Environmental Group Hits Compressor Leaks
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should further regulate methane emissions from gas compressors. NRDC cited 10 actions that the gas industry could take to reduce fugitive emissions.
It said 12% of the potential savings could be achieved by using dry seal systems in centrifugal compressors and periodically replacing worn rod packing on reciprocal compressors.
It said dry seal systems could cost US$90,000 to US $324,000 per unit, but could cut leaks 18 to 100 MMcf/year (510 x 103 to 2.8 x 106 m3/year), saving US$280,000 to US$520,000/year.
Better maintenance on recips would cost US$1200 to US$1600 per rod packing but would retain 850 Mcf/year (24 x 103 m3/year), saving $500 to $1900/year.
NRDC said a combination of voluntary federal/state programs and regulations have lowered the gas industry’s methane emissions 20%.
“Given industry standard practice to date, however, the profits to be gained from methane control technologies may not be enough to drive further voluntary reductions. Mandatory programs and improved policies are needed to get closer to the more than 80% methane reduction level that is within our reach,” the environmental group said.
For more information: www.nrdc.org