“Boulder researchers add to findings that methane output from oil and gas is 60% higher than previously thought” – The Daily Camera

By Charlie Brennan, The Daily Camera 6/21/18

“A new study released today with contributions from a researcher at the University of Colorado has found that the nation’s oil and gas industry annually puts out 13 million metric tons of the greenhouse gas methane from its operations — 60 percent more than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency previously estimated.”

“The study was published in the journal Science, and drew on the work of experts from 16 different research institutions…It’s the culmination of 10 years of studies by scientists across the country, many of which were spearheaded by CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).”

“According to a news release, the study drew on data taken from more than 400 well pads in six oil-and-gas production basins — including the Denver Julesberg Basin — plus scores of midstream facilities, valves, tanks as well as other equipment.”

“Researchers determined that most of the emissions came from leaks, equipment malfunctions and other ‘abnormal’ operating conditions, the release stated. They found that the climate impact of the leaks in 2015 was approximately the same as that from carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power plants operating that year.”

“The new study puts total U.S. emissions at 2.3 percent of production, which its authors say is enough to erode the potential benefit of switching to from coal to natural gas, over the past 20 years.”

Citation: Alvarez, Ramon, et al.  “Assessment of methane emissions from the U.S. oil and gas supply chain.”  Science.  21 Jun 2018. Vol 360, Issue 6395.  American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Please read the entire study here.

Please read the rest of the Daily Camera article here.