Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry

An aerial field trial of methane detection technologies at oil and gas production sites

Authors

Abstract

Methane emissions from >100 tank battery sites in the Permian Basin of west Texas were quantified using two different aircraft-based measurement platforms deployed asynchronously, but within a 5-day period. Emissions were detected by aircraft with rates ranging from 0.71 kg/hr to >750 kg/hr. On-site emission measurements were also made using a drone-based technology at a representative sample of 33 sites and were compared to engineering estimates of emission rates. A large fraction of total emissions from the sites sampled by the aircraft systems (90%±6%) were accounted for by sites with emissions greater than 10 kg/hr, when engineering estimates of emissions were assigned to sites with no emissions detected by aircraft. At least half of the sites with emission rates above 10 kg/hr had emissions that did not persist longer than a few days, and consequently, site by site comparisons of asynchronous aircraft measurements showed poor agreement. The two aircraft systems differed in their estimates of total emissions from the ensembles of sites sampled, and in the percentage of sites with emissions greater than 10 kg/hr. The differences in frequencies of detection between the two aircraft based platforms are attributed to a combination of factors, however, both aircraft-based emission measurement systems attribute a large fraction of emissions to sites with emission rates >10 kg/hr.

Version notes

Minor typo corrected

Content

Thumbnail image of Stokes et al Midland Basin analyses.pdf

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of SI_Stokes_et_al_Midland.pdf
An aerial field trial of methane detection technologies at oil and gas production sites
Two Tables: Table S1. Equipment counts, Emissions and Bottom up Estimates of 118 Sites and Table S2. Equipment count comparisons between sites SeekOps visited and full set of sites surveyed by Bridger