Bakken Air Quality Study (BAQS)

Background

The Bakken formation contains billions of barrels of oil and gas trapped in rock and shale in North Dakota, Montana, and Canada.  New horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing methods have allowed the exploitation of these deposits, leading to exponential growth in the production of oil in the region.  Although oil is the primary commodity in the Bakken, there is also associated natural gas, much of which is flared, generating significant gaseous and particle emissions.  There are also emissions from the support for drilling, operation, and maintenance of active wells.  The rapid expansion of the oil and gas sector has the potential to significantly impact air quality at three national parks in the region: Fort Union Trading Post (FOUS), Knife River Indian Villages (KNRI), and Theodore Roosevelt National Park (THRO).  There are also two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Class I areas nearby: Lostwood, ND, and Medicine Lake, MT (MELA).  Growing concern about potential impacts of oil and gas development on air quality in these protected areas prompted a special study in February-April 2013 and November 2013-March 2014.  The study was conducted at five field sites during the first measurement period: THRO north, THRO south, FOUS, KNRI, and MELA; and three sites during the second phase: THRO north, FOUS and MELA. The north unit of THRO served as the core sampling site, while the satellite sites provided a regional assessment of air quality.  All sites included measurements of fine particulate matter and its composition, trace gases, wet deposition, and meteorology.  During the second phase of the study, speciated VOC measurements also were made.

special-studies

 

Publications

Oil and gas impacts on air quality in federal lands in the Bakken region: an overview of the Bakken Air Quality Study and first results

Prenni, A.J., D.E. Day, A.R. Evanoski-Cole, B.C. Sive, A. Hecobian, Y. Zhou, K.A. Gebhart, J.L. Hand, A.P. Sullivan, Y. Li, M.I. Schurman, Y. Desyaterik, W.C. Malm, J.L. Collett Jr. and B.A. Schichtel, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 1401-1416, doi:10.5194/acp-16-1401-2016, 2016.

Composition and sources of winter haze in the Bakken oil and gas extraction region

Evanoski-Cole, A.R, K.A. Gebhart, B.C. Sive, Y. Zhou, S.L. Capps, D.E. Day, A.J. Prenni, M.I. Schurman; A.P. Sullivan, Y. Li, J.L. Hand, B.A. Schichtel, and J.L. Collett, Jr., Atmospheric Environment, 156, 77-87, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.02.019, 2017.