QEP Resources is a leader in environmental stewardship, reducing air emissions through advanced engineering, completions technology and facility design. QEP has been awarded the Chairman’s Annual Environmental Stewardship award multiple times by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Most recently in 2014, QEP was recognized for its “Zero Emissions Liquids Transfer System” in eastern Utah.
QEP began developing the Red Wash Lower Mesaverde formation in eastern Utah in 2008. In 2010, QEP began electrifying individual well pads and reduced emissions by eliminating the pneumatic pumps on location. In 2013, QEP began operations on its first multi-well pad in the program. This 32 well pad was designed to be an emission-less location, utilizing no-emissions completions, bulk separation, electrification, and liquids gathering, nearly eliminating emissions on the pad.
With 16 producing wells (two groups of eight wells) on the pad, no trucking is necessary to move frac water to the pad or produced liquids (water and condensate) from the pad. Water for hydraulic fracturing is piped from QEP’s fresh-water pipeline to the pad. Flow back water is transported to the central processing facility through the liquids gathering system, utilizing well head pressure and pumps. Liquids produced from the wells are combined in headers and transported from the production separators to the central processing facility using the liquid transfer system. All pumps on location are electric motors with variable frequency drives on the larger motors to reduce the strain on the electric grid and to maximize pump efficiencies to move produced liquids into the liquids gathering system.
The liquid transfer system is a fully-contained pressurized system that utilizes a pressurized liquid surge vessel and transfer pumps. This system eliminates emissions of volatile organic compounds caused by “flashing” the condensate in an atmospheric tank. The pressurized liquids are pumped directly from the surge vessel into the liquids pipeline to the central processing facility utilizing the liquid transfer pumps.
QEP invested significant resources to plan and construct the Red Wash pad development program, resulting in reduced emissions and truck traffic.