A powerful greenhouse gas, methane is over 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere. In Colorado alone, pneumatic controllers are annually estimated to release over 132,000 metric tons of methane or the equivalent of 1.9 million cars. (Environmental Defense Fund, 2021)
Under current regulations, owners or operators of facilities that contain natural gas systems and emit at least 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year must report greenhouse gas emissions data to the EPA using approved methodologies.
Every time a pneumatic control opens/closes, a small amount of methane gas is released. Considering there are an estimated 56,000 controllers in the DJ Basin alone, that small amount adds up quickly (EarthJustice, 2021). In addition to the environmental impact, when methane gas is emitted at several points in the extraction process, there is less usable product captured and available to sell.
Promotes A More
Gas Retrieval Process
Powering with compressed air does not release methane in the actuation process. To give context to impact, if zero-bleed pneumatic controllers were exclusively used nationwide for new sources, methane could be reduced by over three million metric tons over the next five years, or the equivalent of removing 16.2 million cars from the road (Environmental Defense Fund, 2021).
Need For Emissions
Using compressed air instead of pressurized natural gas removes methane from vented gas, alleviating the need to track and report emissions to the EPA.
No methane emissions frees up staff to focus attention and resources on other areas, and impacts the business bottom line by increasing the net amount of natural gas captured.