The TCEQ emissions inventory Phase 1 and 2 did not include preproduction emissions such as drilling, fracking and flowback….go figure. Arlington’s major gas producer, Chesapeake, presented a NOMAC (contracted driller) presentation at the 2012 AADE Technical Symposium on how much money and emissions they could save using electricity during the drilling phase. FINALLY I can verify one of the PRE-PRODUCTION emissions figures.
In this blog post I will concentrate on the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Of oXide/dioxide (NOX) figures that have eluded me over the last seven years that I’ve been studying urban drilling.
The Nomac presentation touted the electric drilling rig to eliminate emissions per well as follows…
63 tons of CO2 per well (4.2 tons of CO2 per rig per day x ave 15 days to drill each well) plus
4.6 tons of NOX per well
.2 tons of VOC per well
= 67.8 tons per well (of which 93% is CO2 which is bad for Climate Change).
The response I received from our Arlington gas drilling department was that we have always used electric rigs (info does not include state owned UTA leased padsite which our good city doesn’t inspect and our university doesn’t claim any carbon footprint on)…
—- Forwarded Message —–
From: Bridgett White <Bridgett.White@arlingtontx.gov>
To: ‘kim feil’ <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 3:27 PM
Subject: RE: how many gas well in Arlington and how many were drilled w/ electricity?
There are 291 wells; which were drilled with electric rigs. No operators have previously used that (hybrid diesel/NG) technology.
Bridgett White, AICP
Aside from Arlington who does not mandate electric rigs but claims the use of them, multiply 67.8 tons x about 18,000 Barnett Shale gas wells estimated at the end of 2013 thus far, and we have added about 1.2 million tons of pollution from diesel emissions just during the drilling phase.
The Barnett Shale breakdown of these 1.2 million tons is….
1,134,000 tons CO2
82,800 tons NOX (big time ozone reactor)
3,600 tons VOC’s
Now it took the last seven to ten years to drill about 18,000 wells here and if you look at the Barnett Shale 3,600 tons of VOC’s (just from the drilling phase), it seems low compared to what the Arlington General Motors plant reported to the TCEQ in 2011 at 557 VOC tons per year (tpy).
FYI GM’s VOC’s 557 tpy = 4,447 pounds per day (ppd) of Ozone before their painting expansion operation!
Sadly for our Entertainment District (downwind from GM), six & half years worth of GM’s VOC’s = all of the Barnett Shale drilling related VOC’s!
GM reported to have also emitted…
37 tpy of Carbon Monoxide equal to 271 ppd ozone and
56 tpy of NOX or 436 ppd ozone
GM also reported alot of particulates and some SO2…..
BUT but but but in contrast it would take GM 1,479 years to make the NOX our drilling phase made in the Barnett Shale thus far over the last decade!
Now this doesn’t even touch the other preproduction phases of natural gas (or oil) extraction such as fracking and flowback/production….and this doesn’t even touch the emissions of “post” production where the storage tanks sit venting 24/7… and also doesn’t include the workovers AND the daily losses during the waste water truck unloading at each site.
TCEQ must not really be serious about controlling OZONE and Climate Change or they would have been trying to better regulate the spewing drilling rig’s NOX and CO2 back in 2003 by mandating electric rigs. But Eagle Ridge says electric drilling rigs are dangerous for well controll issues in the event of rolling black outs.
FYI GM has about 22 gaswells and compressors on the plant property and the emissions reported to TCEQ do not include (nor do they have to report) the Chesapeake gas well emissions on their property being leased….but what about those emissions on our youth’s lungs and reproductive organs each time they are exposed when they breathe the Arlington air or when they are directly downwind while at Six Flags, Ranger Stadium, or the ATT Cowboys Stadium?