Impacts of Oil and Gas Production on Winter Ozone Pollution in the Uintah Basin Using Model Source Apportionment

Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:15 PM
Huy Nguyen Quang Tran1, Trang T Tran2, Marc L Mansfield2 and Seth N Lyman1, (1)Utah State University, Vernal, UT, United States, (2)Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States
Contributions of emissions from oil and gas activities to elevated ozone concentrations in the Uintah Basin – Utah were evaluated using the CMAQ Integrated Source Apportionment Method (CMAQ-ISAM) technique, and were compared with the results of traditional budgeting methods. Unlike the traditional budgeting method, which compares simulations with and without emissions of the source(s) in question to quantify its impacts, the CMAQ-ISAM technique assigns tags to emissions of each source and tracks their evolution through physical and chemical processes to quantify the final ozone product yield from the source. Model simulations were performed for two episodes in winter 2013 of low and high ozone to provide better understanding of source contributions under different weather conditions. Due to the highly nonlinear ozone chemistry, results obtained from the two methods differed significantly. The growing oil and gas industry in the Uintah Basin is the largest contributor to the elevated zone (>75 ppb) observed in the Basin. This study therefore provides an insight into the impact of oil and gas industry on the ozone issue, and helps in determining effective control strategies.