News

Study: Low Methane Emission Levels in Top Shale Regions

Feb 20, 2015

A recent report found that methane leakage rates from three major shale regions were lower than previously determined and in line with federal estimates at 1.1% of production. Of the three shale regions, the Marcellus showed the lowest loss rate from production, ranging from 0.18–0.41%of total production. 

Researchers from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the report which studied methane leakage rates from the Haynesville, Fayettville and Northeastern Marcellus shale regions within the United States.  

Energy In Depth reported on the study citing key excerpts:

"Finally, we compare the CH4 emissions to the total volume of natural gas extracted from each region to derive a loss rate from production operations of 1.0–2.1% from the Haynesville region, 1.0–2.8% from the Fayetteville region, and 0.18–0.41% from the Marcellus region in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Later in the study, the researchers state:

The production-weighted loss rate from the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and Marcellus study regions is 1.1%, which is similar to a loss rate calculated using the 2012 EPA GHG inventory and 2012 EIA natural gas production data.

As it relates to Range's emissions, our latest data cites states that total potential methane emissions from all of the Company’s operations were 0.10% (one tenth of one percent) of the Company’s annual production. (see infographic for more information) 

MethaneGHGEmissionRange’s goal to minimize any greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing existing technologies and best practices. Through these efforts we've been able to increase production while reducing total GHG emissions by 50% on a unit of production basis over the past two years.

Range implements best management practices and actions in a variety of areas, including minimizing air emissions in our field operations. To see more about these specific technologies and practices click here

Coinciding with this study's findings, Energy In Depth has previously reported that all methane emissions in the top oil & gas basins have declined as production in those regions has continued to increase.

Fore more information on national methane emission reductions, see the infographic below.