Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations
Several different types of pits are used in natural gas operations. Drilling pits are earthen-bermed reservoirs on the well pad used for storage of discarded fluids from drilling, fracturing or other processes. These might be lined with heavy plastic sheeting, or unlined. Large evaporation pit complexes are used to dispose of water stripped from the natural gas as it surfaces, and the fluids from the drilling pits. These pits can be either commercial, servicing many drilling companies, or private, operated by one company. Natural gas processing plants also use pits to dispose of the water used to “wash” the gas before it leaves the refinery.
In 2007, an industry committee comprised of 19 oil and gas companies operating in New Mexico sponsored a sampling and analysis program (SAP) of pit solids. The SAP was completed by a third party consultant and analytical laboratory. The SAP focused on six drilling reserve pits in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico and the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico prior to closure. TEDX’s analysis of the chemicals, their relevance to national toxics lists, and an EXCEL spreadsheet (which can be downloaded, searched and sorted as needed) are provided below.
Click here to download a summary of chemicals found in six drilling reserve pits in New Mexico (PDF).
Click here to download a summary of chemicals on national toxics lists found in the New Mexico pits (PDF).
Click here to download an EXCEL spreadsheet of chemicals found in six drilling reserve pits in New Mexico.