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

The Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) is leading a new effort to improve estimates of the speciation of organic compound emissions from Uinta Basin oil and gas wells. This effort will entail collection and analysis of pressurized gas and liquid samples from oil and gas well separators, as well as data processing and analysis. Alliance Source Testing (AST) & Utah State University (USU) will work with UDAQ in this effort in the following ways:


  1. Collect pressurized liquid and raw gas samples from the separator at 70 oil and gas wells and analyze for C1 to C10 and BTEX using gas chromatography.
  2. Simulate flashing the pressurized liquid sample to the ambient tank temperature and pressure, and obtain the gas-oil ratio, API gravity, Reid vapor pressure, and the composition of the simulated flash gas using VMG software.


  1. Collect pressurized liquid samples from ten oil and gas wells and analyze the concentrations of a suite of carbonyl compounds in flash gas (i.e., gas emitted when liquid petroleum samples are depressurized) emitted from those samples.
  2. Receive, process, and distribute organic compound composition data from commercial laboratories.
  3. Use composition data to develop speciation profiles that can be used in air quality modeling.
  4. Coordinate this project with direct organic compound emissions measurements that will be carried out with separate funding from UDAQ (as part of the ULend program) and the Utah Legislature, and conduct a comparison of results from the two studies, as well as other relevant available datasets.