Presentation on theme: "Is Natural Gas the Answer for Electricity Generation? Issues and Considerations October 14, 2011 Bruce Baizel Staff Attorney Earthworks Durango, Colorado."— Presentation transcript:
Is Natural Gas the Answer for Electricity Generation? Issues and Considerations October 14, 2011 Bruce Baizel Staff Attorney Earthworks Durango, Colorado email@example.com 970.259.3353
Colorado: Energy Sources for Electricity Generation - 1999 and 2009 FUEL TYPE 1999 (billion kWh) 2009 (billion kWh) 2009 Percent Share Coal 32.9 31.6 (34.6) 62.6 Natural Gas 5.0 13.8 (16.6) 27.4 Hydroelectric 1.6 1.9 (3.1) 3.7 Other Renewable -- 3.2 (4.4) 6.4
The issues associated with natural gas production and consumption Production – Working harder to produce less – It’s an industrial process – Rigs and trucks – What’s in that fluid – How much water will we use Consumption – The air we breath – As things get hotter
The historical data on spills and incidents: what is the magnitude of the risk? Data from 1990 through 2008 in Colorado and New Mexico indicated that 6% of natural gas wells have spills and that there is an average rate of 1.2 to 1.8 incidents per 100 gas wells that impact groundwater. Data in West Virginia show a 1.5 per 100 well incident rate. Recent data from Pennsylvania showed a 7 per 100 well incident rate.
Spills related to oil and gas development in Colorado (2005- 2010).
Spills reported in Colorado: 2011 Of the 343 spills reported this year through Sept. 2, Colorado groundwater was contaminated in 58 spills. Streams were contaminated 18 times. Among the spills reported to state health officials this year, about 54 were related to oil and gas operations and released about 2.1 million gallons of "produced water" extracted during drilling, along with gas and fracking fluids, diesel fuel, oil and other chemicals. Among spills reported by companies to COGCC regulators, the most occurred in Weld County, 114, followed by 55 in Garfield County, 34 in Las Animas County, 30 in Rio Blanco County and 12 in La Plata County.
Water quality Issues Chemical Components Appearing Most Often in Hydraulic Fracturing Products Used Between 2005 and 2009 Methanol (Methyl alcohol) 342 Isopropanol (Isopropyl alcohol, Propan-2-ol) 274 Crystalline silica - quartz (SiO2) 207 Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (2-butoxyethanol) 126 Ethylene glycol (1,2-ethanediol) 119 Hydrotreated light petroleum distillates 89 Sodium hydroxide (Caustic soda) 80
Use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing Between 2005 and 2009, oil and gas service companies injected 32.2 million gallons of diesel fuel or hydraulic fracturing fluids containing diesel fuel in wells in 19 states. Diesel-containing fluids were used most frequently in Texas, which accounted for half of the total volume injected, 16 million gallons. The companies injected at least one million gallons of diesel-containing fluids in Oklahoma (3.3 million gallons), North Dakota (3.1 million gallons), Louisiana (2.9 million gallons), Wyoming (2.9 million gallons), and Colorado (1.3 million gallons.
Water quantity issues Estimates of the water quantity needed: – There are no reliable estimates statewide on the amount of water needed to drill and fracture either permitted or estimated wells. – This uncertainty is due to: the absence of a coordinated state evaluation of water needs for natural gas production; the variability in the number of wells that will actually be drilled; variation in the ability to use recycled fluid instead of fresh water; the uncertain legal availability of water for this use; and geological variation by formation and water basin
COMPARISON OF ESTIMATED WATER NEEDS FOR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING IN DIFFERENT REGIONS Water needed per fracture operation (gallons/well) Fruitland coal50,000 – 350,000 Niobrara1 – 5,000,000 Barnett shale2,300,000 Haynesville shale2,700,000 Marcellus shale3,800,000 ------------------------- Note: 5 million gallons is approx. 15 acre-feet of water
Rigs, trucks and worker safety 2001 – 2005: 11 fatalities in the oil and gas industry in Colorado 2005 – 2010: 18 fatalities in the oil and gas industry in Colorado – 6 related to transportation – 8 related to work on the rigs 2001 – 2010: U.S. average of 32 fatalities/year at coal mines – 3 fatalities at Colorado coal mines during this ten year period
Gross Environmental Damage by Fuel Type -based upon use in power plants Fuel TypeGross Environ. Damage (billion $) GED/kwh ($/kwh) Coal53.40.0280 Oil1.80.0203 Natural Gas0.90.0085 Note that the damages from coal are mainly due to mortality from direct pollutant emissions: SO2, PM2.5 and SOx.
The data from the La Plata County emissions inventory 49% of all GHG emissions in La Plata County are related to natural gas production. Of these, 36% are methane. Another 36% are from vented CO2. The remaining 28% are largely from consumption of fuel during production. So more than 70% of GHG emissions are simply released during production of natural gas.