Developing a Methodology to Determine Chemical and Isotopic Composition of Natural Gas Consumed in California
Developing a novel method to improve emissions estimates of imported natural gas
The project is currently in progress. The research team has been sampling emissions from oil and gas fields in different basins in California and Canada and plans to begin traveling out-of-state for field sampling in Autumn of 2022. Team published a manuscript on “Validation of In Situ and Remote Sensing-Derived Methane Emissions from a Refinery in a Complex Wind Environment and Chemical Profile Implications” in the journal, Atmospheric Environment. The methods described in the published paper will be utilized to develop a catalog of composition fingerprints of these oil and gas sources and also will derive emissions for select oil and gas fields. Preliminary project results show significant composition heterogeneity within a single field and between fields.
The project includes measurements of the chemical (~80 volatile organic compounds) and isotopic composition (concentration of heavy carbon and heavy hydrogen in methane) of natural gas in 25 basins across the United States. The team is compiling an online database of natural gas composition to show which constituents are unique to each basin. These data are then used to determine the contributions of natural gas from various basins to the natural gas procured in markets around California. The project team is performing a preliminary assessment of the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas imported to California from different basins, using fugitive emissions rate estimates from previously published studies.
This project will provide the framework for calculating total supply chain methane emissions of natural gas imported to and used in California. This will fulfill the requirements of Assembly Bill 1496 to carry out lifecycle greenhouse gas emission analysis of natural gas produced and imported into the state using the best available and cost-effective scientific and technical methods.
Key Project Members
Bubbleology Research International