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Methane Emissions from Process Equipment at Natural Gas Production Sites in the United States: Pneumatic Controllers

Allen, David T. and Pacsi, Adam P. and Sullivan, David W. and Zavala-Araiza, Daniel and Harrison, Matthew and Keen, Kindal and Fraser, Matthew P. and Hill, A. Daniel and Sawyer, Robert F. and Seinfeld, John H. (2015) Methane Emissions from Process Equipment at Natural Gas Production Sites in the United States: Pneumatic Controllers. Environmental Science and Technology, 49 (1). pp. 633-640. ISSN 0013-936X.

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Emissions from 377 gas actuated (pneumatic) controllers were measured at natural gas production sites and a small number of oil production sites, throughout the United States. A small subset of the devices (19%), with whole gas emission rates in excess of 6 standard cubic feet per hour (scf/h), accounted for 95% of emissions. More than half of the controllers recorded emissions of 0.001 scf/h or less during 15 min of measurement. Pneumatic controllers in level control applications on separators and in compressor applications had higher emission rates than controllers in other types of applications. Regional differences in emissions were observed, with the lowest emissions measured in the Rocky Mountains and the highest emissions in the Gulf Coast. Average methane emissions per controller reported in this work are 17% higher than the average emissions per controller in the 2012 EPA greenhouse gas national emission inventory (2012 GHG NEI, released in 2014); the average of 2.7 controllers per well observed in this work is higher than the 1.0 controllers per well reported in the 2012 GHG NEI.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Information
Seinfeld, John H.0000-0003-1344-4068
Additional Information:© 2014 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes. Received: August 18, 2014; Revised: November 11, 2014; Accepted: November 21, 2014; Published: December 9, 2014. We thank the sponsors of this work for financial support, technical advice and access to sites for sampling. The sponsors were Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, BG Group plc, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Company, SWEPI LP (Shell), Southwestern Energy, Statoil, and XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil. Funding for EDF’s methane research series, including the University of Texas study, is provided for by Fiona and Stan Druckenmiller, Heising-Simons Foundation, Bill and Susan Oberndorf, Betsy and Sam Reeves, Robertson Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, TomKat Charitable Trust, and the Walton Family Foundation. We thank the experts who reviewed the data on high emitting devices.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)UNSPECIFIED
Anadarko Petroleum CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Encana Oil Gas (USA) Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Pioneer Natural Resources CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Southwestern EnergyUNSPECIFIED
Heising-Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Robertson FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
TomKat Charitable TrustUNSPECIFIED
Walton Family FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150220-105538803
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Official Citation:Methane Emissions from Process Equipment at Natural Gas Production Sites in the United States: Pneumatic Controllers David T. Allen, Adam P. Pacsi, David W. Sullivan, Daniel Zavala-Araiza, Matthew Harrison, Kindal Keen, Matthew P. Fraser, A. Daniel Hill, Robert F. Sawyer, and John H. Seinfeld Environmental Science & Technology 2015 49 (1), 633-640
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:55049
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Feb 2015 20:54
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:02

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