PEFTEC 2019 - Abstract

Abstract Title: Characterizing methane emissions from the global oil and gas supply chain: multi-scale field studies
Abstract Type: Poster
Session Choice: Other
Presenter Name: Mr Daniel Zavala Araiza
Company/Organisation: Environmental Defense Fund
Country: United States

Abstract Information :

The use of empirical data to characterize methane emissions across global oil and gas operations is critical in order to design effective mitigation strategies. While methane emissions from the US oil and gas system have been comprehensively studied over the last few years, other significant oil and gas producing regions across the world have limited empirically-derived data.

Several countries have announced pledges to reduce methane emissions from this system (e.g., North America, Climate and Clean Air Coalition [CCAC] ministers), with some countries already taking concrete steps to regulate emissions (i.e., Canada, US). For these pledges and regulations to work, it is crucial to know the current emissions baseline as well as the characteristics of the major emitting sources across different sectors and regions.

We synthesize lessons learned from several field studies in the US (e.g., replicate mass balance estimates, apportionment techniques, capturing the effect of super-emitters) and then we present initial results from coordinated multiscale (i.e., airborne-based, ground-based) measurement campaigns in Canada and The Netherlands.

For our Canada field study we targeted different regions (i.e., conventional and unconventional production) in Alberta - the largest fossil fuel producing province in Canada. Our work shows that many major sources of emissions are unmeasured or underreported. Consistent with previous studies in the US, a small fraction of sites disproportionately account for the majority of emissions.

In the case of The Netherlands, we show results from a field study that targeted the Groningen region - one of Europe's major gas fields. Here we highlight the importance of attribution efforts (i.e., fossil vs. biogenic), and how the particular characteristics of the infrastructure (i.e., production clusters) affects observed emissions.

Finally, we summarize next steps as part of the CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Study: ongoing work that is targeting oil and gas sectors/production regions with limited empirical data on methane emissions. This effort will be based on the five key principles previously applied to the studies quantifying methane emissions from the oil and gas supply chain in the US: studies led by academic researchers; all data made public, deployment of multiple measurement methodologies; external scientific review; results released in peer-reviewed scientific journals.