Variety of speakers, topics set for environmental seminar

May 4, 2024

Midland Reporter-Telegram

by Mella McEwen

A varied combination of regulators and industry representatives will gather next week for Midland College’s Permian Basin Environmental Regulatory Seminar.

The annual event will be held May 9 at the Bush Convention Center, with registration opening at 7:30 a.m.

“It’s a good balance of regulators and industry,” said Chelsy Gann, director of workforce continuing education at Midland College.

Speakers will address a wide variety of topics, from induced seismicity to ‘forever chemicals’ to methane.

Gann said she believes Kaylin McDermett’s presentation on “PFAS in Oil and Gas — Understanding the Facts, Breaking Down the Myths and Protecting Your Operations” will be a hot topic. McDermett is with Geosyntec Consultants.

Another presentation she believes will be popular focuses on drones in the oilpatch. Dann Schantz with Venture Robotics will present “Drones and Their Operational Impacts in the Petroleum Industry.”

Drones, observed Gann “are up and coming, especially in the oil and gas industry.”

New technological developments will include a presentation from Ernie Miller and John Doyle with Verde Clean Fuels, who will close out the seminar. Verde and Diamondback Energy have teamed up to build a natural gas-to-gasoline facility on a Diamondback facility in Martin County. Miller and Doyle will give a presentation on “Waste to Gasoline: How to Decarbonize Transportation Fuels and Green the Oil Field.”

Regulatory agencies will be well represented, with Becky Griffin and Deon David with the New Mexico State Land Office opening the seminar with a presentation introducing the agency’s Environmental Compliance Office. Tom Fouts with the Railroad Commission will speak on hydrogen sulfide and Taimur Shaikh with the Environmental Protection Agency will offer EPA regulatory updates with an energy perspective.

Michael Lozano with the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Jennifer Bradford with Bradford Consulting & Legal Services, Mark Henkhaus with Permian Regulatory Solutions and Terri Stathem with Marathon Oil will participate in a panel discussion offering industry insight on state regulatory challenges and opportunities.

A second panel discussion will focus on methane and emissions regulations with David Elam of TRC Companies, Grant Swartzwelder with OTA Environmental Solutions, Jennifer Blackledge with ChampionX and Caitlan Capps with Qube Technologies.

Cody Comisky with Chevron will give a presentation on the issues and opportunities surrounding induced seismicity and produced water management in the Permian Basin.

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