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Devon Energy tries to make money by following rules

Devon Energy Corp. is using a mixture of new technology and old techniques to make the best of some new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: February 8, 2013

Heinze said the market for such services is booming because of the new EPA regulations intended to control greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas production.

He said those vapors accumulate most often in storage tanks. Drilling and completion operations are not as much of a concern when it comes to emissions.

Dean said Devon's approach to addressing the new regulations is not unique, but the company has worked hard to find ways to cut costs and redundancies in its operations.

He said capturing excess vapors from well sites makes Devon's operations in the Cana more efficient because it needs fewer pumps and less pipeline. The company also saves on equipment costs because it uses eight storage tanks per section instead of 24.

Dean said Devon has used that layout on two occasions so far, but he expects to add up to seven more this year because of the company's aggressive drilling plans in the play.

“That's worked out pretty well for us,” he said.

Dean said the vapor recovery accounts for less than 1 percent of Devon's natural gas stream, but it is enough to cover the rental costs on the equipment.

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