Spatial and temporal emissions variability from upstream and midstream sources in the Eagle Ford Oil and Gas production region
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Production of natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil in the US has increased over the last 10 years. The increase is attributed to the development of two complementary technologies: directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing. However, the new energy development also expanded environmental impacts, including methane emissions, which drive radiative forcing of the atmosphere and global warming. Extensive measurements of methane emissions have been conducted over the past five years, and this work synthesizes this new information to create a comprehensive, spatially and temporally resolved inventory of methane and light hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas production, using the Eagle Ford Shale production region as a case study. The inventory includes emissions of methane, ethane, propane, and butane from 12 emission sources (chemical injection pumps, compression systems, dehydrators, pneumatic controllers, liquid unloading, completion flow backs (pre-production), super-emitter sources, condensate flashing, water flashing, equipment leaks, processing plants, and compression stations). Total estimated methane emission are 64,002 kg/hr (95% CI: 58,380 kg/hr – 71,730 kg/hr), which constitute 1.2% of the methane produced in the region. The main contributors are flashing from condensate tanks, pneumatic controllers and mid-stream sources.