Ever wondered how you can control methane leakage in the oil and gas industry? A majority of methane leaks goes unreported and undetected, because it is a colorless and odourless gas. However, there is a growing call for better leakage monitoring. Emission-control technologies and regular leakage monitoring are proven to be effective in controlling methane leakage. Read on to learn more about controlling methane leakage in the oil and gas industry.
Emission-Control Technologies Are Found To Be Effective
Researchers have discovered that emission-control technologies are effective in identifying methane leaks. It is time for the oil and gas industry to demonstrate their commitment towards a safer environment by investing in these proven emission-control technologies. The pressure to adopt a safety protocol by citizens and environmental activists should provide the needed push for safer operations.
Matt Watson and David Lyon said in a recent article:
“Researchers found that emission control technologies do work most of the time. These cost-effective tools and practices are critical to helping industry keep gas out of the air and in the supply chain. It’s when they fail – often because of mechanical malfunctions or other design problems – that the impacts can be most severe.”
It is important to understand that methane emissions can occur at various stages of the natural gas supply chain. Methane emissions can go undetected at the extraction stage, or occur at the storage stage or happen during the transmission of the gas. Methane emissions can be attributed to either human error or failure of equipment. Faulty or old valves, compressors, hatches and fittings are just some of the many sources of methane leakage.
Fixing Methane Leaks Require Good Detection Methods
The reason why it is a challenging task to detect methane gas leakage in an oil pipeline is the inability to identify the source of leakage. Using a methane sensor could solve the problem, but only to an extent. The pipelines are spread over several thousand kilometres, making it a challenge to identify the source of leakage. Plugging the leakage can involve simple steps like tightening a valve or closing a hatch. It is as simple as that. However, the timely detection of methane leakage can make all the difference.
Leah Messinger said in a recent article:
“In many cases, fixing a methane leak is as simple as tightening a valve or closing a hatch; the trick is simply knowing which valve or hatch requires such attention. Colorado State’s Zimmerle likened the process to a game of “Whac-A-Mole.” “This type of failure is almost impossible to prevent entirely and so good detection methods followed by good repair practices would be an effective way to control this,” he said.”
Regular scheduled monitoring can help in early detection of methane leakage and prevent gas emissions in the atmosphere. It takes a firm resolve and planning to detect and prevent further methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.