Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oil And Gas Production A Major Source Of Dallas-Fort Worth Smog

Date:
February 10, 2009
Source:
Southern Methodist University
Summary:
Emissions from approximately 10,000 oil and gas wells in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are significant contributors to regional smog, according to one engineer. But he advises there are strategies available now that can reduce these emissions.

The first comprehensive analysis of air emissions associated with natural gas and oil production in the Barnett Shale area finds that emissions can be a significant contributor to Dallas-Fort Worth smog formation, comparable to the combined emissions from all Metroplex cars and trucks.

In addition to emissions of smog-forming compounds, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC), the report also considers air toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases. Emissions of carbon dioxide and two other major greenhouse gases underlying climate change were estimated to be roughly equivalent to the impact from two 750 MW coal-fired power plants.

"It's true that Barnett Shale oil and gas activities are producing significant air emissions, but there's good news as well," Armendariz said. "There are off-the-shelf technologies that can greatly reduce these emissions and improve DFW Metroplex air quality."

Cost-effective control strategies are readily available and can substantially reduce emissions, according to experts. "These controls can in many cases, reduce costs for oil and gas operators after short payback periods," said Dr. Ramon Alvarez, senior scientist with Environmental Defense Fund, which commissioned the study. "Such controls are already used by some producers, but not universally."

The City of Fort Worth recently adopted an ordinance requiring the use of "green completions" to capture methane and VOC compounds during well completions, one of the controls recommended in the report.

Natural gas production in the Barnett Shale region of Texas has increased rapidly since 1999, with more than 10,000 wells currently installed. Twenty-one percent of natural gas production last year in Texas was from the Barnett Shale alone. Unlike most historical drilling for oil in Texas, this activity is taking place in and around a heavily developed and populated area, even in the shadow of downtown Fort Worth high-rise buildings.

Natural gas is a critical feedstock to many chemical production processes, and it has many environmental benefits over coal as a fuel for electricity generation, including lower emissions of sulfur, metal compounds, and carbon dioxide. Nevertheless, oil and gas production from the Barnett Shale area can impact local air quality and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to the Armendariz study.

The report examines each step of the gas production process, from well drilling and completion, to gas processing and transmission. It concludes that peak summertime emissions of smog-forming emissions from production activities in the Barnett Shale are about the same as the emissions from all the cars and trucks in the DFW Metroplex (307 tons per day vs. 273 tons per day, respectively).

"Emissions from Natural Gas Production in the Barnett Shale Area and Opportunities for Cost-Effective Improvements," was written by Dr. Al Armendariz of Southern Methodist University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Southern Methodist University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Southern Methodist University. "Oil And Gas Production A Major Source Of Dallas-Fort Worth Smog." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210162037.htm>.
Southern Methodist University. (2009, February 10). Oil And Gas Production A Major Source Of Dallas-Fort Worth Smog. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210162037.htm
Southern Methodist University. "Oil And Gas Production A Major Source Of Dallas-Fort Worth Smog." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210162037.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins