The findings of a recent study has pointed out that the gas emissions from the Bakken are having an adverse impact on the environment, at the global level. The research team identified that the Bakken emits about 2 percent of the globe’s ethane emission levels, or roughly 250,000 tons of ethane every year. Some fugitive gas emissions can be fixed easily, with timely repair and maintenance of equipment. Read this article to learn about the efforts involved in controlling Bakken gas emissions.
Infrared Camera Used To Detect Gas Emissions From Well Sites In The Bakken
Gas emissions that were previously invisible to the naked eye will now be visible with the help of new technology. The North Dakota Department of Health has started using an infrared camera, which makes it possible to detect gases including methane and ethane. Health regulators are using new technology in an effort to identify and fix leaks.
Amy Dalrymple said in a recent article:
“Gas emissions from the Bakken are having a global impact on the atmosphere, a recent study found, but health regulators say new technology they’re using to inspect oilfield sites should lead to a dramatic improvement.
The North Dakota Department of Health recently began using a $100,000 camera that uses infrared technology to detect methane, ethane and other emissions that leak from well sites.”
Some oil and gas companies are investing in these infrared cameras before the EPA issues new regulations regarding the monitoring and fixing of these leaks.
Easy Solutions Can Go A Long Way In Plugging Fugitive Gas Emissions From The Bakken
Sometimes, all it takes are simple solutions to plug the leakage. The thermal camera is a useful tool in detecting leaks. Fixing the leakage can take simple steps like closing a tank hatch or a valve. Repair and maintenance of equipment can go a long way in fixing the leaks that can prevent gas emissions from getting out of hand.
Patrick C. Miller said in a recent article:
“From NCS’s experience, using a thermal camera has helped the oil and gas industry better understand what it can do to detect and correct leaking gases….
Sometimes the solution is as easy as remembering to properly close a tank hatch or a valve. Other times, it’s a stuck relief valve or a dried out seal that’s cracked and leaking. A line that’s not draining properly or a flare that’s not lit can lead to gas emissions.”
This is why it is essential for oil and gas operators to monitor the gas leaks at regular intervals and use advanced gas monitoring instruments to identify and fix leaks at the earliest.
The reason why gas emissions from the Bakken need to be controlled is because the natural gas produced in the Bakken is a ‘wet’ gas. It contains natural gas liquids like propane, butane and ethane, which if not separated can wreak havoc on the atmosphere. Malfunction in flares can lead to the release of large amounts of gas into the atmosphere.