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Seep Tents Masters Project External Review Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Seep Tents Masters Project External Review Bren School of Environmental Science & Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Seep Tents Masters Project External Review Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

2 Group Members Group Project Manager—Erin Mayberry Group Project Manager—Erin Mayberry Secretary/Recorder—Wendy Stanford Secretary/Recorder—Wendy Stanford Treasurer—Farah Shamszadeh Treasurer—Farah Shamszadeh Data Manager—Ali Ger Data Manager—Ali Ger Client Contact—Misty Gonzales Client Contact—Misty Gonzales Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

3 Advisors Faculty Advisors: Faculty Advisors: Christopher Costello Christopher Costello Natalie Mahowald Natalie Mahowald Project Advisor: Project Advisor: Mel Willis Mel Willis Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

4 Background Natural gas and oil seep from the ocean floor in the Santa Barbara Channel Natural gas and oil seep from the ocean floor in the Santa Barbara Channel In 1982, ARCO installed 2 concrete and steel pyramids to capture the gas In 1982, ARCO installed 2 concrete and steel pyramids to capture the gas These are the only tents in the world These are the only tents in the world The tents are currently operated by Venoco, Inc. The tents are currently operated by Venoco, Inc. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

5 Background Gas emitted is mostly methane Gas emitted is mostly methane The seeps are considered a natural source of air pollution in the county The seeps are considered a natural source of air pollution in the county The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District is exploring additional seep tents as a method to reduce methane emissions The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District is exploring additional seep tents as a method to reduce methane emissions Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

6 Problem Statement Is it environmentally advantageous to install additional seep tents to capture naturally released hydrocarbons? Is it environmentally advantageous to install additional seep tents to capture naturally released hydrocarbons? Further, is it economically and legally feasible to install additional seep tents? Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

7 Critical Assumptions: study area Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Area studied by the UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps Research Group Maps courtesy of the UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps Project

8 Critical Assumptions: study area Water quality impact area Water quality impact area Same area as geologic study Same area as geologic study Air quality and health impact area Air quality and health impact area Santa Barbara County, CA Santa Barbara County, CA Both will have specific section in final document on potential impacts outside of study area Both will have specific section in final document on potential impacts outside of study area Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

9 Critical Assumptions: study area Terrestrial impact area Terrestrial impact area Scenario 1: Assume project will use Venoco’s existing facilities Scenario 1: Assume project will use Venoco’s existing facilities Assessment of impact of increased production levels at Venoco Assessment of impact of increased production levels at Venoco Scenario 2: Engineering data from APCD include separate processing or co- generation facilities Scenario 2: Engineering data from APCD include separate processing or co- generation facilities Evaluate impacts in addition to Scenario 1 Evaluate impacts in addition to Scenario 1 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

10 Critical Assumptions: geology UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps Project UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps Project Reservoir (?) Reservoir (?) Flux (?) Flux (?) Natural variation (?) Natural variation (?) Final analysis will include low, medium, and high estimates Final analysis will include low, medium, and high estimates Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

11 Critical Assumptions: seep tents Size, number, materials and structure, placement: Size, number, materials and structure, placement: Scenario 1: Determined by the results of the A.D. Little engineering estimate ordered by the APCD Scenario 1: Determined by the results of the A.D. Little engineering estimate ordered by the APCD Scenario 2: These data are not available. We assume that the project will duplicate the 1982 ARCO project. Design will be updated if possible. Scenario 2: These data are not available. We assume that the project will duplicate the 1982 ARCO project. Design will be updated if possible. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

12 Critical Assumptions: use of the gas Who will use the captured gas? Who will use the captured gas? Scenario 1: Gas will be sold openly on the market Scenario 1: Gas will be sold openly on the market Scenario 2: Venoco will contract to sell the gas exclusively to UCSB Scenario 2: Venoco will contract to sell the gas exclusively to UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

13 Critical Assumptions: use of the gas How will the captured gas be used? How will the captured gas be used? Scenario 1: Gas is sold on the market, used for either heat or electricity Scenario 1: Gas is sold on the market, used for either heat or electricity Scenario 2: Gas is sold to UCSB Scenario 2: Gas is sold to UCSB To eliminate the need for an additional electricity generation facility, we assume the gas will be used for heating only To eliminate the need for an additional electricity generation facility, we assume the gas will be used for heating only Scenario 3: Gas is sold to UCSB Scenario 3: Gas is sold to UCSB Engineering report includes co-generation facility, gas used for heating and electricity Engineering report includes co-generation facility, gas used for heating and electricity Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

