New regulations handed down by the EPA have changed the way the oil and gas industry operates.
A new technology may help North Dakota’s oil producers meet those rules, while cutting back on the impact industry has on the environment.
Even with a cost around one hundred thousand dollars, the use of cameras is becoming the trend for North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.
“We are now working with industry to basically use it as one of our bread and butter measures for whether or not leaks exist,” says Jim Semerad with North Dakota’s Dept. of Health
The state’s health department uses the FLIR camera to detect possible methane leaks coming from oil and gas storage tanks.
Out of all their leak-detection technology, it’s the only one that makes the emissions visible.
“That’s why it’s a game changer both for us and for industry in their own Q and A. We can make our compliance inspections much faster and then of course, in doing so, we can do more sites, and they can do their Q and A checks much more frequently,” says Semerad
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency released official rules for oil and gas companies to curb methane emissions.
North Dakota’s petroleum council has organized a FLIR camera training session to help oil operators comply with regulations.
“We’re kind of in the initial stages of broadening this out beyond the operators. Now you’re getting your consultants involved and others who can go out an do this for everybody who may not be able to afford one of these cameras,” says Ron Ness with the Petroleum Council
It’s the first training of it’s kind offered in North Dakota.
Ness expects they’ll see more cameras like this in the field, as producers work to further reduce methane emissions coming from oil and gas production.
Sixty people have signed up for the training which takes place next week.
Ness says there is still room available.