A Quantification of Methane Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Extraction Regions in the Central/Western U.S. and a Comparison to Previous Studies

Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 16:12
3014 (Moscone West)
Jeff Peischl1,2, Kenneth C. Aikin1,2, Scott Joseph Eilerman1,2, Jessica Gilman1,2, Joost A De Gouw1,2, Scott C. Herndon3, Brian M Lerner1,2, J A Neuman1,2, Travis Wade Tokarek4, Michael Trainer2, Carsten Warneke1,2 and Thomas B Ryerson2, (1)Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA, United States, (4)University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
We present airborne measurements of methane and ethane taken aboard a NOAA WP-3D research aircraft over five regions of oil and natural gas extraction in March and April, 2015, as part of the Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) field study. The five regions are the (1) Haynesville, (2) Barnett, and (3) Eagle Ford regions in Texas, (4) the Denver-Julesburg region of Colorado, and (5) the Bakken region of North Dakota. From these measurements, we derive methane emission rates from these regions using the mass balance method. Next, we attribute the methane emissions to oil and natural gas extraction, livestock operations, and other source sectors based on correlations of methane with ethane and ammonia. We then compare these emissions to those reported from previous studies, where applicable. Finally, we compare reported methane emissions from multiple regional-scale studies with inventory estimates of methane emissions from U.S. oil and natural gas production.