I was in the Eagle Ford Shale this past weekend with Wilma Subra and a Denton resident. Already the air is dense with ground level ozone. Here’s a little video that I took of Marathon Oil flaring the Dubose Lease.
The air in sparsely populated South Texas is looking more like the air in North Texas lately. I’ll have more video and photos later.
Remember, natural gas is making our air cleaner <-cough, cough->
Flaring from the Oil and Gas Accountability Project
Flaring is the practice of burning gas that is deemed uneconomical to collect and sell. Flaring is also used to burn gases that would otherwise present a safety problem. It is common to flare natural gas that contains hydrogen sulfide (i.e., sour gas), in order to convert the highly toxic hydrogen sulfide gas into less toxic compounds.
Flares emit a host of air pollutants, depending on the chemical composition of the gas being burned and the efficiency and temperature of the flare. Flaring results in hydrogen sulfide emissions if hydrogen sulfide is present in large enough amounts in the natural gas. There may also be additional by-products formed if some of the chemicals used during the drilling or hydraulic fracturing process are converted to a gaseous form and are burned along with the natural gas.
The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, in California has estimated that the following air pollutants may be released from natural gas flares: benzene, formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, including naphthalene), acetaldehyde, acrolein, propylene, toluene, xylenes, ethyl benzene and hexane. Researchers in Canada have measured more than 60 air pollutants downwind of natural gas flares.
Flaring should not emit black smoke like you see in the video.