Oil & Gas Work Group

Aerial View of Windblown Dust, West-Central Nevada Fire Event, Jarbidge Class I Wilderness Area, Nevada Balance Rock, Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, Wyoming Anchorage, Alaska
Oil & Gas Work Group workplan scope (effective November 29, 2021)

(Board-approved OGWG workplan scope – November 2021)

Current OGWG Activities

2022 Annual Member Survey - Due June 24, 2022 (Online or Excel)


Oil and gas exploration and production activities are significant air pollution sources in the western United States. There is wide variation by basin, in terms of the types of wells and equipment operated and quantities of hydrocarbons produced, the number of wells to be maintained and to be newly drilled, the extraction practices and emission control technology applied in the drilling-completion-maintenance-production activities. Taxes on produced hydrocarbon resources fund state, tribal, and federal governments, and the commodity prices are subject to wide variation affecting both existing production and emissions, as well as development of new and/or replacement wells.

With the oil and gas sector continuing to experience rapid change and innovation over time, air regulatory agencies are responding to health and welfare issues under the federal Clean Air Act as well as through state and tribal authorities. These include jurisdiction-wide emissions reporting and control requirements, linked to efforts to address local issues and impacts. In the WESTAR-WRAP region, oil and gas exploration and production activity is concentrated in California, Alaska, and the Intermountain Region, with emissions management by states, tribes, and EPA. The produced hydrocarbons are transported with various methods for further processing and are then used in dozens or hundreds of products. The use of produced hydrocarbons for power, industrial, and commercial applications is ubiquitous in the U.S. and other well-developed economies.

Studies point to the need for improvements in the exploration and production emissions inventory to make those estimates more consistent, accurate, and complete across the various jurisdictions, as being one of the most needed datasets for air quality planning. Related analysis needs include:

  • More fully and more accurately characterizing emissions from individual exploration and production equipment and activity processes for emission inventory and air quality planning purposes;
  • Better understanding of results from top-down vs. bottom-up emissions and flux studies;
  • Identifying methods to address the super-emitter phenomena across the many types of production and differing geographic areas; and
  • Improving emissions estimates for leaking and venting of tanks and other systems.
The Oil and Gas Work Group (OGWG) efforts on these analysis topics will improve reported data quality, performance of air quality models, and exposure estimates. The OGWG also has an important role to coordinate regional communication and knowledge-sharing among WESTAR-WRAP members. The OGWG will address the members’ programs and data collection. The OGWG will provide oversight and coordinate efforts with projects and activities for WESTAR-WRAP and with other groups related to Oil and Gas.

Responsibilities and Deliverables

The Oil and Gas Work Group (OGWG) will organize teams to focus on, address, organize analyses, and report on 3 key topics for WESTAR-WRAP members, addressing issues from the preceding section:
  • Conduct annual survey of Oil and Gas-related air quality management needs;
  • Improve emission inventories for the region and individual jurisdictions; and
  • Prepare annual assessment to track efforts to implement rules and control strategies, and report on compliance activities and emissions management structures.
This work must take into consideration differing levels of expertise, programmatic approaches, cultural necessities, and needs by agency. Several of these activities involve close coordination, facilitated by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), as is done with other WRAP Work Groups.

Operations and Reporting

The Co-Chairs will provide a summary report to the TSC at each TSC/WG Co-Chairs meeting, about the status of activities, findings, and work products for the topics described above. The Co-Chairs, with support from WESTAR-WRAP staff, will maintain an active open membership composed of interested state, tribal, local, and federal air agency and land manager experts, and publish the OGWG membership list and track participation on the Oil & Gas Work Group web page. No formal detailed workplan is required but welcome. The OGWG will have regular virtual or in-person meetings every 4 months to manage activities and provide oversight to projects. Subcommittees or Teams to be defined by the OGWG will execute, track, and provide oversight for both in-kind and/or contractor-supported OGWG projects and will meet at self-defined separate intervals. The task-oriented topics and responsibilities for a Subcommittee or Team will be a subset of the bulleted topics above from this Responsibilities and Deliverables section. The leads for Teams and Subcommittees will meet monthly with the OGWG Co-Chairs to note progress. The topics above will need additional clarification and definition in the process of defining a Subcommittee’s or a Team’s scopes, assignments, and intended deliverables in writing. Any Teams and Subcommittees will report regularly to the OGWG. The OGWG Co-Chairs will plan and direct the regular calls and meetings, and with assistance from WESTAR-WRAP staff, take the lead in communications and other necessary TSC and Board interaction.

Subcommittees and Teams

None at this time.

Active Projects

2022 Annual Member Survey - Due June 24, 2022 (Online or Excel). See April 28, 2022 Survey Logistics meeting materials below.

Work Products and Materials

OGWG Analysis (November 2021-January 2022) WESTAR-WRAP Region Oil and Gas Emission Inventory Refinement (additional work for BLM - leverages OGWG products below) OGWG Work Products:
  • OGWG Projected Emissions from Baseline Year Emissions Inventory
    1. Final Report (March 5, 2020) and Inventory Spreadsheet (final version of March 5, 2020) for the “Continuation of Historical Trends” projection inventory. These data will be used in modeling and control analyses for Regional Haze planning.
    2. State of Colorado projections methodology (PDF) (January 2, 2020, data are included in the Final Report and Inventory Spreadsheet above).
    3. State of New Mexico updated projections data from early Feb. 2020 are included in the Final Report and Inventory Spreadsheet above.
  • OGWG Baseline Year Alaska and Intermountain Region Emissions Inventory revised final deliverables – Sept. 2019
    1. The Revised Final Report and Inventory Spreadsheet were completed in mid-Sept. and posted on Sept. 23, 2019. These files completely replace the previously posted July 2019 report and spreadsheet, while the gas profile information posted in July is unchanged. The July report and spreadsheet files have been removed to avoid confusion. The Revised Final Report includes updates from the July postings to include the: 1) Colorado O&G emissions based on new inventories provided by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Southern Ute Indian Tribe and 2) Williston Basin casinghead gas emission inventory to correct emissions that were biased low based on EPA O&G Tool inputs.
  • OGWG Emissions Survey for State Air Agencies and O&G Operators
    1. Complete survey (January 2019)
    2. Fleet turnover and controls-focused survey (January 2019)

Work Group Meetings:


2022-08-16 OGWG Regular Meeting (scheduled)

2022-04-28 Survey implementation Logistics Meeting
2022-04-12 OGWG Regular Meeting
2022-03-22 Focus Area Implementation Meeting #3 2022-03-01 2020 EPA O&G Emissions Tool Discussion with EPA

2022-02-22 Focus Area Implementation Meeting #2
2022-01-25 Focus Area Implementation Meeting #1 (kick-off) 2021

2021-11-30 2021-09-30 - Draft Work Plan Scope - Special Call 2021-08-03 2021-03-30
OGWG Meetings and Materials 2016 through 2020 (click to expand)

2020-12-08 2020-08-11 2020-04-14 2020-02-11 2019

2019-12-10 2019-10-08 2019-10-01 2019-08-13 2019-6-11 2019-4-9
2019-1-22 - Special Call
2018-12-11 (scheduled)
2018-10-09 2018-08-14 2018-06-12 2018-04-09 2018-02-13 2018-01-24 - Special Call (rescheduled from 2018-01-17) 2017
2017-12-12 2017-10-10 2017-09-12 – OGWG Special Call 2017-08-08 2017-06-13 2017-04-11 2017-03-14 2017-01-10 2016
2016-12-13 2016-11-15

Other Resources: