Image 1 of 1
DANIEL, WY - Perry Walker, a Wyoming native, retired Air Force Major, and a physicist and nuclear engineer, at his home near Daniel, Wy., (pop. 110) on August 22, 2005. Walker, an avid astronomer, built his own telescopes and observatories and was enjoying the clear air and lack of light pollution of rural Wyoming when he began to notice a decrease in visibility that coincided with the summer season gas drilling. Concerned that gas well flares, a technique used during well completion where for the first few days' output from a new well is burned into the atmosphere, was destroying area air quality Walker bought a spectrometer to measure air particulate. What he found was an increase in the typical combusted petroleum components but also heavy metals such as sodium and lithium; materials he learned were used in the hydraulic fracture stimulation used to draw out natural gas from the ultra tight sands of the Lance Formation. He has since published and distributed his findings to government agencies and the gas companies as well as done his own research into ways to decrease emissions from gas production. His research brought him to a private manufacturer who has designed equipment that will virtually eliminate many of the combustibles vented to the atmosphere when wells are in production; according to Walker, Encana is currently testing two models and considering implementing the equipment field-wide. Encana is also introducing 'flareless completion' via a four stage separator that will take the first few days' worth of well output and separate out the sand, water, condensate (a diesel-like petroleum by product), and natural gas. According to Encana spokesperson Paul Ulrich, this is not only a more environmentally friendly way of well completion, it also allows marketable natural gas and condensate to be sold instead of burned straight into the atmosphere.
- © Copyright 2005 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
- Image Size
- 5120x3412 / 5.5MB
- Contained in galleries
- Story: Hydro-Fracking for Natural Gas in Pinedale, Wyoming