U.S. natural gas producers go green

Nov. 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Public concern about the extraction of natural gas from U.S. shale formations has prompted energy companies to employ greener solutions, an executive said.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that shale gas operators are using a process dubbed green completion, which filters out drilling debris, hydraulic fracturing fluids and other impurities from gas emitted during well completion processes.

Andrew Place, a public policy research director at EQT Corp. in Pittsburgh, told the newspaper that concerns associated with shale oil and gas production in the United States is driving policy.

"Public concerns have pushed the engineers to come up with solutions," he said.

The newspaper states that the Environmental Protection Agency is requiring energy companies to use green completions across the board within the next three years, except were exploratory wells aren't connected to pipelines.

Industry groups such as the American Petroleum Institute have expressed objections to EPA regulations on the oil and gas industry. Environmental advocates said the rules aren't strict enough.

The EPA said drilling could generate roughly $19 million per year through the method because the process means more gas is sold, rather than flared.

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