Thursday, May 12, 2016

Update On Bakken Methane Emissions As EPA Gets Ready To Implement New Methane-Emission Rules -- May 12, 2016

For background to this next Dickinson Press story, see this months-old story over at FuelFix: EPA expands methane rules to all oil and gas wells.

Here's The Dickinson Press story:

The Bakken oil and gas field emits 275,000 tons of methane each year, says a new study.
The results of the study published Wednesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres found that the Bakken is leaking a lot of methane, but less than some satellites have reported.
According to wiki when asking the question, what gas is flared from oil wells?
Improperly operated flares may emit methane and other volatile organic compounds as well as sulfur dioxide and other sulfur compounds, which are known to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory problems.
Other emissions from improperly operated flares may include, aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, xylenes) and benzapyrene, which are known to be carcinogenic.
Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.
Flaring can affect wildlife by attracting birds and insects to the flame. Approximately 7,500 migrating songbirds were attracted to and killed by the flare at the liquefied natural gas terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on September 13, 2013.
Never mind eagle-killing wind farms. But I digress. Back to The Dickinson Press story.
Researchers found the emission rate was significantly less than estimates generated by satellites for the Bakken between 2006 and 2011. The rate of methane emissions also was less than scientists expected to find based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s inventory for petroleum systems, Peischl said.
There will be a lot of stories coming from Saudi-backed "news outlets" and websites regarding the new EPA rules, but the rules won't amount to a hill of beans for the Bakken. 

By the way, those aforementioned satellite photos of flaring in the Bakken were also hyped and manipulated.

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