QEP is committed to minimizing its impact on air quality, while continuing to meet the energy demands of our nation. We report emissions through the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and air emissions from production activities are carefully monitored, managed, and reported so they remain within prescribed state and federal limits.
QEP operates in an environmentally responsible manner, continuing to find efficiencies and technological advancements – such as reduced drilling times, green completions, liquid gathering systems, duel-fuel systems on rig engines, natural gas and hybrid fuel engines, and electrification – that will enable us to reduce our emissions even further. Some additional examples include the following:
- We use green completions best practices in all of our plays to promote cleaner air and improve operational efficiencies. Green completions capture methane during the initial phase of flow back from hydraulic fracturing operations, thereby minimizing flaring, reducing emissions and allowing us to sell more gas.
- All rigs at our Pinedale field use Selective Catalytic Reduction, an advanced active emissions control technology system.
- We have converted approximately 10% of our vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas, which is a lower emission fuel.
- Wherever possible, we transport produced water by pipeline to reduce truck traffic and emissions.
- Efficiency improvements in the drilling process can also significantly reduce industry emissions. When a rig is capable of drilling wells faster and more efficiently, we experience a decrease in total field (life of project) and per-well emissions. According to QEP company data, we have achieved rig efficiencies of 200% to 400% across our operating areas, resulting in 50% to 75% reductions in total field and per-well emissions. Efficiency in completion operations provides the same emission reduction benefit.
- Our company practice is to install low-bleed pneumatic controllers at all new facilities. When expanding our operations in the Upper Green River Basin Ozone Non-Attainment Area, existing facilities are retrofitted with low-bleed controllers to further reduce our emissions.
- We have implemented, or in the process of implementing, the use of optical gas imaging (infrared cameras) for our operations in the Uinta, Green River, Permian and Williston Basins. In the Upper Green River Basin Ozone Non-Attainment Area, our operations are inspected with infrared cameras a minimum of twice a year. Operations in other areas are inspected when they are placed into service and as-needed thereafter. In addition, audio, visual, and olfactory inspections are used to detect fugitive emissions from equipment leaks. These inspections are conducted whenever operators or personnel are at the facilities.
Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel due to its comparatively low emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. Therefore, its increased use in power generation is contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program demonstrates that greenhouse gas emissions are at the lowest levels in the U.S. since 1994.
Green completions are a common practice at QEP. It’s good for the environment and for our business — allowing us to reduce emissions while bringing more gas to the market.
Reducing Emissions in Wyoming
Pinedale is unique in that cold weather is conducive to ozone formation. To minimize precursors during the peak ozone periods, QEP suspends its completion operations in the Pinedale Anticline during the winter months – allowing us to further reduce emissions.
QEP has been recognized for its efforts to reduce the impact of its operations by the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, Environmental Protection Agency, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Oil and Gas Investor magazine, among others.