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Green completions help Devon reduce emissions in Barnett

Posted on 04 February 2010

A sand separator filters out any sand, sending it through a 2-inch pipe into the disposal tank, and leaves a mixture of natural gas and water.

A sand separator filters out any sand, sending it through a 2-in. pipe into the disposal tank and leaves a mixture of natural gas and water.

Devon Energy has reduced methane emissions by nearly 13 billion cu ft in the Barnett Shale using “green completions,” the company said.

Green completions have been standard practice for Devon in the Barnett since 2004. The company uses the same process to complete wells in New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma and South Texas.

Green completions take place during the cleanup stage of the completion, after the well has been “fracked.”

The cleanup involves removing the water necessary to frac the well. During this flow back, natural gases are produced with the water. What makes the well completion green, or environmentally friendly, is that the gas is separated from the water and placed in a pipeline instead of being released into the atmosphere.

First, the sand separator filters out any sand, sending it through a 2-in. pipe into the disposal tank. That filtering leaves a mixture of natural gas and water. The second piece of equipment separates the water, which then reunites with the sand in the disposal tank.

The gas, meanwhile, is diverted into a separate pipe and eventually sent by pipeline to a processing plant.

To enable green completions, a team meeting is conducted weekly in Devon’s field office in Bridgeport, Texas, where employees discuss the strategy and timing necessary to coordinate pipeline construction and well completions.

The goal is always to have a pipeline in place by the scheduled date of the final frac job on any given well. This eliminates a potential delay that could prevent a green completion.

Devon performs green completions voluntarily. The procedure is generally not required in the Barnett Shale except in Fort Worth and the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

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