From: kim feil <email@example.com>
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:16 AM
Subject: Request for updated info from these 2009 numbers for Barnett Shale
Because Marcellus Shale gas extraction is still in its infancy, there is little data available to examine
the effects of large-scale natural gas drilling on surrounding air quality. However, numerous studies
have been completed on the effects of natural gas extraction in the Barnett Shale region in Texas.
Barnett Shale gas extraction has already expanded rapidly, and as of March 3, 2009, there were a
total of 10,539 gas wells and 5,037 permitted wells in the Shale field.xvi
In comparing the two
geologic formations, Barnett Shale covers approximately 5,000 square miles,
xvii while Marcellus Shale
covers approximately 54,000 square miles.
The potential for drilling in Marcellus Shale far exceeds
that of Barnett Shale, and this should be taken into account when the air quality studies in the Barnett
Shale are examined. By sheer size difference alone, the speculative emissions from Marcellus
drilling could dwarf the measured emissions from Barnett within a decade.
A study conducted in the Barnett Shale area divided emissions sources from the oil and gas sector
into several point sources, including compressor engine exhausts and oil/condensate tanks, fugitive
and intermittent sources, including production equipment fugitives, well drilling, and fracing engines,
well completions, gas processing, and transmission fugitives. The pollutants fell into several
categories, including greenhouse gases, air toxic chemicals, and smog-forming compounds, such as
nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Based on the study, emissions of smog-forming compounds for 2009 from all oil and gas sources
were estimated at 191 tons per day (tpd) on an annual average, with peak summer emissions at 307
tpd. Of those total emissions during the summer, 165 tpd came from the 5-counties in the Dallas-Fort
Worth metropolitan area that have significant oil and gas production.
In comparison, state and federal regulators estimated emission inventories for 2009 from all airports
in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to be 16 tpd, and the emission estimates for the 9-county Dallas-Fort
Worth metropolitan area for on-road motor vehicles was 273 tpd. In the five counties of that area with
significant oil and gas production, the total on-road vehicle emissions was 121 tpd, meaning that the
oil and gas sector was providing greater emissions than cars and trucks in those counties.
Air toxic compounds, including benzene and formaldehyde, were predicted at 6 tpd on average, with
17 tpd during summer months, and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane were
predicted at 33,000 tpd of CO2 equivalent, as much as two 750 MW coal-fired power plants.xix
Although the high emissions in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in part come from a large
number of vehicles and other smog- and greenhouse-producing gases in the area, it should be noted
that beginning in 2002, the rural Denton County air testing site has maintained the highest
concentrations of total non-methane organic carbon concentrations every year.xx
A study conducted in the town of DISH, Texas (located in Denton County) tested for volatile organic
compounds, hazardous air pollutants, and Tentatively Identified Compounds on multiple locations.
The results confirmed the presence of multiple “Recognized and Suspected Human Carcinogens in
fugitive air emissions” at several locations throughout the town. As the study states, the chemicals
identified are known ingredients used within natural gas industrial processes, such as exploration,
drilling, flaring, and compression. Laboratory results confirmed levels of toxins in excess of the Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality’s Short Term and Long Term Effects Screening Levels.
Several locations confirmed high levels of a chemical that is categorized with the capability for
As numerous studies have already confirmed, drilling activity in the Barnett Shale has increased the
emissions levels of several known carcinogens, volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases, and
smog-producing components. Various practices involved with hydraulic fracturing, as well as
emissions from the machinery used, have been the source for rapid degradation of air quality in areas
where gas drilling is occurring”.