Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy
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Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012

30 Jun 2014
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Martin T. Wells, Renee L. Santoro, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff
Previous research has demonstrated that proximity to unconventional gas development is associated with elevated concentrations of methane in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania. To date, the mechanism of this migration is poorly understood. Our study, which looks at more than 41,000 conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells, helps to explain one possible mechanism of methane migration: compromised structural integrity of casing and cement in oil and gas wells. Additionally, methane, being the primary constituent of natural gas, is a strong greenhouse gas. The identification of mechanisms through which methane may migrate to the atmosphere as fugitive emissions is important to understand the climate dimensions of oil and gas development.
Peer Reviewed

A new look at methane and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Colorado Denver-Julesburg Basin

Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres
08 May 2014
Gabrielle Pétron, Anna Karion, Colm Sweeney, Benjamin R. Miller, Stephen A. Montzka, Gregory Frost, Michael Trainer, Pieter Tans, Arlyn Andrews, Jonathan Kofler, Detlev Helmig, Douglas Guenther, Ed Dlugokencky, Patricia Lang, Tim Newberger, Sonja Wolter,
The study revisits the estimates of hydrocarbon emissions from an oil and gas basin using airborne measurements and finds that inventories underestimate hydrocarbon emissions in the basin by a factor of 2 or more.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Understanding exposure from natural gas drilling puts current air standards to the test

Reviews on Environmental Health
Mar 2014
David Brown, Beth Weinberger, Celia Lewis, Heather Bonaparte
This study illustrates that current methods of collecting emissions data, as well as the analyses of these data, are not sufficient for accurately assessing risks to individuals or protecting the health of those near UNGD sites.

Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks Across Washington, DC

Environmental Science and Technology
Jan 2014
Jackson, Robert B., Adrian Down, Nathan G. Phillips, Robert C. Ackley, Charles W. Cook, Desiree L. Plata, and Kaiguang Zhao
This study presents sampling results of methane leakage from the natural gas distribution system in Washington DC. 12 of the 19 locations tested showed concentrations hig enough to risk explosion.
Peer Reviewed

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Electricity Generation Technologies: Overview, Comparability and Limitations

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Dec 2013
Turconi, Roberto, Alessio Boldrin, and Thomas Astrup
This study presents a review of 167 case studies involving the life cycle assessment (LCA) of electricity generation based on hard coal, lignite, natural gas, oil, nuclear, biomass, hydroelectric, solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind to identify ranges of emission data for GHG, NOx and SO2.
Peer Reviewed

Methane emissions estimate from airborne measurements over a western United States natural gas field

Geophysical Research Letters
27 Aug 2013
Anna Karion, Colm Sweeney, Gabrielle Pétron, Gregory Frost, R. Michael Hardesty, Jonathan Kofler, Ben R. Miller, Tim Newberger, Sonja Wolter, Robert Banta, Alan Brewer, Ed Dlugokencky, Patricia Lang, Stephen A. Montzka, Russell Schnell, Pieter Tans, Micha
This study used atmospheric measurements in a mass balance approach to estimate methane emissions from a natural gas and oil production field in Uintah County, Utah.
Peer Reviewed

Air pollutant emissions from the development, production and processing of Marcellus Shale natural gas

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
06 Aug 2013
Anirban A. Roy, Peter J. Adams & Allen L. Robinson
This work describes an air emissions inventory for the development, production and processing of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region for 2009 and 2020.
Peer Reviewed

Quantifying sources of methane using light alkanes in the Los Angeles basin, California

28 May 2013
J Peischl, TB Ryerson, J Brioude, KC Aikin, AE Andrews, E Atlas, D Blake, BC Daube, JA de Gouw, E Dlugokencky, GJ Frost, DR Gentner, JB Gilman, AH Goldstein, RA Harley, JS Holloway, J Kofler, WC Kuster, PM Lang, PC Novelli, GW Santoni, M Trainer, SC Wofsy
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Estimation of regional air-quality damages from Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania

Environmental Research Letters
31 January 2013
Aviva Litovitz, Aimee Curtright, Shmuel Abramzon, Nicholas Burger and Constantine Samaras
This study gives an estimate of the conventional air pollutant emissions (VOC, NOx PM2.5, PM10 and SOx) from shale gas development in Pennsylvania and the monetary value of the associated environmental and health damages. Region-wide damages were estimated between $7.2 to $32 million dollars for 2011. While emissions and damage estimates are relatively small compared to other major sources of air pollution in the state overall, they are a concern in regions of significant extraction activities, which tend to be concentrated in a few counties. In counties with concentrated activity NOx emissions from the shale gas industry were 20-40 times higher than allowable for a single minor source. The authors also note that the industry and regulatory agencies need to account for air emissions from ongoing, long-term activities and not only those associated with development since more than 80% of damages occur in the years after the well is developed. For instance, compressor station activities alone account for 60-75% of all extraction-associated damages. It is important to consider county-level damage given site-specific variability such as the concentration of shale gas activities, population, and areas where air quality is already a concern. The authors conclude that shale gas extraction will be associated with non-trivial air pollution emissions and that more detailed analyses (e.g. regional data acquisition and consideration of site-specific variability.
Peer Reviewed

Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources

Science of the Total Environment
21 Mar 2012
Lisa M. McKenzie, Roxana Z. Witter, Lee S. Newman, John L. Adgate

This study estimated health risks for exposures to air emissions from a NGD project in Garfield County, Colorado with the objective of supporting risk prevention recommendations in a health impact assessment (HIA).

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