Quantifying the Industrial Facility-Level Emission Rate of Methane in Various Segments of the Natural Gas Industry

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 11:05 AM
Scott C. Herndon1, Joseph R Roscioli1, Tara Irene Yacovitch1, Cody R Floerchinger1, Austin Mitchell2, Daniel S Tkacik2, R Subramanian2, Allen L Robinson2, David M Martinez3, Timothy L Vaughn3, Laurie Williams3, Dan Zimmerle3 and Anthony Marchese3, (1)Aerodyne Research Inc, Billerica, MA, United States, (2)Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, (3)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States
Methane, the dominant component in natural gas, is a potent short-lived radiative forcer. Recent technological advances in the extraction of oil and gas have increased the production rate dramatically since early 2000. In the context of CO2 emissions per energy generated, natural gas promises a tantalizing thermodynamic advantage over coal and other hydrocarbons. Natural gas emissions to the atmosphere along the entire path from well to customer, however, can wipe out the radiative forcing advantage once they surpass a threshold fraction of distributed gas. Recent studies have been undertaken to assess the methane emissions at various types of facilities within different sectors of the oil and gas industry. The distribution of observed facility level emission rates along with other results and conclusions from those studies will be presented. The implications that these findings have on the emissions inventories from these sectors will be discussed.