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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2085, 2022 Apr 19.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35440563

RESUMEN

Eighty percent of US oil and natural gas (O&G) production sites are low production well sites, with average site-level production ≤15 barrels of oil equivalent per day and producing only 6% of the nation's O&G output in 2019. Here, we integrate national site-level O&G production data and previously reported site-level CH4 measurement data (n = 240) and find that low production well sites are a disproportionately large source of US O&G well site CH4 emissions, emitting more than 4 (95% confidence interval: 3-6) teragrams, 50% more than the total CH4 emissions from the Permian Basin, one of the world's largest O&G producing regions. We estimate low production well sites represent roughly half (37-75%) of all O&G well site CH4 emissions, and a production-normalized CH4 loss rate of more than 10%-a factor of 6-12 times higher than the mean CH4 loss rate of 1.5% for all O&G well sites in the US. Our work suggests that achieving significant reductions in O&G CH4 emissions will require mitigation of emissions from low production well sites.


Asunto(s)
Contaminantes Atmosféricos , Gas Natural , Contaminantes Atmosféricos/análisis , Metano/análisis , Gas Natural/análisis , Yacimiento de Petróleo y Gas
2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4715, 2021 08 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34354066

RESUMEN

Methane (CH4) emissions from oil and natural gas (O&NG) systems are an important contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, recent synthesis studies of field measurements of CH4 emissions at different spatial scales are ~1.5-2× greater compared to official greenhouse gas inventory (GHGI) estimates, with the production-segment as the dominant contributor to this divergence. Based on an updated synthesis of measurements from component-level field studies, we develop a new inventory-based model for CH4 emissions, for the production-segment only, that agrees within error with recent syntheses of site-level field studies and allows for isolation of equipment-level contributions. We find that unintentional emissions from liquid storage tanks and other equipment leaks are the largest contributors to divergence with the GHGI. If our proposed method were adopted in the United States and other jurisdictions, inventory estimates could better guide CH4 mitigation policy priorities.

3.
Environ Sci Technol ; 54(21): 13926-13934, 2020 11 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33058723

RESUMEN

Methane emission fluxes were estimated for 71 oil and gas well pads in the western Permian Basin (Delaware Basin), using a mobile laboratory and an inverse Gaussian dispersion method (OTM 33A). Sites with emissions that were below detection limit (BDL) for OTM 33A were recorded and included in the sample. Average emission rate per site was estimated by bootstrapping and by maximum likelihood best log-normal fit. Sites had to be split into "complex" (sites with liquid storage tanks and/or compressors) and "simple" (sites with only wellheads/pump jacks/separators) categories to achieve acceptable log-normal fits. For complex sites, the log-normal fit depends heavily on the number of BDL sites included. As more BDL sites are included, the log-normal distribution fit to the data is falsely widened, overestimating the mean, highlighting the importance of correctly characterizing low end emissions when using log-normal fits. Basin-wide methane emission rates were estimated for the production sector of the New Mexico portion of the Permian and range from ∼520 000 tons per year, TPY (bootstrapping, 95% CI: 300 000-790 000) to ∼610 000 TPY (log-normal fit method, 95% CI: 330 000-1 000 000). These estimates are a factor of 5.5-9.0 times greater than EPA National Emission Inventory (NEI) estimates for the region.


Asunto(s)
Contaminantes Atmosféricos , Metano , Contaminantes Atmosféricos/análisis , Laboratorios , Metano/análisis , Gas Natural/análisis , New Mexico
4.
Sci Adv ; 6(17): eaaz5120, 2020 Apr.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32494644

RESUMEN

Using new satellite observations and atmospheric inverse modeling, we report methane emissions from the Permian Basin, which is among the world's most prolific oil-producing regions and accounts for >30% of total U.S. oil production. Based on satellite measurements from May 2018 to March 2019, Permian methane emissions from oil and natural gas production are estimated to be 2.7 ± 0.5 Tg a-1, representing the largest methane flux ever reported from a U.S. oil/gas-producing region and are more than two times higher than bottom-up inventory-based estimates. This magnitude of emissions is 3.7% of the gross gas extracted in the Permian, i.e., ~60% higher than the national average leakage rate. The high methane leakage rate is likely contributed by extensive venting and flaring, resulting from insufficient infrastructure to process and transport natural gas. This work demonstrates a high-resolution satellite data-based atmospheric inversion framework, providing a robust top-down analytical tool for quantifying and evaluating subregional methane emissions.

