Understanding Methane Emission from Natural Gas Activities Using Inverse Modeling Techniques

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Maryam Abdioskouei and Gregory R Carmichael, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, United States
Natural gas (NG) has been promoted as a bridge fuel that can smooth the transition from fossil fuels to zero carbon energy sources by having lower carbon dioxide emission and lower global warming impacts in comparison to other fossil fuels. However, the uncertainty around the estimations of methane emissions from NG systems can lead to underestimation of climate and environmental impacts of using NG as a replacement for coal. Accurate estimates of methane emissions from NG operations is crucial for evaluation of environmental impacts of NG extraction and at larger scale, adoption of NG as transitional fuel. However there is a great inconsistency within the current estimates.

Forward simulation of methane from oil and gas operation sites for the US is carried out based on NEI-2011 using the WRF-Chem model. Simulated values are compared against measurements of observations from different platforms such as airborne (FRAPPÉ field campaign) and ground-based measurements (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory). A novel inverse modeling technique is used in this work to improve the model fit to the observation values and to constrain methane emission from oil and gas extraction sites.