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Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 213–227 | Cite as

A determination of the CH4, NO x and CO2 emissions from the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska oil development

  • D. A. Jaffe
  • R. E. Honrath
  • D. Furness
  • T. J. Conway
  • E. Dlugokencky
  • L. P. Steele
Article

Abstract

In this paper we quantify the CH4, CO2 and NO x emissions during routine operations at a major oil and gas production facility, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, using the concentrations of combustion by products measured at the NOAA-CMDL observatory at Barrow, Alaska and fuel consumption data from Prudhoe Bay. During the 1989 and 1990 measurement campaigns, 10 periods (called ‘events’) were unambiguously identified where surface winds carry the Prudhoe Bay emissions to Barrow (approximately 300 km). The events ranged in duration from 8–48 h and bring ambient air masses containing substantially elevated concentrations of CH4, CO2 and NO y to Barrow. Using the slope of the observed CH4 vs CO2 concentrations during the events and the CO2 emissions based on reported fuel consumption data, we calculate annual CH4 emissions of (24+/−8)×103 metric tons from the facility. In a similar manner, the annual NO x emissions are calculated to be (12+/−4)×103 metric tons, which is in agreement with an independently determined value. The calculated CH4 emissions represent the amount released during routine operations including leakage. However this quantity would not include CH4 released during non-routine operations, such as from venting or gas flaring.

Key words

Methane nitrogen oxides oil production emissions 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Jaffe
    • 1
  • R. E. Honrath
    • 1
  • D. Furness
    • 1
  • T. J. Conway
    • 2
  • E. Dlugokencky
    • 2
    • 3
  • L. P. Steele
    • 2
  1. 1.Geophysical Institute and Department of ChemistryUniversity of Alaska FairbanksUSA
  2. 2.NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics LaboratoryUSA
  3. 3.Also at Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental StudiesUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

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