Colborn, PhD
President, TEDX (The Endocrine Disruption Exchange)
PO Box 1407
Paonia, CO 81428
The following was taken from Emissions from Natural Gas Production in the Barnett Shale Area and Opportunities for Cost-Effective Improvements a report by: Al Armendariz, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Southern Methodist University
Barnett Shale area oil and gas production can emit pollutants to the atmosphere which contribute to ozone and fine particulate matter smog, are known toxic chemicals, or contribute to climate change.
A previous study published by the Gas Research Institute and U.S. EPA investigated fugitive emissions from the natural gas industry, including emissions from production wells, processing plants, transmission pipelines, storage facilities, and distribution lines.(15) Fugitive emissions of natural gas from the entire natural gas industry were estimated to be 1.4% of gross production.
There are significant opportunities available to improve local and regional air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by applying readily available methods to oil and gas production activities in the Barnett Shale.
The first in a three part series by Denton Record Chronicle staff writers, Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Lowell Brown
Denton County air at quality threshold
The American Lung Association grades Denton County air quality an “F,” identifying about 37.6 percent of the population — more than 230,000 people — as being most at risk on days with heavy smog.
About the camera used
From David Greer, TCEQ:
Question: Can you describe the type video camera that was used?
Answer: The camera is a FLIR GasFind IR camera. The infrared gas-imaging camera used by Leak Surveys, Inc., consists of a modified Indigo (FLIR/Indigo Systems Corp., Goleta CA) Merlin MID camera with a nominal spectra range of 1- 5.4 micrometers.
The spectral range is limited with the use of a notch filter specifically designed for the detection of hydrocarbon infrared adsorptions in the 3-micron region. The narrow bandpass range of the filter is less than the infrared spectral adsorption of gas phase hexane. The filter notch is positioned such that alkane gases have a significant response within the bandpass range.
Question: What exactly is that “stuff” that looks like smoke?
Answer: The GasFind IR camera technology offers a unique technological advancement in pollution detection capability, and has proved to be highly effective in the detection of hydrocarbon compounds. However, the camera does not quantify, nor does the camera speciate the compounds that are detected.