Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development

Dana R. Caulton, Paul B. Shepson, Renee L. Santoro, Jed P. Sparks, Robert W. Howarth, Anthony R. Ingraffea, Maria O.L. Cambaliza, Colm Sweeney, Anna Karion, Kenneth James Davis, Brian H. Stirm, Stephen A. Montzka, Ben R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

143 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The identification and quantification of methane emissions from natural gas production has become increasingly important owing to the increase in the natural gas component of the energy sector. An instrumented aircraft platform was used to identify large sources of methane and quantify emission rates in southwestern PA in June 2012. A large regional flux, 2.0-14 g CH4 s-1 km-2, was quantified for a ∼2,800-km2 area, which did not differ statistically from a bottom-up inventory, 2.3-4.6 g CH4 s-1 km-2. Large emissions averaging 34 g CH 4/s per well were observed from seven well pads determined to be in the drilling phase, 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than US Environmental Protection Agency estimates for this operational phase. The emissions from these well pads, representing ∼1% of the total number of wells, account for 4-30% of the observed regional flux. More work is needed to determine all of the sources of methane emissions from natural gas production, to ascertain why these emissions occur and to evaluate their climate and atmospheric chemistry impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6237-6242
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume111
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 29 2014

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methane
natural gas
gas production
atmospheric chemistry
shale gas
aircraft
drilling
well
climate
energy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Caulton, D. R., Shepson, P. B., Santoro, R. L., Sparks, J. P., Howarth, R. W., Ingraffea, A. R., ... Miller, B. R. (2014). Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(17), 6237-6242. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1316546111
Caulton, Dana R. ; Shepson, Paul B. ; Santoro, Renee L. ; Sparks, Jed P. ; Howarth, Robert W. ; Ingraffea, Anthony R. ; Cambaliza, Maria O.L. ; Sweeney, Colm ; Karion, Anna ; Davis, Kenneth James ; Stirm, Brian H. ; Montzka, Stephen A. ; Miller, Ben R. / Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2014 ; Vol. 111, No. 17. pp. 6237-6242.
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Caulton, DR, Shepson, PB, Santoro, RL, Sparks, JP, Howarth, RW, Ingraffea, AR, Cambaliza, MOL, Sweeney, C, Karion, A, Davis, KJ, Stirm, BH, Montzka, SA & Miller, BR 2014, 'Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111, no. 17, pp. 6237-6242. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1316546111

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development. / Caulton, Dana R.; Shepson, Paul B.; Santoro, Renee L.; Sparks, Jed P.; Howarth, Robert W.; Ingraffea, Anthony R.; Cambaliza, Maria O.L.; Sweeney, Colm; Karion, Anna; Davis, Kenneth James; Stirm, Brian H.; Montzka, Stephen A.; Miller, Ben R.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 111, No. 17, 29.04.2014, p. 6237-6242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Sweeney, Colm

AU - Karion, Anna

AU - Davis, Kenneth James

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AU - Montzka, Stephen A.

AU - Miller, Ben R.

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