Researchers conducted a scientific study to estimate methane emission from the oil and gas industry around a production area of Alberta. The results obtained by the researchers show a significantly higher magnitude of methane emissions compared to the emission levels reported by the industry. It is found that several sources of emission unaccounted by the industry called as super-emitters are the main result behind the deviation. However, there could be other factors too that resulted in the understatement of methane emissions by the industry. Methane emissions from the oil and gas industry have been a matter of concern, and the underreported figures may further aggravate the situation.
Deviation from Actual Figures
The researchers used ground-based methods to collect methane emission data from 60 wells in the area between Calgary and Edmonton. It was found that the measured gas wells didn’t utilize 3% of the total gas they produced, which is quite higher than what the industry reported. A leading scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund stated that empirical methods have helped in getting accurate measures of methane emission, which would further help in stipulating regulations with regards to oil and gas extraction. Moreover, the study in the area revealed that two-third of the total wells were reported to be zero-emission zones. However, the researchers found that the sites were not free of methane emissions, thus, showing the negligence of the industry in calucating emissions.
Hope for Oil and Gas Industry
The research conducted by the scientists is projected to help in bringing about a better framework for regulating the emission of methane in the oil and gas industry. Researchers assert that it is important for the Canadian oil and gas industry to take immediate steps to avoid worsening conditions in the oil and gas industry.