Update on the Barnett Shale. Ed Ireland, Ph.D. Executive Director Barnett Shale Energy Education Council

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1 Update on the Barnett Shale Ed Ireland, Ph.D. Executive Director Barnett Shale Energy Education Council

2 What is the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council? Established to provide factbased information on natural gas production in North Texas Comprised of leading energy companies in the region Non-profit, statewide resource

3 What is the Barnett Shale? Largest natural gas field in the US 7% of nation s natural gas supply Enough to heat 20 million homes per year 5,000+ square miles 24 counties: Denton, Johnson, Tarrant, Wise, Archer, Bosque, Clay, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Shakleford, Somervell, Stephens counties

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5 Why Natural Gas? Daniel Yergin: It s simply the most significant energy innovation so far this century. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter: mission critical. bridge fuel 1.3 million jobs in Texas 12% of total employment Cleanest fossil fuel Highly efficient Helps improve our country s energy security

6 The Benefits to Texas $6 billion annually in economic activity 70,000 direct jobs in North Texas; hundreds of thousands indirectly Rainy Day Fund funded by oil and gas severance taxes

7 Issues in the Barnett Shale Early Issues: noise, lighting, safety, truck traffic, water use, water disposal Later issues: water use, water disposal, earthquakes, contribution to ozone levels Latest issue: Benzene

8 Significance of Barnett Shale Issues Barnett Shale issues were initially local Now they are statewide and national What happens in the Barnett Shale has implications for all oil and gas companies operating in Texas and all other states

9 Natural Gas Wells and Ozone Al Armendariz issued a study in early 2009 concluding that Barnett Shale wells contribute more VOCs and NoX that all of the cars, trucks and airplanes in north Texas Armendariz is now the Regional Director of EPA, Region 6

10 Number of Barnett Shale Wells versus 8 Hour Historical Ozone Levels in the 9 County DFW Non-Attainment Area Highest ave rage level of ozone at any given monitor (ppb) Ozone Levels Barnett Shale Wells The 9 county area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker and Rockwall Counties Numbe er of Wells Year for wells and end of 3 year consecutive period for ozone levels

11 Air Emissions Timeline May 25, 2009: Wolf Eagle Engineers and Consultants, t LLC published a study of ambient air samples at Deborah Rogers Farmstead near Fort Worth Reported finding elevated levels of various organic and inorganic compounds mostly labeled TICs (tentatively identified compounds) The study asserted that nearby natural gas wells were the source of the emissions Fact: None of the nearby wells have ever been in production

12 Air Emissions Timeline Sept. 15, 2009: Wolf Eagle published a study of ambient air samples in Dish, Texas Reported elevated levels l of various VOCs including benzene and TICs The study asserted that nearby natural gas wells and compressor stations were the sources of emissions Fact: The tests were not designed to show sources

13 Benzene Issue Timeline October 27, 2009: TCEQ published a memorandum about their initial test results near Dish which reported high levels of benzene at 2 facilities in southern Wise county and that they were conducting more tests October 29: First news report from WFAA Cancer causing toxin found in the air near gas facilities i in the Barnett Shale Since then, WFAA has aired numerous reports about high levels of benzene from natural gas wells and other media has published numerous similar reports

14 Benzene Issue Timeline Jan. 12, 2010: TCEQ reported that 126 air samples at gas wells in Fort Worth showed no detectable levels of benzene Anti-drilling groups criticized the study as being invalid because it was cold when samples were taken and they did not take enough samples

15 Benzene Issue Timeline Jan. 27, 2010: TCEQ reported on their 6 month investigation of 94 gas well and compressor sites. Two (the same 2 reported in Aug.) exceeded acceptable levels and 19 showed elevated levels of benzene that may require action by facility operators.

16 TCEQ Jan. 27 report The other 73 sites didn t show high emission levels and the study didn t collect air samples farther away from the well sites where residents would likely breathe in the chemicals Wall Street Journal The Commission s chief toxicologist stated the test results prove there is no need for widespread alarm.

17 How the media reported Barnett Shale study reveals alarming results -WFAA Agency says that gas wells spew cancer causing chemicals all across north Texas -WBAP State regulators found high levels of benzene at one in every five sites in the Barnett Shale -Wikipedia TCEQ: Benzene not detected at most Barnett Shale gas sites -Fort Worth Business Press

18 Other Statements Dr. Al Armendariz- Big changes are on the way-changes that could alter everything from what drilling facilities are allowed to emit to how they are monitored. EPA is completely different from what it was a year ago.

19 Armendariz continued EPA is putting together new rules for natural gas. Natural gas is being added to the national enforcement priority list. --from a speech on February 4, 2010 to the North Central Texas Communities Alliance

20 Texas Dept of State Health Services study of DISH Residents Blood and urine samples of 28 residents Study results have not been released Denton RC April 14, 2010: Tests find toxins in Dish Residents DMN later same day: Tests detect Barnett Shale emissions toxins in Dish residents blood, urine

21 Tests Indicate Exposures in Dish Similar to U.S. Population Biological test results from a Texas Department of State Health Services investigation in Dish, Texas, indicate that residents exposure to certain contaminants was not greater than that of the general U.S. population. --from Texas Dept. Of State Health Services report, May 12, 2010

22 More DSHS Statementst t The report also will include the test results for the five DSHS staff members who travelled to Dish, including the testing done both before and at the end of their visit to Dish. Several of the same metabolites found in Dish residents urine, such as N,N- dimethylformamide, were also found in DSHS staff here in Austin, before their visit to Dish, which indicates other possible sources of exposure.

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24 Next Steps More hard data is needed BSEEC is funding an air study focusing on Fort Worth and Arlington City of Fort Worth is organizing an air study TCEQ is compiling a comprehensive database of air emissions for every Barnett Shale natural gas well and facility TCEQ has a contract w/mickey Leland National Air Toxic Center utilizing the Division of Atmospheric Sciences or DRI in Reno, NV

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