Skip to comments.Picture from space .... U.S. oil field is burning off enough gas to power Chicago AND Washington...
Posted on 01/28/2013 9:33:44 AM PST by Uncle Chip
This incredible picture from space shows how the U.S. oil industry has boomed to such an extent that a gas field now burns as brightly as a major city.
The rapid increase in shale oil production means it is now often more economical to 'flare off' unwanted gas than to sell it.
As a result, one field in North Dakota, the state leading the energy revolution, is now burning off enough gas to power all the homes in Chicago and Washington D.C. combined.
In a recently released satellite image from NASA, the light being given off at the Bakken formation, almost twice the size of Wales, easily competes in intensity with that being emitted from those cities.
The volume of gas going up in flames at the plant rose by around 50 per cent last year alone in a practice that is causing growing concern about the waste of resources and the impact on the environment, according to the Financial Times.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I suspect most of the light is not from flares but from lights on the number of concentrated drilling rigs operating in the area.
And light plants on frac jobs.
Perhaps we could build a pipeline.....never mind
Flaring is an important part of oil production. It isn’t as wasteful as anti-’big oil’ talkers like to make it appear. The gas that is being flared off is usually ‘sour’ gas in that it contains Hydrogen Sulphide. Flaring it off is mostly done for safety reasons.
Let me be the first to call...B.S.
If you look out in the Gulf, you can see lights from the rigs.
Those of us in the O&G industry just shake our heads. We’ll never convince the CACA* people otherwise
..so now we get the liberal spin on the picture.
Well, British reporters are experts in such things, after all.
Me, too. I drove through the Eagle Ford trend the other day and I saw maybe 20 flares (all H2S as the wells were hooked up to pipelines.) They were a mile or two apart. You’re telling me that you can see that 10’ flare from space? They should take a picture on Friday night in the fall and look at all the football stadiums.
If this is such a massive oil boom up there, why in tarnation is gas so expensive?
What’s the excuse this time?
Is he looking at the same picture as we are? It is no where nearly as bright as the major cities. It is comparable to the farmland in the central valley in California.
Seeing the Bakken lit up like this is not a bad thing; it is impressive. I agree with others that the light visible from space is probably, mostly, lights from drilling rigs.
Either way, though, it is a wonderful thing.
The flares will be dealt with in time. It takes time to build surface facilities. In our area, the gas is mostly low BTU and is not commercial, so it is consumed in steam generators along with commercial grade natgas. Hence, no visible flare. But building the network even to do that did not happen overnight.
I remember the first time I flew into Saudi Arabia, the country was lit up with flares all across the landscape. Impressive.
No, not safer. H2S burns to SO2 which is heavier and just as poisonous. It sinks to the low spots.
Burning gas is a waste but it is too hard to recompress it and pump it back in to the shale for pressure maintenance.
Well its not like the govt is going to let them build a pipeline to ship it anywhere.
Why can’t this gas be directed to power a turbine and generate electricity?