Methane leakage – the disturbing reality

A study carried out by a U.S. government agency and prestigious research institute has shown a highly disturbing level of methane leakage in gas production.

The measurements, carried out by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and  the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences show that on one February day in the Uintah Basin, the natural gas field leaked 6 to 12 percent of the methane produced, on average on February days.

These findings have worrying implications on many levels. The possible effects of such high concentrations of methane in the air are disturbing for both human and animal health.  Furthermore, given that methane is a greenhouse gas around twenty times more potent than CO2, this discovery gives the lie to any suggestion that shale gas could be a ‘green’ or ‘transition’ fuel.

Read the full report here.

Picture shows a natural gas compressor station at the Dry Canyon junction in Nine Mile Canyon, Utah, United States. By Trica Simpson, published under Creative Commons Licence.

 

 

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