Eagle Ford tests role of operations in well site contamination events

By The Bakken Magazine Staff | September 16, 2016

Researchers have turned the Eagle Ford into their lab to test the probability of contamination events in and around well site areas developed through unconventional oil and gas processes. Chemists at the University of Texas at Arlington found that highly variable contamination events registered in and around unconventional oil and gas developments are the result of operational inefficiencies and not inherent to the extraction process itself.

According to the researchers, “variable contamination events, attributable in many cases to specific natural gas flaring units, condensation tanks, compressor units and hydrogen sulfide scavengers, indicate that mechanical inefficiencies, and not the inherent nature of the extraction process as a whole, result in the release [these] compounds into the environment.”

Kevin Schug, a UTA professor of analytical chemistry, said the results found by his team “suggest that air contamination events from fracking can be monitored, controlled and reduced.”

The researchers also noted that ambient compound emissions in and around the fracking sites were within the federally mandated acceptable limits for short-term exposure.

Schug also leads the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation lab. CLEAR is dedicated to the development of remediation technologies and best management practices to effectively handle and decrease the occurrence of contamination events.