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Leaking Money

Leaking Money

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Published by raymond_crawford

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Published by: raymond_crawford on May 25, 2011
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05/25/2011

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Leaking Money
Potential Revenues from Reductionof Natural Gas and Condensate Emissionsin North Central Texas
Melanie Sattler, Ph.D., P.E.May 2011
Downwinders at Risk Education Fund 
 
 
About the Author
-
 
Dr. Melanie Sattler has over 15 years of professionalexperience with air quality issues, including experience in consulting, academia, andgovernment. She has published 50 peer-reviewed conference proceeding papers and journal articles related to air quality and other aspects of environmental engineering.Dr. Sattler earned her Ph.D. in environmental engineering, with a focus on air quality,from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a registered professional engineer in theState of Texas.Founded in 1995, the Downwinders at Risk Education Fund is dedicated to researchand public outreach on issues of public health, air pollution and the environment.
PO Box 763844 Dallas TX 75376972-230-3185 info@downwindersatrisk.org
 
 
SUMMARYThe objective of this study was to estimate the amount of money that the natural gas industry in theDallas-Fort Worth 9-county ozone non-attainment area could earn by reducing emissions of natural gasand condensate that currently escape into the atmosphere. Natural gas prevented from leaking could
be sold as fuel. Recovered condensate can be used as a chemical feedstock or rened into gasoline and
other products. Reducing such emissions would be a win-win: increased revenues for the natural gasindustry, and lower ozone-forming volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions for the citizens of North Central Texas.This study considered emissionsfrom the following natural gassources:
• Gas fugitivesGas well completionsGas well blowdowns• Pneumatic devices• Condensate tanks• Condensate loading.
VOC emission estimates for eachof the above categories for 2012were provided by the TexasCommission on EnvironmentalQuality (TCEQ). Methane andethane emissions, which also havecommercial value, were estimatedby multiplying the VOC emissionestimates by the ratio of the weightpercent of methane or ethane innatural gas or condensate to theweight percent of VOCs.
Signicant conclusions include the following:By installing equipment to recover natural gas and condensate emissions in North Central
Texas, natural gas companies could earn up to
$51.9 million a year
in new revenues, andat the same time reduce VOC emissions.
Emissions from pneumatic devices account for the largest percent of emissions with economicvalue (70%), and thus should be targeted rst. Addressing the “low-hanging fruit” of pneumatic
devices could save up to $35 million in the current 9-county non-attainment region plus WiseCounty, and
reduce VOC emissions by 71 tons per year (tpy).
Technology for reducing emissions from pneumatic devices has already been successfullydemonstrated by many companies in the eld.
Most retrot investments pay forthemselves in little over a year, and replacements in as little as 6 months.
 An image captured from a Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality lm using an infrared cam
-era. The black plumes are Volatile Organic Com-
 pounds escaping from a Barnett Shale gas eld tank 
battery. These plumes are normally invisible to thenaked eye.Capturing this pollution instead of allowing itsrelease into the atmosphere could bring millions in
new prots to gas eld owners, shareholders and
mineral rights property owners.
Leaking Money
 
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