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Composition of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Oil and Gas Wells in the Uinta Basin

  • Principal Investigators: Mike Pearson (AST), Seth Lyman (USU), Trang Tran (USU)
  • Funded for: $30,358
  • Study Period: 7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019
  • DAQ Contact: Lexie Wilson

Summary

The Uinta Basin Composition Study was designed to gain a better understanding of the chemical components that make up air emissions from oil and gas production facilities. Oil and gas emissions contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are precursors to ozone.

The study included an extensive sampling campaign from 78 oil and gas wells across the Uinta Basin, in which pressurized liquids and raw gas samples were collected from the separator at each facility. These samples were then analyzed by gas chromatography to describe the different hydrocarbons present in each gas sample, and some samples were also analyzed for carbonyls.

Several sample collection and analysis methods were tested against one another to determine best practices when working with heavy crude from the Uinta Basin. The results include four profiles describing the composition of: i) flashed gas from oil wells, ii) flashed gas from gas wells, iii) raw gas from oil wells, and iv) raw gas from gas wells in the Uinta Basin. The two remaining profiles describe flashed gas from oil and gas wells including carbonyls. The speciation profiles developed in this study will have an impact on photochemical modeling exercises, the triennial oil and gas emissions inventory, and oil and gas permit application processes.