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Environmental Regulations in the Oil and Gas Industry: Colorado at the Forefront

by | Jul 9, 2014 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation

Laura Schafer

Laura Schafer

VP/GM Pervasive Sensing, Measurement Solutions

Recently, public attention has turned to regulating greenhouse gas emissions, specifically in the oil and gas industry. Among all of the states, Colorado has been the leader in passing regulations.

Colorado’s New Regulations

Emissions regulation in the oil and gas industry has come under intense public and government scrutiny of late. While the EPA has taken steps to limit oil and gas associated emissions under Quad O, some states have taken emissions regulation a step further. Earlier this year, Colorado passed some of the strictest rules regarding emissions the nation has ever seen. Some of the largest oil and gas producers in the state worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to help craft the regulations in Colorado, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC), Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) and Encana Corp. (ECA) (source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-24/colorado-first-state-to-clamp-down-on-fracking-methane-pollution.html) .

These regulations, Numbers 3, 6 & 7 became effective on April 14, 2014. These regulations limit methane emissions from oil and gas operations and require oil and gas companies to find and fix methane leaks (source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/colorado-first-state-to-limit-methane-pollution-from-oil-and-gas-wells/). These regulations also require oil and gas companies to “install technology that captures 95 percent of emissions of both volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which cause air pollution, and methane” (source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/colorado-first-state-to-limit-methane-pollution-from-oil-and-gas-wells/).

Never before has methane been regulated in this way for the oil and gas industry, and many producers are now considering what impact these environmental protections have on their business.

How is Emerson helping?

Emerson is helping oil and gas companies meet both state and EPA regulations through process improvement identification and emission source diagnosis with low pressure gas stream measurements. Additionally, Emerson customers are able to leverage the wider portfolio to address emissions concerns, including electrical actuators to eliminate valve associated emissions, reliable level control to reduce gas carry-under and vapor recovery units to return low pressure gas streams to sales.

For more information on Emerson in the oil and gas industry check out our dedicated oil & gas industry page.

Or check out some case studies and see how we can help you:

Costs of Green House Gas compliance cut by half with Emerson measurement solutions

Greenhouse Gas Compliance at a major SE USA Gas and Electricity Utility

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.