• Methane leaks from fracking could be less than originally estimated
    Preventative measures can help to reduce methane leaks during the transport of natural gas

Methane leaks from fracking could be less than originally estimated

Apr 29 2013 Read 878 Times

The estimates regarding how much methane leaks during the process of fracking have been reduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means that fracking could prove to be vastly beneficial in the fight against climate change.

Companies that currently use the fracking technique to release natural shale gas have been pushing for the re-estimation in the rate of methane leaks. Methane can leak from pipelines and wells throughout the production of gas and its delivery, however as accurate measures cannot be made on how much methane is leaking, past estimates have been on the high side - possibly as a precaution.

Michael Shellenberger, president of the Breakthrough Institute, said: "This is great news for anybody concerned about the climate and strong proof that existing technologies can be deployed to reduce methane leaks."

Natural gas production has increased by almost 40 per cent since 1990. This is mainly due to the use of fracking, allowing areas that were previously untapped to be used for natural gas production. The revision in the EPA estimates does not reflect this increase, showing that fracking for natural gas is not as damaging to the fight against emissions as previously thought.

Methane leaks can also be reduced further by the implementation of preventative technology and practices - such as using better gaskets, monitoring systems and regular maintenance. Companies will be better off by implementing preventative measures, as - not only will they reduce methane leaks - they will end up with more natural gas to sell, making the investments cost effective.

The overall EPA revisions show around a 20 per cent reduction in the amount of methane emissions during the period of 1990 to 2010. The new report shows that on average the amount of methane emissions has decreased by around 41.6 million metric tonnes each year - more than 850 million metric tonnes throughout the 20-year period overall. The EPA converts methane emissions into their equivalent measurements in carbon dioxide, which is standard scientific practice. This decrease has been attributed to the tighter pollution controls that the industry has implemented.


Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment

Digital Edition

Petro Industry News September 2020

September 2020

In This Edition Fuel For Thought - DKSH extends partnership with Bruker in China - Will insurers mandate digital ecosystems for energy assets by 2025? - XOS heads to Mars Analytical Inst...

View all digital editions



Sep 23 2020 Bangkok, Thailand

Sensor China

Sep 23 2020 Shanghai, China

International Pipeline Expo


Chemistry. Oil & Gas

Sep 29 2020 Minsk, Belarus

View all events