Due to the complexity of the oil and gas industry, many types of production facilities exist, and several facilities may be located on one location. For example, the aerial photograph of the oil and gas location below includes thirty-five separators, storage consisting of twenty-six tanks, a pigging station, and four midstream gas metering stations, but no oil and gas wells.
Example Complex Oil and Gas Production Location
(Colorado ECMC Facility ID #481308)1Colorado Energy & Carbon Management Commission, aerial photograph, accessed June 7, 2023, https://cogccmap.state.co.us/cogcc_gis_online/COGCC Facility ID#481308
As the industry becomes more complex and works to become more efficient, the type of facilities being designed, constructed and operated will continue to change. The diagram below provides an overview of Anadarko’s Oil Stabilization Facility in the Wattenberg Field, DJ Basin, that processes “fizzy oil” to enable it to be transported via pipeline, and separates methane and natural gas liquids (NGL) for gas gathering.
Oil Stabilization Facility
Anadarko Wattenberg Oil Complex LLC Central Oil Stabilization Plant
(Colorado ECMC Facility ID #444253; Document #2559734)2Colorado Energy & Carbon Management Commission, Anadarko Wattenberg Oil Complex LLC Central Oil Stabilization Plant, accessed September 30, 2023, https://ecmc.state.co.us/cogisdb/Resources/Docs?classid=03&id=444253
Constructed by Anadarko as an effort to reduce its environmental footprint, the Central Oil Stabilization Facility spans 67 acres in south-central Weld County, Colorado. Sustainability goals for the site include taking thousands of trucks off the road, reducing well-site emissions, taking equipment off the landscape, and reducing the company’s oil & gas footprint. The facility takes the place of separation equipment at individual well pads, as well as individual pads’ vapor recovery units that limit fugitive emissions on site.3Dunn, S., 2015, November 15, Anadarko unveils its Central Oil Stabilization Facility in northern Colorado, Greeley Tribune.
The centralized facility allows Anadarko to operate its well pads with no storage tanks on site, instead piping crude directly from the wellhead to the stabilization facility, eliminating the introduction of fugitive methane emissions into the atmosphere.4Dunn, S., 2015, November 15, Anadarko unveils its Central Oil Stabilization Facility in northern Colorado, Greeley Tribune.
At the time of construction, Craig Walters, vice president of operations for Anadarko, explained: “With oil (storage) tanks on location, the oil itself wants to give off natural gas, so you have vapor recovery units sucking on that all the time to recover that gas and put it into the pipeline. With this facility, we’re able to eliminate that infrastructure.5Dunn, S., 2015, November 15, Anadarko unveils its Central Oil Stabilization Facility in northern Colorado, Greeley Tribune.
The emission is a big story around the Centralized Oil Stabilization Facility. To eliminate tankage off individual well sites and additional equipment, we’ve reduced the amount of potential fugitive emissions off those locations. This is a huge win in my eyes, from an environmental and emissions standpoint.”6Dunn, S., 2015, November 15, Anadarko unveils its Central Oil Stabilization Facility in northern Colorado, Greeley Tribune.
Piping the hydrocarbons from the well to the centralized facility will also take trucks off the road. “When you talk about our gross oil production, and how many trucks it takes to pick up that oil, that’s about 600 18-wheelers a day,” Walters said.7Dunn, S., 2015, November 15, Anadarko unveils its Central Oil Stabilization Facility in northern Colorado, Greeley Tribune.
Images: “Complex-Oil-and-Gas-Production-Facility-COGCC-ID-481308” by COGCC-ID-#481308; “Centralized-Stablization-Facility-COGCC-ID-#444253-Document-#2559734” by COGCC-ID-#444253-Document-#2559734