At a Glance
Colorado State University researchers, with collaborators at University of Texas- Austin, have developed software that gives a much higher resolution of methane emissions at oil and gas sites. These estimations offer a more detailed view of sampling and annual rates of flow at a site, and offers a detailed view of methane rates and the efficacy of methane remediation strategies.
Conventional approaches to estimating emissions from oil and gas facilities usually involve annual average emission rate estimations. Point measurements, designed to assess the accuracy of the emission estimates, are generally done for short periods of time (seconds to minutes). Because many of the emissions from these sites are intermittent, there is often a marked mismatch between the averaging time for emission estimates (annual) and the time resolution of measurements (seconds to minutes), and this makes accurate reconciliation of emission estimates with observations very difficult.
The newly developed software estimates emissions of light alkanes such as methane, ethane, propane and butanes, over time, from oil and gas production and gathering sites. The software consists of two parts: (i) a part that produces time series of the total volumes of emissions released, and (ii) a part that estimates the compositions of the emissions. The software thus captures data that is sometimes lost in traditional estimations of annual emissions rate, and makes reconciliation of the annual and pointwise data simpler.
- Current methane emissions models provide a gross, average value of emissions over time (e.g. 20 kg/year)
- MEET provides significantly more detail, both at a time granularity and a geographic granularity
- Software can be used to evaluate the efficacy of leak mitigation and other emission management strategies
- Methane emissions monitoring
- Oil and gas site remediation
D.T. Allen, et al. (2022) A Methane Emission Estimation Tool (MEET) for predictions of emissions from upstream oil and gas well sites with fine scale temporal and spatial resolution: Model structure and applications, Science of The Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.154277
D. Zimmerle, et al. (2022) Modeling air emissions from complex facilities at detailed temporal and spatial resolution: The Methane Emission Estimation Tool (MEET), Science of The Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153653.
Last updated: May 2022