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Title: Temporal Variations in Methane Emissions from an Unconventional Well Site

Abstract

Studies have aimed to quantify methane emissions associated with the growing natural gas infrastructure. Quantification is completed using direct or indirect methods—both of which typically represent only a snapshot in time. Most studies focused on collecting emissions data from multiple sites to increase sample size, thus combining the effects of geospatial and temporal variability (spatio-temporal variability). However, we examined the temporal variability in methane emissions from a single unconventional well site over the course of nearly 2 years (21 months) by conducting six direct quantification audits. We used a full flow sampling system that quantified methane mass emissions with an uncertainty of ±10%. Results showed significant temporal variation in methane mass emissions ranging from 86.2 to 4102 g/h with a mean of 1371 g/h. Our average emissions rate from this unconventional well pad tended to align with those presented in the literature. The largest contributor to variability in site emissions was the produced water tank which had emissions rates ranging from 17.3 to 3731 g/h. We compared our methane mass emissions with the total production for each audit and showed that relative methane loss rates ranged from 0.002 to 0.088% with a mean of 0.030%, typically lower than reported bymore » the literature, noting that our data excluded well unloadings. We examined natural gas production, water production, and weather conditions for trends. The strongest correlation was between methane emissions and historical water production. Our data shows that even for a single site, a snapshot in time could significantly over-predict (3×) or under-predict (16×) methane emissions as compared to a long-term temporal average.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1495076
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1508843
Grant/Contract Number:  
FE0024297
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
ACS Omega
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-1343
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS

Citation Formats

Johnson, Derek, Heltzel, Robert, and Oliver, Dakota. Temporal Variations in Methane Emissions from an Unconventional Well Site. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1021/acsomega.8b03246.
Johnson, Derek, Heltzel, Robert, & Oliver, Dakota. Temporal Variations in Methane Emissions from an Unconventional Well Site. United States. doi:10.1021/acsomega.8b03246.
Johnson, Derek, Heltzel, Robert, and Oliver, Dakota. Tue . "Temporal Variations in Methane Emissions from an Unconventional Well Site". United States. doi:10.1021/acsomega.8b03246.
@article{osti_1495076,
title = {Temporal Variations in Methane Emissions from an Unconventional Well Site},
author = {Johnson, Derek and Heltzel, Robert and Oliver, Dakota},
abstractNote = {Studies have aimed to quantify methane emissions associated with the growing natural gas infrastructure. Quantification is completed using direct or indirect methods—both of which typically represent only a snapshot in time. Most studies focused on collecting emissions data from multiple sites to increase sample size, thus combining the effects of geospatial and temporal variability (spatio-temporal variability). However, we examined the temporal variability in methane emissions from a single unconventional well site over the course of nearly 2 years (21 months) by conducting six direct quantification audits. We used a full flow sampling system that quantified methane mass emissions with an uncertainty of ±10%. Results showed significant temporal variation in methane mass emissions ranging from 86.2 to 4102 g/h with a mean of 1371 g/h. Our average emissions rate from this unconventional well pad tended to align with those presented in the literature. The largest contributor to variability in site emissions was the produced water tank which had emissions rates ranging from 17.3 to 3731 g/h. We compared our methane mass emissions with the total production for each audit and showed that relative methane loss rates ranged from 0.002 to 0.088% with a mean of 0.030%, typically lower than reported by the literature, noting that our data excluded well unloadings. We examined natural gas production, water production, and weather conditions for trends. The strongest correlation was between methane emissions and historical water production. Our data shows that even for a single site, a snapshot in time could significantly over-predict (3×) or under-predict (16×) methane emissions as compared to a long-term temporal average.},
doi = {10.1021/acsomega.8b03246},
journal = {ACS Omega},
number = 2,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.8b03246

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