Mercury in natural gas
By: Lionel Milberger
25 March 2012
It is known that mercury, in several possible forms, can and does exist in natural gas reservoirs and flow streams. (See bibliography below) Mercury is generally recognized as a pollutant for human habitation.
There is no known requirement for natural gas owners in Texas to conduct testing for mercury (so as to identify and quantify this material) and to make these results available for public scrutiny.
It is known that mercury, sourced in natural gas, can and does find its way into our environment, including our homes, the air, land and water. One such avenue to our water aquifers can be through leaks & seeps from underground sources (such as gas wells) and eventually into drinking water aquifers.
There should be a requirement for appropriate testing for mercury in the liquid or gas of all drilled wells (which can or will produce natural gas) and for that test results to be made public. Further study may show that down-hole sampling is appropriate to achieve this testing.
- Spiric, Zdravko. “Innovative Approach to the Mercury Control During Natural Gas Processing”, Proceedings of Engineering Technology Conference on Energy (ETCE) 2001, Paper number ETCE2001-17085.
- Smith, C., et.al., “Mercury, the Volatile Surprise in Gas Processing”, Paper #P2004.13, Gas Processors Association, presented at Annual Convention, New Orleans, La., March 2004.
- Carnell, P. & Openshaw, P., “Mercury Distribution in Gas Processing Plants”, Paper #P2004.12, presented at Annual Convention of Gas Processors Association, March 2004.
- Lewis, Larry, “Measurement of Mercury in Natural Gas Streams”, Gas Processors Association, 2006.
- Wongkasemjit, S. & Wasantakorn, A., “Laboratory Study of Corrosion Effects of Dimethyl-Mercury on Natural Gas Processing Equipment”, Journal Corrosion Science and Engineering, 1,12(1999).
- Ruddy, Tom & Goethe, Al., “State of Mercury Removal Technology”, presented at the Gas Processors 86th Convention, San Antonio, Tx., March 12, 2007.
- Jansen, Marcha & Foster, Andrea I, “Mercury Removal from Hydrocarbon Liquids”, Gas Processors Association, paper #2007.11.