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View Diary: Contemplations on a Randomly Selected Natural Gas Production Well Pad, Uintah Basin, UT (31 comments)

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  •  6000 present wells (1+ / 0-)
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    in the Uintah (is it actually "Uinta"?) basin according to this source....

    (60 tons CH4/hr)*(2000 lbs/ton)
    ------------                                        = 20 lbs/hr per pad
    6000 well pads with multiple sources

    •  This assumes that everything comes from the pads, (0+ / 0-)

      except that won't be the case as some methane will come from fugitive emissions from compressors and other collection and gas processing equipment in the basin.

    •  Holy smokes (1+ / 0-)
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      That's a crapload. I know the equipment is noisy, but you should be able to hear that leak. Of course most of it is probably coming out of the ground around the wellhead.

      •  I think most of it is probably coming from (1+ / 0-)
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        uncontrolled atmospheric condensate tank vents rather than caseing wellheads.

        •  Pressure relief vents? (0+ / 0-)

          Like on a liquid nitrogen tank?

          •  As near as I can tell most condensate tanks (0+ / 0-)

            are not operated as pressure vessels, and there isn't anything like a nitrogen blanketing system either at these natural gas production well pads.  

            They are likely simple storage tanks operated with uncontrolled tank headspace vents on top that don't have ruptured disks and that do allow uncontrolled atmospheric discharges of tank breathing and displacement well as losses of methane from unstable liquids received from the casing wellhead through the knock-out pot.

            •  Are they really allowed to do that? (1+ / 0-)
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              It pays to be writing your own regulations.

              •  When it comes to Clean Air Regulation (0+ / 0-)

                Utah is like Chinatown, Jack...

                Utah has rules that say a source of 5 tons of VOC must have a Notice of Intent (what Utahans call an air discharge permit application) in order to get a Utah "Approval Order" -- what an air discharge permit is in Utah.

                Utah also has rules saying that all emission sources subject to the permit requirement are also subject to best available control technology.

                The reason why Utah is like Chinatown is that UDEQ-DAQ does not enforce some of its own requirements or regulated parties chose willful ignorance and withholding of information as their method of emission rule compliance demonstration.

                Most likely, UDEQ-DAQ is either not enforcing the NOI requirement, not requiring regulated parties to determine and demonstrate they are in compliance, or they are not enforcing the BACT Rule.

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