Top-Down Quantification of Methane Emissions from California's Natural Gas System
Identifying the main source of methane emissions is the first step to develop sound mitigation options.
The research team measured methane emissions associated with production sites in the south part of the San Joaquin Valley; underground storage facilities in the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta; the distribution system in Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Oakland; a handful of abandoned wells; and approximately 10 homes. The results suggest that most of the emissions are coming from production wells and the distribution system. Emissions from homes are relatively small but significant. The discovery of end-use emission from this study lead to multiple future studies to understand the significance of emissions from building and residential sectors.
The purpose of this project is to quantitatively survey methane emissions from key subsectors of the natural gas system including production, processing, transmission and distribution, and end-uses in homes. Four field campaigns were planned for this project. The first took place in November 2013. The field campaigns included a research aircraft, a mobile platform, and other measurement techniques.
Identifying the main sources of methane emissions from the natural gas system will allow the development of cost effective mitigation measures.
Key Project Members
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
San Jose State University
University of California, Irvine