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View Diary: NOAA Investigation Finds Massive Methane Emissions from Utah Fracking: 6% to 12% Lost to Atmosphere (100 comments)

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    Note that conventional gas wells do not behave like wells "completed" by fracking. Fracking creates a huge wastewater problem that includes problems with gas emissions.

    After the hydraulic fracturing operation is completed, the well begins producing large amounts of process wastewater as flowback for a brief period.   This process wastewater comes from a well under pressure and as it is produced, the process wastewater will be an unstable will bubble and fizz with methane and other gaseous release when the wastewater is not longer maintained under typical pressures in operating wells.

    During the flowback period, the produced process wastewater and its dissolved methane must be addressed.  EPA national rules coming into effect will require gas collection for either flaring or marketiing rather than allowing uncontrolled release of methane from such operations to the atmosphere.   This is already an industry practice in many states.  

    Whether Utah presently allows uncontrolled release of methane and other VOCs/HAPs during high volume flowback periods, and whether Utah requires air emission controls on production tanks of natural gas liquids are issues that need clarification from Utah air pollution control and well drilling operational rules.

    I try to avoid making my writing so technical that a popular audience won't read it. You are technically correct, but I would have very few readers if I wrote my diary as technically as you have written this comment.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:19:16 AM PDT

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