Senator Davis issued a press release outlining some new safety measures and more accountability for drilling. The release went out last week and I’m just now getting a chance to post about it.
The new measures call for:
- A comprehensive inventory of equipment, pipelines and compressor stations – Well sites don’t require a TCEQ air permit unless they have sour gas. Since most of the gas in the Barnett Shale is sweet–this determination comes from industry so I remain skeptical–drillers aren’t required to get an air permit. Also, the compressor stations are permitted by rule so they often start operating before the PBR is issued
- Six new inspectors for the DFW region
- Standard protocols for inspections and an end to “Find it and Fix it.”
- Re evaluation of “Permit by rule” process
These are all needed improvements and a great step in the right direction. I would like to remind Senator Davis that Texas OGAP provided a best practices guide for legislators to use. Until these practices are in place, industry is still running rough-shod over Texans. Considering the number of permits being issued–20 to 30–each week in Tarrant county alone, a moratorium on new permits until Drill-Right Texas is fully implemented is not unreasonable.
I say “Bravo, Senator Davis!” Those are great first steps. Now, please keep going.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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SWEET, my butt. Look at the definition of sour gas PER TCEQ! It's a weight/unit volume measure–1.5 grains/100 cu.ft. So that depends upon what pressure the gas is at! Try to tell that to the WCEQ, they will not allow you to do that–been there, done that!
Could you explain that a little more? I know that the Barnett Shale does have H2S gas despite what they tell us.
Of course I can. All raw natural gas that I have ever hear of has some H2S in it. So, it's simple, if it has 1.5 grains/100 cu.ft. or more, then it is sour. PERIOD! If it has about 24 ppm H2S at STP then it is sour according to this definition. If this same gas is at an elevated pressure, say 1000 psi(in a pipeline as an example), then the ppm to define sour can be lower by a ratio of 14.7/1000. Now are you tired of this technical mumbo jumbo?
STP = Standard Temperature and Pressure. That's normal atmospheric conditions like in your home. Now there are technicalities like Standard temperature is about 72 deg. F.,+,- and Standard Pressure is about 1 Bar, +,- all depending on whose specifications you want to use. A lot of technical BS can follow if you wish; but, it will make you tired and bored.
Yeah, I don't get all that mumbo jumbo but I know we have H2S gas.
You bet you have it!! And the gas is "Sour as a crock of Texas pickels". Ha. Not quite as bad as Big Booger, I'll bet!
Yeah, and on top of all that, it's all over the heads of those politicians. We've had little or no help from them. And then there is the Crooked Court system–don't get me started on that topic. Where do we go for help?
We have to elect some people who will do our bidding rather than the corporations. We have a long row…
Sen. Davis really hits the nail on the head in this press release, in my opinion. First, it’s absolutely appalling that the state doesn’t have a comprehensive inventory of O&G facilities. No matter what you think about emissions, the state is losing out on money buy not permitting these facilities. Everybody likes money right?
The “Find it and Fix it” program which relied on gas drilling companies to voluntary repair problems is completely flawed in its philosophy. The root of the problem is that these facilities are actually not “broken”; but, that these facilities create emissions as a natural byproduct to gas production.
Which leads to another main point: a re-evaluation of the “Permit-by-Rule” (PBR) policy. This is a policy, according to the TCEQ website, had its’ named changed from an “Exception”; meaning an “Exception” to the standard permit rules. Within this policy the gas company is to submit an “estimation” of emissions from the facility. If this “estimation” shows that the facility will emit less that 25 tons per year, then the facility qualifies for the PBR; and the PBR is issued for a lifetime of operation. Naturally, the gas companies grossly underestimate to qualify for the PBR. I’ve heard that some of these facilities may actually be closer to emitting around 250 tons per year; similar to emission rates at some oil refineries!
Thanks Anonymous 6:03 PM. How true this PBR is a joke. But then I have pointed out in writing to the EPA that a gas plant which is permitted by rule(an exemption)is not legal under Subpart HH of the Federal Register because the plant is downstream of the point of custody transfer. And, no response from the EPA! So where do you go from here?
Torches and pitchforks works for me.