Navigation Links
'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas at unexpected stage of natural gas production
Date:4/14/2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production.

The study, which is one of only a few to use a so-called "top down" approach that measures methane gas levels in the air above wells, identified seven individual well pads with high emission levels and established their stage in the shale-gas development process.

The high-emitting wells made up less than 1 percent of the total number of wells in the area and were all found to be in the drilling stage, a preproduction stage not previously associated with significant emissions.

"These findings present a possible weakness in the current methods to inventory methane emissions and the top-down approach clearly represents an important complementary method that could be added to better define the impacts of shale gas development," said Paul Shepson, a professor of chemistry and earth atmospheric and planetary sciences at Purdue who co-led the study with Jed Sparks, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell. "This small fraction of the total number of wells was contributing a much larger large portion of the total emissions in the area, and the emissions for this stage were not represented in the current inventories."

The researchers flew above the Marcellus shale formation in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Purdue Airborne Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, a specially equipped airplane. The aircraft-based approach allowed researchers to identify plumes of methane gas from single well pads, groups of well pads and larger regional scales and to examine the production state of the wells.

"It is particularly noteworthy that large emissions were measured for wells in the drilling phase, in some cases 100 to 1,000 times greater than the inventory estimates," Shepson said. "This indicates that there are processes occurring - e.g. emissions from coal seams during the drilling process - that are not captured in the inventory development process. This is another example pointing to the idea that a large fraction of the total emissions is coming from a small fraction of shale gas production components that are in an anomalous condition."

The bottom-up inventories have been produced from industry measurements of emissions from individual production, transmission and distribution components and then scaling up to create an estimate of emissions for the region. However, with thousands of wells, and a complex processing and transmission system associated with each shale basin, obtaining a representative data set is difficult, he said.

A paper detailing the results will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday (April 14). The David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University funded this research.

"We need to develop a way to objectively measure emissions from shale gas development that includes the full range of operator types, equipment states and engineering approaches," Shepson said. "A whole-systems approach to measurement is needed to understand exactly what is occurring."


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
2. 2 distinguishable gene groups detected: 1 normal and 1 problematic
3. Rice students work on weighty problem for doctors
4. Could cap and trade for water solve problems facing the United States largest rivers?
5. Child welfare investigation predicts mental health problems in young children
6. BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill exacerbated existing environmental problems in Louisiana marshes
7. Computing advances vital to sustainability efforts; new report recommends problem-focused, iterative approach to research
8. An error-eliminating fix overcomes big problem in 3rd-gen genome sequencing
9. Wholly water -- students and scientists gather at NTU to discuss water problem
10. Childhood obesity may affect timing of puberty, create problems with reproduction
11. Hyenas that think outside the box solve problems faster
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas at unexpected stage of natural gas production
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... --  EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based identity ... and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. ... iris image with a face image acquired in sequence ... th issued patent. "The issuance ... multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast ... behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, ... others), by end use industry (government and law enforcement, ... and banking, and others), and by region ( ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... , ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces ... Maximize 2017 conference. , What: Digital Transformation in Medical Device – The Journey ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... DrugDev , a ... the third annual DrugDev Summit, November 7-8, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. The DrugDev ... clinical research leaders for best practice case studies, keynote presentations, lively breakout sessions, ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... September 14, 2017 , ... One ... Antonio on Saturday, Sept. 16. , For six hours that day, the GenCure Marrow ... registry at more than 30 H-E-B grocery stores in San Antonio. , The registration ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... PRC Clinical and SDC are organizing ... 6 to 8:30pm EDT at Catalyst in Cambridge, MA. , Clinical operations ... From tracking enrollment progress to communicating with underperforming sites to engaging with patient ...
Breaking Biology Technology: