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Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Opportunity in Plugging Wells

Over the course of a century of drilling activities, the United States now has 3 million abandoned oil and gas wells, with more than 2 million of them remaining "unplugged" according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These idle wells release millions of metric tons of methane, a greenhouse gas that's 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span. Plugging these wells has the potential to reduce emissions by 99%, and doing so can generate valuable Emission Reduction Credits, often earning up to seven figures in revenue. 

Sound like something that could be useful for your unplugged or recently plugged wells? Many fail to take advantage of this program due to the costly and cumbersome application process, but with our expertise, applicants can get fair pricing on credits, find the right buyer, and save the stress of brokering a deal. 


How Does It Work? 

Scott Witcher, our Vice President of Emissions, explains the process and the unique role AEGIS plays in two minutes below: 

Key takeaways: 
  • Many oil & gas sites in certain areas of TX & LA are eligible to generate when they plug a well 
  • AEGIS offers a turnkey solution, only receiving payment when your ERCs are monetized 
  • ERCs can often be worth upwards of six figures 
  • Minimal time and no upfront cost when filing your application 

If you've recently plugged a well or are planning on doing so soon, you have an opportunity to generate valuable Emission Reduction Credits–Let us do the heavy lifting for you. 

Start Today

What are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of carbon-based chemicals that can easily evaporate into the air. They include a variety of compounds with different characteristics and impacts on the environment. When it comes to abandoned wells, VOCs can be released into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution and potentially posing health and environmental risks. 
ERCs, on the other hand, are a mechanism that recognizes and quantifies emission reductions achieved through activities like well plugging. As these wells are sealed, the release of VOCs is substantially diminished. This reduction in VOC emissions not only contributes to improved air quality but also holds a significant environmental value. 
By plugging abandoned wells and curbing VOC emissions, companies and regions can generate ERCs that can be traded or used to offset emissions from other sources. This not only aligns with regulatory requirements but also fosters a cleaner, more sustainable future. 
In essence, understanding VOCs and their connection to ERCs sheds light on how responsible well plugging can translate into measurable environmental benefits and regulatory incentives. It's a proactive step towards reducing our carbon footprint and safeguarding the planet for generations to come. 


Classification of Inorganic Organic Pollutants (adapted from WHO1)

Boiling Point Range (°C)
Example Compounds
Very volatile (gaseous) organic compounds
<0 to 50-100
Propane, butane, methyl chloride
Volatile organic compounds
50-100 to 240-260
Formaldehyde, d-Limonene, toluene, acetone, ethanol (ethyl alcohol) 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol), hexanal
Semi volatile organic compounds
240-260 to 380-400
Pesticides (DDT, chlordane, plasticizers (phthalates), fire retardants (PCBs, PBB))

Sourced from EPA

Have questions about VOCs or other emissions programs?
We’re here to help. 

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1. World Health Organization, 1989. "Indoor air quality: organic pollutants." Report on a WHO Meeting, Berlin, 23-27 August 1987. EURO Reports and Studies 111. Copenhagen, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.