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
Advertisement
;

Devon Energy Corp. has managed to make the task of complying with new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations into a moneymaking proposition in western Oklahoma.

The company has figured out a way to keep methane and other forms of carbon known as “volatile organic compounds” from leaking out of oil storage tanks in its operations in the Cana Woodford Shale.

Devon is using vapor recovery units to compress the gas so that it can be placed into a pipeline to be sold. Otherwise, that gas would be burned off or simply leak out into the air.

“It keeps it out of the atmosphere,” said Jim Heinze, manager of production engineering for Devon's Anadarko Basin unit. “It's burned in somebody's house.”

The EPA is cracking down on emissions of some volatile organic compounds, which can cause environmental or health problems.

Travis Dean, a Devon construction and facilities engineers, said new regulations that took effect last fall slashed the allowable amount of such emissions to 6 tons per facility. The limit had been 40 tons per facility, so oil and natural gas companies had their work cut out for them.

“Devon has a lot invested across the company to comply with these regulations,” Dean said.

When possible, Devon now connects four well pads in the Cana to a single tank battery equipped with a compressor to prepare the vapor for sale.

“If you can compress that gas, you can sell it and make money off of it,” he said.

Dean said Devon chose to work with Oklahoma City-based Flogistix in western Oklahoma because its vapor recovery units work well with low-pressure gas. He estimated Devon has been able to capture 99.86 percent of the emissions from its storage tanks in the Cana since adding those units.


by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Paul George suffers gruesome broken leg during Team USA scrimmage
  2. 2
    Cheesecake Factory Blasted for Offering Unhealthiest Meal in America
  3. 3
    Woody Allen Responds To Claims He Won't Hire Black Actors
  4. 4
    Oklahoma man delivered to jail after nearly 6 pounds of meth picked up from post office
  5. 5
    Oklahoma City Thunder: Prospect Tibor Pleiss reportedly headed to FC Barcelona
+ show more