The goal of this assessment was to identify and evaluate waste minimization alternatives (WMAs) as they may apply to natural gas industry (NGI) operations. Economic evaluations were performed to document WMAs that may or may not be cost effective for use by the NGI. Because many NGI operations and resulting waste streams occur in various segments of the industry, WMAs identified for waste streams generated from a particular NGI segment may be applicable to similar waste streams generated in other NGI segments (e.g., waste oils from compressors at compressor stations, gas plants, and storage reservoirs). Approximately sixty waste stream categories were identified from drilling/exploration, production, processing/conditioning, compression and transmission, and underground storage operations. From the 60 waste stream categories, approximately 30 priority" waste stream categories and 170 potential waste minimization alternatives were identified for further evaluation using a priority screening process.

A computer model (GRI WMIN-Econ) was developed for performing consistent economic analyses. Using the DOS executable economic model, operators and/or managers can modify the parameters in the assessments, or create new evaluations using a new set of parameters and assumptions.

Economic assessments were performed and documented for 16 priority WMAs. Of the 16 cases evaluated, seven showed positive economic benefits based on the assumptions used. Three alternatives were not economically feasible. Six alternatives, while not economically feasible under certain assumptions, can be economic depending on the specific case assumptions. The overall technical approach taken for this waste minimization assessment is presented in Fig. 1.

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