These days, especially here in the Front Range of Colorado, reducing emissions is front and center for oil and gas operators and regulators alike. In the past, many operators understandably turned to flaring or combusting these tank vapors as a way to reduce VOC emissions. Unfortunately, the Law of Unintended Consequences weighed in. Combustion generates NOx, which, when combined with VOCs and sunshine, generates ground level ozone; the bad kind. That’s the gray matter in our skies that too often hides the mountains from view.
Today, we’d like to highlight one of our member companies, EcoVapor, which was founded back in 2009 to capture tank vapors from single, vertical wells. The first units they designed and built could capture only 17 MCFD, or 17,000 standard cubic feet of natural gas per day. Today, the Shale Revolution has changed everything and EcoVapor now builds single units that can handle 1,200 MCFD and can be ganged together to process almost 10,000 MCFD.
The original value proposition of the company was to capture and process the gas for sale as an additional revenue stream for the well operator, along with lowering tank pressures for a safer operation. That’s still in place, but controlling emissions is what’s resonating with operators, and for good reason.
The current EPA limit for ozone is 70 parts per billion. Unfortunately, the Denver Metro Front Range is exceeding that standard too frequently, which may cause the EPA to reclassify this area as “Severe Non-Attainment” and negatively impact oil and gas development.
EcoVapor’s new ZerO2 units are designed to condition tank flash gas so that it can be sold instead of being flared. That reduces both VOC and NOx emissions and generates a positive revenue stream from what used to be effectively thrown away.
The oil and gas industry is doing many good things to reduce emissions including a recent program to plug out old, vertical wells that are no longer being produced. In the last 12 months, over 1,100 wells have been plugged resulting in emission reductions of:
· 2,843 tons per year (TPY) of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions,
· 25 TPY of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions, and
· 116 TPY of Carbon Monoxide (CO) emissions.
These reductions were equivalent to taking 208,000 cars off Colorado’s roads. That is significant.
For comparison, EcoVapor has installed several units of two different types of their proprietary capture systems for a large D-J (Denver-Julesburg Basin) operator on a total of nine sites. Those units will reduce emissions by approximately:
· 1,100 TPY VOC, (compare to 2,843)
· 104 TPY NOx, (compare to 25)
· 480 TPY CO. (compare to 116)
The CO reductions from those nine sites equates to about 860,000 cars. 400% more impact from less than 1% of the wells.
EcoVapor was founded in Colorado and has “grown up” here. CCIA is proud to have EcoVapor as a strong and solid member company, and it’s our pleasure to report on their successes.
For more information, please check out EcoVapor Recovery Systems.