The oil and gas industry is adopting technologies for cleaner generators and the application of emission controls on diesel engines. Members of the industry are also switching from diesel engines to engines that operate on cleaner natural gas.
Modeling of Ozone Impacts of Oil and Gas Activities in the Uinta Basin
The phenomenon of wintertime smog at rural oil and gas sites in the Uinta Basin of Utah was the subject of the Uinta Basin Ozone Study (UBOS). With funding from the Western Energy Alliance, Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer of HARC conducted a modeling study of a 2013 ozone episode using the HARC microscale air quality model and a variety of observational measurements made at the Horsepool site (see accompanying photo) during the UBOS campaign. The conclusions drawn from the modeling study were as follows:
- Primary formaldehyde (HCHO) from oil and gas facilities and secondary nitrous acid (HONO) from snow surfaces may both play an important role in the cold ozone phenomenon in the Uinta Basin.
- Primary HCHO emissions in the Uinta Basin may be equivalent to the HCHO emissions of a large refinery.
- The flux of HONO from snow surfaces to air may be around 4.56 × 10-10 gs-1m-2.
With financial support from the Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer used the HARC microscale air quality model to assess the ozone impacts of oil and gas production facilities in the Eagle Ford Shale.
The Benzene and other Toxics Exposure (BEE‐TEX) Study is a field study of exposure to and source attribution of the air toxics: benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes (BTEX), as well as other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as formaldehyde and 1,3-butadiene.
HARC deployed a mobile laboratory equipped with a Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and a Proton Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometer (PTR-MS) to perform real time measurements of ambient concentrations of toxic volatile organic compounds in the vicinity of oil and gas sites located on a large private property in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.