Super Emitters - are responsible for more than half of U.S. methane emissions
October 28, 2016 02:48 PM - Ker Than via Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
The bulk of methane emissions in the United States can be traced to a small number of “super emitting” natural gas wells, according to a new study.
“We’re finding that when it comes to natural gas leaks, a 50/5 rule applies: That is, the largest 5 percent of leaks are typically responsible for more than 50 percent of the total volume of leakage,” said study co-author Adam Brandt, an assistant professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.
The findings, published online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, could lead to more efficient strategies for sampling emissions and fixing the most significant leaks, said Brandt, who is also a senior fellow at Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy. By focusing on finding and fixing the biggest emitters, companies can significantly reduce the amount of methane leaking into the atmosphere.