14 Critical Assumptions: use of the gas How will the gas be processed? How will the gas be processed? Assume it is not feasible to construct a new facility to process the gas Assume it is not feasible to construct a new facility to process the gas Assume the gas will be cleaned using the processing facilities available at Venoco, Inc.’s Ellwood Onshore Facility Assume the gas will be cleaned using the processing facilities available at Venoco, Inc.’s Ellwood Onshore Facility Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

15 Critical Assumptions: use of the gas Which pipelines will be used? Which pipelines will be used? Existing pipelines from ARCO tents will be used Existing pipelines from ARCO tents will be used New tents will tap into the existing pipelines New tents will tap into the existing pipelines (?) Can existing pipelines accept the increased capacity of the new tents? If not, will pipelines need to be built? (?) Can existing pipelines accept the increased capacity of the new tents? If not, will pipelines need to be built? Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

16 Critical Assumptions: use of the gas How will the gas be transported to the user? How will the gas be transported to the user? Gas will be transported via existing infrastructure Gas will be transported via existing infrastructure Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

17 Critical Assumptions: ownership Who legally owns the captured gas? Who legally owns the captured gas? The gas is not fugitive gas The gas is not fugitive gas Owned by lessee Owned by lessee Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

18 Critical Assumptions: planning period When would the tents be implemented? When would the tents be implemented? How long would it take to finance, get permits for, engineer, build and implement the tents? How long would it take to finance, get permits for, engineer, build and implement the tents? Plan to get data from engineering study or original ARCO seep tents Environmental Impact Statement Plan to get data from engineering study or original ARCO seep tents Environmental Impact Statement Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

19 Critical Assumptions: planning period What is the useful life of the seep tents? What is the useful life of the seep tents? What is the life of the seeps? What is the life of the seeps? Data from UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps research group Data from UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps research group What is the life of the tents? What is the life of the tents? Data from engineering study or original ARCO EIS Data from engineering study or original ARCO EIS Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

20 Areas of Research Four areas of research: Four areas of research: Economic feasibility study (Wendy) Economic feasibility study (Wendy) Legal feasibility study (Farah) Legal feasibility study (Farah) Water quality & ecologic impact study (Ali) Water quality & ecologic impact study (Ali) Air quality & climate impact study (Misty) Air quality & climate impact study (Misty) Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

21 A. Calculate the Net Present Value of future gas sales for the next 20 years 1. Discover the processing sequence of the gas 2. Determine at what point gas is sold 3. Discover who has been gaining revenue from gas sales 4. Construct time series of past revenues 5. Determine the potential amount of gas captured by seep tents 6. Calculate potential future sales revenues of gas for the next 20 years 7. Perform Monte Carlo Sensitivity Analysis Research II: economic feasibility

22 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management B. Technology Costs 1. Determine what the existing infrastructure is that supports the collection and processing of seep gases 2. Determine whether new tents will tie into existing infrastructure or will require additional supporting construction 3. Estimate engineering costs of construction of seep tents 4. Estimate fixed costs of installation of seep tents 5. Discover past maintenance costs of seep tents and infrastructure 6. Estimate future costs of maintenance of seep tents 7. Estimate future costs of potential new infrastructure Research II: economic feasibility

23 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management C. Legal and Permitting Costs 1. Determine permitting fees 2. Estimate potential fines 3. Determine the value of potential emissions reduction credits Research II: economic feasibility

24 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research III: legal feasibility Objective: recommendations for the project to be consistent with applicable regulations Objective: recommendations for the project to be consistent with applicable regulations In the lifetime of the project there will be 4 phases: In the lifetime of the project there will be 4 phases: Phase 1: Construction Phase 1: Construction Phase 2: Operation Phase 2: Operation Phase 3: Maintenance Phase 3: Maintenance Phase 4: Abandonment Phase 4: Abandonment

25 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research III: legal feasibility Data collection Data collection What are the federal, state and local agencies that regulate each phase of the project? What are the federal, state and local agencies that regulate each phase of the project? Source: Santa Barbara County Clerks’ Office Source: Santa Barbara County Clerks’ Office For each agency, what are the applicable policies and regulations? For each agency, what are the applicable policies and regulations? Source: Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe/ Legal Research Database Source: Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe/ Legal Research Database

