Night Flight over the Permian

I would be interested in seeing a link to a video that shows a night flight over the Permian Basin with all the flaring visible in full force. I've tried finding something like that on YouTube but so far nothing is evident.

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I would like to see that as well!

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(edited)

So what does it really matter?  How different would it be from flying over Southern California at night?  I can tell you it's not any brighter than that is, for sure.  How much of the electricity used in California to light it up is really used in a way that is any less wasteful than flaring?  I really don't get all this concern with flaring, it's silly.  If you don't flare you don't get the production of the oil and it's as simple as that.  

Someone wrote the oil market was balanced in 2014 but was it?  Oil was over $100/bbl, is that a balanced market?  The uses that energy is put to are typically of no greater value than the energy that is flared away in order to produce the oil and gas that is captured and used for other frivolous purposes.

Here is a picture looking east from Culberson County into Reeves county up around Orla from back in December.

orlaflares.jpg

Edited by wrs
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Here is last night (0521 GMT) from NOAA GOES East satellite

image.png.07d4704290ef125d32c4098c336db673.png

 

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Even El Paso is brighter.  So based on the black body radiation theory, how much energy is expended in all that light over the Permian as compared to Houston or Dallas?  Looks to me like the concerns about flaring are a tempest in a teacup.

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17 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

I would be interested in seeing a link to a video that shows a night flight over the Permian Basin with all the flaring visible in full force. I've tried finding something like that on YouTube but so far nothing is evident.

I will try to do that in my next fly over the Permian. I have to find my old low altitude videos of the Eagle Ford when that boom was happening.

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9 hours ago, wrs said:

So what does it really matter?  How different would it be from flying over Southern California at night?  I can tell you it's not any brighter than that is, for sure.  How much of the electricity used in California to light it up is really used in a way that is any less wasteful than flaring?  I really don't get all this concern with flaring, it's silly.  If you don't flare you don't get the production of the oil and it's as simple as that.  

Someone wrote the oil market was balanced in 2014 but was it?  Oil was over $100/bbl, is that a balanced market?  The uses that energy is put to are typically of no greater value than the energy that is flared away in order to produce the oil and gas that is captured and used for other frivolous purposes.

Here is a picture looking east from Culberson County into Reeves county up around Orla from back in December.

orlaflares.jpg

Energy used is a beneficial product to someone although often wasteful. Energy partially burned and sent into the atmosphere is just a total waste of a valuable natural resource. It also heats the atmosphere. 

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8 hours ago, wrs said:

Even El Paso is brighter.  So based on the black body radiation theory, how much energy is expended in all that light over the Permian as compared to Houston or Dallas?  Looks to me like the concerns about flaring are a tempest in a teacup.

Energy wasted versus energy used for a useful purpose. Modern lighting is also far better at creating light than an open flame as we once used with "town gas". Flaring leaves pollutants as well as heating the atmosphere and wasting a valuable resource. 

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(edited)

1 hour ago, ronwagn said:

Energy wasted versus energy used for a useful purpose. Modern lighting is also far better at creating light than an open flame as we once used with "town gas". Flaring leaves pollutants as well as heating the atmosphere and wasting a valuable resource. 

Says who it's a useful purpose?  Leaving lights on in rooms you don't need it on is not a useful purpose.  I spent my whole life being told to turn out lights when I left the room.  I hate it that my wife still does it to me.  I would not be surprised to find that most of that light is completely unneeded.  Producing the electricity also leaves pollutants, this is a distinction without a difference.

Furthermore, you can see that Houston and Dallas lights are an order of magnitude brighter and bigger than the oilfield so the oilfield might be just a small percentage of either city, say 10% and I am sure that at least 10% of all that light is wasted energy.

Edited by wrs
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1 hour ago, ronwagn said:

Energy used is a beneficial product to someone although often wasteful. Energy partially burned and sent into the atmosphere is just a total waste of a valuable natural resource. It also heats the atmosphere. 

Distinction without a difference.

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(edited)

Flying over Permian flaring at 30,000 feet does not do it justice; you must fly over it an hour before and after sunset, at low altitude, at 140 max air speed. The Delaware is the best place to do it, a strike line NW to SE,  right over the guts of it. It will blow your mind, the waste. Seeing a flare does not do it justice either, you have to stand next to one, and hear it, and feel it. Big ones from a multi well pad getting commingled to a common tank battery, thru a single stack, will give you a noise headache. Its raw, powerful energy and that there are hundreds upon hundreds of  them all over the Permian Basin and in North Dakota will make you sick to your stomach.  Anybody that on one hand puffs up about how amazing the shale oil industry is, how profitable it might someday become, how it is all going to make us energy independent or that we can use it to dominate the world with cheap exports... then dismisses flaring is about as transparent as plexiglass. Technology is worthless if it cannot prevent waste. 

Here is the next best thing to flying over the Permian: 

https://viirs.skytruth.org/apps/heatmap/flaringmap.html#lat=29.43243&lon=15.26825&zoom=3&offset=15&time=2012-08-25T12%3A22%3A07&paused=true

Zero in on any shale oil basin you want and watch how flaring has grown in just the past 16 months in both the Permian and the Bakken. If that looks right to you, sleep well tonight. If you are Texan and it looks amiss, remember that come election time. Texas is better than that. Our remaining resources in this country should benefit every citizen for decades to come, not just a few, now. 

Edited by Mike Shellman
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(edited)

13 hours ago, wrs said:

So what does it really matter?  How different would it be from flying over Southern California at night?

Far as I am concerned every street light should be on a motion detector.  E-V-E-R-Y  last one of them.  Just pissing resources down the drain due to fear of boogeymen in the night

As for flaring: Shouldn't be able to flare except for exploratory drilling or a special waiver for technical problems especially in a mature field with existing infrastructure which is not up to snuff.  Different story in a brand new field. Permian, Bakken are not new. 

Edited by Wastral

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Flaring is simply wasting a resource because the operator is greedy and did not plan ahead for the produced gas and the increasing GOR's. I say greedy since they will not slow production until they get a grip on the flaring.

You can not equate flaring with electric lighting, it is comparing apples to oranges.

Putting all street lights on motion sensors, assuming they work and don't 'trip' on animals, windborne garbage, flying monkeys, etc... might work, but I see the chance of a rise in crime as well.

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I used to love traveling north on 592 from Kelton to Allison. That valley south of Allison TX.used to be lit up with rigs for miles!

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Any physicists in the crowd?  Evidence of brightness in the visible spectrum may or may not be relevant.  I would like to also see infra-red or other relevant wavelengths before drawing conclusions from pictures.  Just thinking out loud.  I would guess that the issue will soon be moot as more pipeline capacity becomes available for producers to sell the gas.

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Solutions not just whining!!!

small step but meaningful.

_________________

 

North Dakota makes small bet on natural gas infrastructure company

North Dakota, home to the second-largest U.S. shale producing basin, has invested in a startup company that is proposing to develop new markets for shale gas and reduce unwanted burning of natural gas.

 

North Dakota’s government, in an unusual move, said it would invest $200,000 in natural gas infrastructure company Bakken Midstream Natural Gas LLC at a time when oil producers have been burning excess gas due to the shortage of pipelines to move it.

 

The shortage has resulted in nearly 20% of gas produced in North Dakota being flared, well above the state’s 12% target. The goal is to cut flaring to less than 9% by late 2020.

Raymond James analyst Muhammed Ghulam said no party was benefiting from burning the excess natural gas and that the state was losing out on taxes while also causing environmental concerns.

Ghulam also said the investment was “immaterial given the significant amount needed to fund infrastructure in the region”.

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