Scientists study methane ‘hot spot’ sources

LYBROOK — As scientists continue their work tracking sources of atmospheric methane in the Four Corners region, the federal government continues to formulate new rules intended to reduce oil and gas industry emissions.

The U.S. Electricity and magnetism physics Environmental Protection Agency — which is proposing new rules to better regulate methane emissions — projects emissions from the oil and gas industry will increase as technology that includes horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing makes marginal operations like some of those in the San Juan Basin’s Mancos shale play economically feasible. X men electricity mutant The Bureau of Land Management is also working on a methane waste rule.

In an effort to address the problem of climate change, the Obama administration proposed cutting methane emissions from all U.S. Z gas el salvador precios oil and gas production by nearly half over the next decade. Gas pains or contractions The federal effort seeks to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 40 to 45 percent by 2025, compared to 2012 levels. Natural gas is 90 percent methane, a climate-warming pollutant 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time period.

After a 2014 report by NASA and the University of Michigan using European satellite imagery captured between 2003 and 2009 showing a large “hot spot” of atmospheric methane over the Four Corners, scientists started a project to better define the cloud’s sources. B games basketball The San Juan Basin has for many years been the largest producer of natural gas in New Mexico, which is the second leading producer of natural gas in the U.S .

Scientists from the University of Colorado, the University of Michigan, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA conducted research in April using aircraft and two vans outfitted with monitors and other technical equipment to record methane levels in the region with the goal of getting more detailed data.

Colm Sweeney, lead scientist for the NOAA Earth System Research Lab Aircraft Program, led the air campaign that involved sending five planes over the Four Corners region to conduct atmospheric measurements to track methane and other greenhouse gases.

Sweeney attended the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco and said there were “a few talks that showed some of the results of the work that we did.” He said the point of the meeting was to generate feedback from scientific peers, “not to broadcast the papers to the wider public.”

“We have not been surprised by anything we have found,” Sweeney said in an email responding to questions on the new study. Gas jet size chart “The multi-scale approach that we have taken will not only allow us to quantify methane on regional scales but hopefully point to specific processes responsible for the emissions. Electricity deregulation map We hope to have more results to share by May.”

Katy Human — spokeswoman for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES, at the University of Colorado at Boulder — said the air and ground study begun in April will produce a final study on atmospheric methane sources in the Four Corners region early next year. J gastrointest surg The report will be announced at an event yet to be scheduled in Durango, Colo., Human said.

Meanwhile, oil and gas operators in the San Juan Basin are pushing back against the proposed federal rules along with the implication that the industry is largely to blame for the high levels of atmospheric methane over the Four Corners region due to venting, flaring, leaks and other emissions sources.

Wally Drangmeister of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association said that the methane sources in the area are too numerous to lay blame squarely on oil and natural gas production.

Drangmeister listed area coal mines, gas refineries, landfills, naturally occurring coal bearing outcroppings, and agricultural operations like feedlots as a sampling of some of the many contributing sources to atmospheric methane.

“There are are natural sources, certain natural coal bed outcroppings on the edges of the basin, that certainly will play a role,” Drangmeister said. Electricity jokes puns “A great deal of agriculture, coal mining and oil and gas production do play a part. Grade 6 science electricity test It’s a very dynamic issue.”

Drangmeister said the industry is working to remedy any loss of methane into the air with technology such as green completion retrofits that include low- or no-bleed pneumatic devices.

“We’ve been reporting methane emissions to the EPA on a regular basis,” he said. A level physics electricity questions and answers “When you look at the actual releases the industry has done a really good job. Natural electricity examples The amount is not as high as what they are saying. Electricity lesson plans 4th grade The industry is actually trending down with the amount of methane that is being vented or flared even as natural gas and oil production is going up. We’re in the business of capturing methane. Wd gaster If there are issues, we want to know about it.”

One technological advance that may help operators better capture methane from leaky storage tanks at well facilities is being produced by an Albuquerque-based company called Quantigy Engineering.

Jason Libersky, Quantigy’s CEO and co-founder, put his data analysis and computational physics skills together and designed a vapor recovery unit, manufactured by Twin Stars Ltd. in Bloomfield. Z gastroenterol journal Libersky also created cloud-based software that oil and gas companies can use to monitor and analyze the amount of gas leaking or venting from the oil and gas equipment. Gas house dance hall Libersky said that while the basin’s more than 25,000 wells are “leaking just a little bit,” his product can significantly reduce methane releases and help operators make more money at the same time.

“With the regulatory component around (the issue), you’re killing two birds with one stone,” Libersky said as he showed a nearly completed WPX Energy oil well pad near Lybrook that had installed two twin VRU systems. B games unblocked “A lot of the wells in the San Juan (Basin) have been operating for 20, 30 or 50 years. Gas tax in ct Each well could have leaked millions of dollars over its lifetime.”

Libersky is currently testing a VRU for a single well pad. Electricity in costa rica for travelers He said there are about 400 of his large VRU systems in operation in the Permian Basin and 40 to 50 in the San Juan Basin.

WPX, a Tulsa-based oil and gas company that has increased its presence in the San Juan Basin in recent years, has sought to reduce venting and flaring times with new technologies designed to capture fugitive releases of methane.

Nica Hoshijo, a WPX senior environmental specialist, said that the the VRU systems the company uses achieve capture rates of 95 percent on average. Electricity word search answers That rate spells profits the company would otherwise allow to escape into the open air.

Hoshijo said that the company employs a full-time staff person to monitor leaks at well sites. Gas laws worksheet chapter 5 answers Armed with a $100,000 FLIR, or forward looking infrared, camera, the employee visits well pads and uses the camera imaging to detect leaks from thief hatches, loose valves or other sources to signal repair work when needed.

Based in Durango, Colo., Pete Dronkers of Earthworks said he has spent the majority of the year shooting video with his organization’s FLIR Camera to document the amount of methane released into the air from oil and gas operations in the San Juan Basin.