New Research Probes Impact of Oil and Gas Methane Emissions on Climate

"BOSTON -- Concerns have cropped up in recent years that the methane leaks from oil and gas fields could be large enough to pose a significant climate threat."

"In various studies, scientists have estimated that anywhere between 1 and 10 percent of natural gas produced leaks through wellheads, transmission lines and compressor stations. Recent measurements from the Uinta Basin of Utah taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration set leakage as high as 9 percent.

Now, preliminary results are suggesting that the highest leakage estimates are not broadly representative of the industry and should not be used in policy decisions. The natural gas industry globally leaks "significantly less" than 10 percent of methane throughout the life cycle of production, transportation and distribution, said Stefan Schwietzke, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University who is working on the problem in collaboration with NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory."

Gayathri Vaidyanathan reports for EnergyWire February 26, 2013.

Source: EnergyWire, 02/27/2013