5.
Environ Sci Technol ; 52(21): 12915-12925, 2018 11 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30256618

RESUMEN

We used site-level methane (CH4) emissions data from over 1000 natural gas (NG) production sites in eight basins, including 92 new site-level CH4 measurements in the Uinta, northeastern Marcellus, and Denver-Julesburg basins, to investigate CH4 emissions characteristics and develop a new national CH4 emission estimate for the NG production sector. The distribution of site-level emissions is highly skewed, with the top 5% of sites accounting for 50% of cumulative emissions. High emitting sites are predominantly also high producing (>10 Mcfd). However, low NG production sites emit a larger fraction of their CH4 production. When combined with activity data, we predict that this creates substantial variability in the basin-level CH4 emissions which, as a fraction of basin-level CH4 production, range from 0.90% for the Appalachian and Greater Green River to >4.5% in the San Juan and San Joaquin. This suggests that much of the basin-level differences in production-normalized CH4 emissions reported by aircraft studies can be explained by differences in site size and distribution of site-level production rates. We estimate that NG production sites emit total CH4 emissions of 830 Mg/h (95% CI: 530-1200), 63% of which come from the sites producing <100 Mcfd that account for only 10% of total NG production. Our total CH4 emissions estimate is 2.3 times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's estimate and likely attributable to the disproportionate influence of high emitting sites.


Asunto(s)
Contaminantes Atmosféricos , Gas Natural , Región de los Apalaches , Metano , Estados Unidos , United States Environmental Protection Agency
6.
Science ; 361(6398): 186-188, 2018 07 13.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29930092

RESUMEN

Methane emissions from the U.S. oil and natural gas supply chain were estimated by using ground-based, facility-scale measurements and validated with aircraft observations in areas accounting for ~30% of U.S. gas production. When scaled up nationally, our facility-based estimate of 2015 supply chain emissions is 13 ± 2 teragrams per year, equivalent to 2.3% of gross U.S. gas production. This value is ~60% higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inventory estimate, likely because existing inventory methods miss emissions released during abnormal operating conditions. Methane emissions of this magnitude, per unit of natural gas consumed, produce radiative forcing over a 20-year time horizon comparable to the CO2 from natural gas combustion. Substantial emission reductions are feasible through rapid detection of the root causes of high emissions and deployment of less failure-prone systems.

