Stewardship Series: Keeping Oklahoma’s Air Clean - 1/14/2015
Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry is committed to employing the best environmental practices possible, in order to protect Oklahoma’s natural resources. Keeping Oklahoma’s air clean is one area in which the industry goes above and beyond what is necessary to continue to make Oklahoma a great place to live, work and play.
The industry follows highly rigorous emissions standards, and consistently employs new green technologies. Many producers and operators are minimizing their environmental impact even further by voluntarily participating in programs such as the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR Program, which is meant to reduce emissions even further.
Their efforts are paying off. According to the EPA, energy-related CO2 emissions are at a twenty-year low.
Some of the ways the industry protects our air is with low-and no-bleed valves. By using these types of valves, methane emissions are reduced by about 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – that’s the equivalent of taking nine cars off the road.
Green completion methods are also used. This technique captures methane emissions and other volatile organic compounds before they are released into the air, reducing emissions by up to 95 percent. What is captured can be collected in pipelines and then sold. Vapor recovery units also collect vented methane and hydrocarbons when oil is stored in tanks at or near a well site.
Many different factors have contributed to the reduction in carbon emissions, but perhaps none so much as the major switch to natural gas as a main source for electricity generation. Natural gas emits 45 percent less carbon dioxide on an energy–equivalent basis than coal, and it’s more abundant than ever before. New drilling and completion technologies are making natural gas increasingly accessible, all while producers deploy new techniques to minimize their environmental footprint.
For more information about how Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry is protecting our environment, visit www.OERB.com and click on Environmental Stewardship.