26 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research III: legal feasibility Analysis Analysis Is each phase of the project consistent with these policies and regulations? Is each phase of the project consistent with these policies and regulations? If inconsistent, what are the policy and regulatory constraints on: If inconsistent, what are the policy and regulatory constraints on: 1. The site 2. The design 3. The operation

27 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research IV: marine impacts Goal: To develop a qualitative model that will Goal: To develop a qualitative model that will predict the water quality and related marine ecology impacts of possible seep tent installation Objectives: Objectives: Determine the fate and transport of the seep hydrocarbons Determine the fate and transport of the seep hydrocarbons Determine present state of the seep ecology Determine present state of the seep ecology Gather data about the measured impacts of the ARCO tents Gather data about the measured impacts of the ARCO tents Use the information above as inputs to predict likely impacts of new seep tent installations using the selected scenario Use the information above as inputs to predict likely impacts of new seep tent installations using the selected scenario

28 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research IV: marine impacts Ecology and environmental nature of the seeps Ecology and environmental nature of the seeps What are the surface, long shore and subsurface currents? What are the surface, long shore and subsurface currents? How do these currents affect the fate and transport of the seep hydrocarbons in the water column? How do these currents affect the fate and transport of the seep hydrocarbons in the water column? How do the hydrocarbons biodegrade? How do the hydrocarbons biodegrade? What is the seep ecology? What is the seep ecology? What is the species composition and abundance What is the species composition and abundance compared to non-seep sites?

29 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research IV: marine impacts Impacts of seep tents on the marine ecology and water quality Impacts of seep tents on the marine ecology and water quality Impacts of the ARCO tents? Impacts of the ARCO tents? Most likely ways that the seeps tents alter benthic ecology? Most likely ways that the seeps tents alter benthic ecology? Links between the benthos and pelagic ecology? Links between the benthos and pelagic ecology? What are the likely water quality impacts of additional seep tents? What are the likely water quality impacts of additional seep tents? Will there be a detectable impact of the tents on selected hydrocarbons concentrations? Will there be a detectable impact of the tents on selected hydrocarbons concentrations? How much will the tents reduce the total seep gas emissions into the atmosphere? How much will the tents reduce the total seep gas emissions into the atmosphere?

30 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research V: air quality & climate A. Quantify total volume of VOCs and compare them to other natural sources by obtaining information from the SBCAPCD and UCSB 1. What types of gas are released? 2. What is the area of the seepage at the surface? 3. What is the flux of gas from the surface? 4. What are other natural sources of VOCs? 5. What is the total quantity of other natural sources?

31 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research V: air quality & climate B.Review ozone concentrations in the county 1.What are the processes of ozone production? 2.What are typical ozone concentrations in SB throughout the seasons? 3.What environmental factors contribute to ozone production?

32 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research V: air quality & climate C.Determine the overall contribution of methane to global greenhouse gases emitted from the seeps using data from UCSB Geology Department 1.How much methane is emitted from the surface? 2.What is the global balance for methane? 3.Global Warming Potential a.IPCC (impact on radiation)

33 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research V: air quality & climate D.Compare current ozone levels with estimated new levels from reduced geogenic emissions due to capture by the seep tents 1.Urban Airshed Model (from EPA) a.Install model b.Run model c.Confirm that model accounts for mobile sources

34 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research V: air quality & climate E.Calculate potential impacts of VOC reductions due to tenting of geogenic sources 1.How much will VOCs be reduced by tenting? 2.How will this effect ozone production? 3.How will this effect county ozone levels?

35 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Research V: air quality & climate F.Estimate amount of air toxics released from the seeps 1.What is the flux of toluene and benzene? 2.What are the health risks associated with these air toxics? 3.What are the relative sources of these toxics in the county emissions inventory? G.Determine ARCO's calculations of emissions from the seeps

36 Final Project Report We will deliver a final document detailing our findings by April, 2002 We will deliver a final document detailing our findings by April, 2002 The report could be used for public review of the possible seeps tents development project The report could be used for public review of the possible seeps tents development project Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

37 Questions? Thank you for your feedback


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