7.
Environ Sci Technol ; 50(4): 2099-107, 2016 Feb 16.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26824407

RESUMEN

There is a need for continued assessment of methane (CH4) emissions associated with natural gas (NG) production, especially as recent advancements in horizontal drilling combined with staged hydraulic fracturing technologies have dramatically increased NG production (we refer to these wells as "unconventional" NG wells). In this study, we measured facility-level CH4 emissions rates from the NG production sector in the Marcellus region, and compared CH4 emissions between unconventional NG (UNG) well pad sites and the relatively smaller and older "conventional" NG (CvNG) sites that consist of wells drilled vertically into permeable geologic formations. A top-down tracer-flux CH4 measurement approach utilizing mobile downwind intercepts of CH4, ethane, and tracer (nitrous oxide and acetylene) plumes was performed at 18 CvNG sites (19 individual wells) and 17 UNG sites (88 individual wells). The 17 UNG sites included four sites undergoing completion flowback (FB). The mean facility-level CH4 emission rate among UNG well pad sites in routine production (18.8 kg/h (95% confidence interval (CI) on the mean of 12.0-26.8 kg/h)) was 23 times greater than the mean CH4 emissions from CvNG sites. These differences were attributed, in part, to the large size (based on number of wells and ancillary NG production equipment) and the significantly higher production rate of UNG sites. However, CvNG sites generally had much higher production-normalized CH4 emission rates (median: 11%; range: 0.35-91%) compared to UNG sites (median: 0.13%, range: 0.01-1.2%), likely resulting from a greater prevalence of avoidable process operating conditions (e.g., unresolved equipment maintenance issues). At the regional scale, we estimate that total annual CH4 emissions from 88 500 combined CvNG well pads in Pennsylvania and West Virginia (660 Gg (95% CI: 500 to 800 Gg)) exceeded that from 3390 UNG well pads by 170 Gg, reflecting the large number of CvNG wells and the comparably large fraction of CH4 lost per unit production. The new emissions data suggest that the recently instituted Pennsylvania CH4 emissions inventory substantially underestimates measured facility-level CH4 emissions by >10-40 times for five UNG sites in this study.


Asunto(s)
Contaminantes Atmosféricos/análisis , Metano/análisis , Yacimiento de Petróleo y Gas , Industria del Petróleo y Gas , Etano/análisis , Gas Natural , Óxido Nitroso/análisis , Pennsylvania , West Virginia
9.
Environ Sci Technol ; 49(5): 3219-27, 2015 Mar 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25668106

RESUMEN

Facility-level methane emissions were measured at 114 gathering facilities and 16 processing plants in the United States natural gas system. At gathering facilities, the measured methane emission rates ranged from 0.7 to 700 kg per hour (kg/h) (0.6 to 600 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm)). Normalized emissions (as a % of total methane throughput) were less than 1% for 85 gathering facilities and 19 had normalized emissions less than 0.1%. The range of methane emissions rates for processing plants was 3 to 600 kg/h (3 to 524 scfm), corresponding to normalized methane emissions rates <1% in all cases. The distributions of methane emissions, particularly for gathering facilities, are skewed. For example, 30% of gathering facilities contribute 80% of the total emissions. Normalized emissions rates are negatively correlated with facility throughput. The variation in methane emissions also appears driven by differences between inlet and outlet pressure, as well as venting and leaking equipment. Substantial venting from liquids storage tanks was observed at 20% of gathering facilities. Emissions rates at these facilities were, on average, around four times the rates observed at similar facilities without substantial venting.


Asunto(s)
Contaminantes Atmosféricos/análisis , Monitoreo del Ambiente/estadística & datos numéricos , Industria Procesadora y de Extracción/estadística & datos numéricos , Metano/análisis , Gas Natural , Estados Unidos
10.
Environ Monit Assess ; 186(11): 7565-77, 2014 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25098898

RESUMEN

Accurate determination of the levels of dissolved hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) is an important step in estimating the dynamics of their inputs and losses in aqueous systems. This study explores an alternative method for efficiently sampling dissolved HOCs while mitigating a number of sampling artifacts associated with traditional methods. The adsorption characteristics of a new polymeric resin, PoraPak Rxn RP (PPR), were assessed using sorption isotherm experiments and fixed bed adsorption studies. The adsorption capacities and breakthrough times for four model contaminants (phenol, p-nitrophenol, naphthalene, and 2,4,6-tribromophenol) were proportional to the contaminant's hydrophobicity. The ability of PPR to isolate dissolved polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in real samples was compared with that of XAD-2, a well-known macroporous polymer that suffers from high background contamination. The results indicated that the PPR resin can be effectively used for monitoring HOCs, with low ∑PCB levels in blanks, decreasing solvent use, and reducing extraction times.


Asunto(s)
Monitoreo del Ambiente/métodos , Resinas Sintéticas/química , Adsorción , Interacciones Hidrofóbicas e Hidrofílicas , Bifenilos Policlorados/análisis , Poliestirenos/química
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