Garrett County and Natural Gas - Risks and Benefits

A selection of categorized links to allow one to assess the risks and benefits of gas development in Garrett Conty.

Garrett County Montage

Methane Emissions

Methane is emitted from multiple sources. Methane is odorless so in many cases, if emitted it is not detected. Here are links to articles that describe where emissions come from off various gas development aspects.

- 1010 - [August 5, 2013] - CIRES, Gabrielle Petron - "CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field"
"On a perfect winter day in Utah’s Uintah County in 2012, CIRES scientists and NOAA colleagues tested out a new way to measure methane emissions from a natural gas production field. Their results, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, constitute a proof-of-concept that could help both researchers and regulators better determine how much of the greenhouse gas and other air pollutants leak from oil and gas fields. The measurements show that on one February day in the Uintah Basin, the natural gas field leaked 6 to 12 percent of the methane produced, on average, on February days."
- 1011 - [May 8, 2014] - From the Styx, Peggy Tibbetts - "High methane and benzene emissions in Colorado gas fields"
"A new peer-reviewed study, led by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at UC-Boulder, reports much higher than estimated methane emissions in Colorado’s largest oil and gas region from associated equipment and operations.
The study also reports that emissions of benzene, a known carcinogen, are seven times higher than official estimates and emissions of smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are twice as high as previously estimated."
- 1012 - [January 4, 2013] - Environmental Defense Fund, Steven Hamburg - "Measuring Fugitive Methane Emissions"
"In recent days, news reports and blog posts have highlighted the problem of fugitive methane emissions from natural gas production — leakage of a potent greenhouse gas with the potential to undermine the carbon advantage that natural gas, when combusted, holds over other fossil fuels.
What follows is a briefing on the fugitive methane issue, including the range of measurements currently underway and the need for rigorous data collection along the entire natural gas supply chain."
- 1013 - [January 2, 2013] - Nature, Jeff Tollefson - "Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas"
"Scientists are once again reporting alarmingly high methane fugitives from an oil and gas field, underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural-gas production that is transforming the US energy system.
The researchers, ... first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere.
... the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. "
- 1044 - [February 7, 2012] - Nature, Nature - "Air sampling reveals high emissions from gas field - Methane leaks during production may offset climate benefits of natural gas"
"When US government scientists began sampling the air from a tower north of Denver, Colorado, they expected urban smog — but not strong whiffs of what looked like natural gas. They eventually linked the mysterious pollution to a nearby natural-gas field, and their investigation has now produced the first hard evidence that the cleanest-burning fossil fuel might not be much better than coal when it comes to climate change."
- 1330 - [February 11, 2015] -, DAVID CONTI | The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - "Study: Minority of facilities produce most natural gas methane emissions"
"Leaky equipment at a small number of natural gas compressors, processors and pipeline facilities account for a big chunk of the methane escaping into the air, according to the latest reports from a national collaboration between energy companies and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Two peer-reviewed studies published Tuesday in Environmental Science & Technology involved researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Colorado State universities taking field measurements at a combined 176 facilities in 13 states. They come as regulators look to crack down on emissions of the greenhouse gas and as companies tout an industry-wide reduction over the past three years."
- 1331 - [February 10, 2015] - Coloradoan - A Gannett Company, Sarah Jane Kyle, The Coloradoan - "Study: Some methane emissions a ‘quick fix’ at natural gas sites"
"A CSU-led study of natural gas gathering facilities and processing plants across the U.S. found none exceeded federal or state methane emissions levels and most emissions issues could be quickly fixed.
Researchers from Colorado State University, Carnegie Mellon University and Aerodyne Research found “wide variations” in methane emissions at 114 gathering stations and 16 processing plants in 13 states, including Colorado and Wyoming, during a 20-week field campaign that began October 2013."
- 1391 - [September 3, 2015] - MIT Joint Program - Report No. 234, Francis O’Sullivan and Sergey Paltsev - "Shale Gas Production: Potential versus Actual GHG Emissions"
"Estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shale gas production and use are controversial. Here we assess the level of GHG emissions from shale gas well hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States during 2010. Data from each of the approximately 4,000 horizontal shale gas wells brought online that year is used to show that about 900 Gg CH4 of potential fugitive emissions were generat ed by these operations, or 228 Mg CH4 per well — a figure inappropriately used in analyses of the GHG impact of shale gas. In fact, along with simply venting gas produced during the completion of shale gas wells, two additional techniques are widely used to handle these potential emissions, gas flaring, and reduced emissions “green” completions. The use of flaring and reduced emission completions reduce the levels of actual fugitive emissions from shale well completion operations to about 216 GgCH4, or 50 Mg CH4 per well, a release substantially lower than several widely quoted estimates. Although fugitive emissions from the overall natural gas sector are a proper concern, it is incorrect to suggest that shale gas - related hydraulic fracturing has substantially altered the overall GHG intensity of natural gas production."
- 1556 - [March 1, 2015] - Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State Extension - "New Research shows Methane Leaks in Three US Natural Gas Fields in line with Federal Estimates"
"Research on methane emissions from the Marcellus, Haynesville and Fayetteville shale regions look at loss rates from production operations.
Natural gas has been lauded as a more efficient fuel than coal for fueling power plants, thus resulting in lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of energy produced. However, methane (CH4), the main component of natural gas, is 28 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 over time. Varying reports have looked at the climate impacts from these gasses and operations.
...Federal estimates indicate approximately 1% of production loss."
- 1620 - [NA] - Energy In Depth, Katie Brown - "Five Facts about Ingraffea and Howarth’s Latest Methane Study"
"A new study on methane was published this week, arguing that emissions from seven well pads emit methane “2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than US Environmental Protection Agency estimates” during the drilling phase of a well. Unsurprisingly, several news outlets put out the expected headlines portending the usual doom. Greenwire proclaims: “Significant methane leaks found from wells still in drilling process.” The LA Times put it this way: “EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites.”"
- 1630 - [March 24, 2015] - Climate Progress, Joe Romm - "Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit of Fracking, Satellite Observations Confirm"
"Satellite observations of huge oil and gas basins in East Texas and North Dakota confirm staggering 9 and 10 percent leakage rates of heat-trapping methane. “In conclusion,” researchers write, “at the current methane loss rates, a net climate benefit on all time frames owing to tapping unconventional resources in the analyzed tight formations is unlikely.”"
- 1678 - [April 14, 2015] - Inside Climate Newstitle:, Lisa Song, Jim Morris and David Hasemyer - "Inside Climate Newstitle:"
"When Lynn Buehring leaves her doctor's office in San Antonio she makes sure her inhaler is on the seat beside her, then steers her red GMC pickup truck southeast on U.S. 181, toward her home on the South Texas prairie.
About 40 miles down the road, between Poth and Falls City, drilling rigs, crude oil storage tanks and flares trailing black smoke appear amid the mesquite, live oak and pecan trees. Depending on the speed and direction of the wind, a yellow-brown haze might stretch across the horizon, filling the car with pungent odors. Sometimes Buehring's eyes burn, her chest tightens and pain stabs at her temples. On those days, she touches her inhaler for reassurance"
- 1687 - [NA] - TXsharon's Bluedaze, TXsharon - "TCEQ Refused to Respond While this Air Pollution Traveled 20 Miles"
"The amount of air pollution boiling out scared me!
Marathon’s Sugarhorn facility is a chronic offender so I knew I would see emissions. I always see emissions at the Sugarhorn. But I was not prepared for what I saw that day in Karnes County as I looked through the FLIR camera."
- 1813 - [April 29, 2015] - benzinga, College Park, MD (PRWEB) - "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Natural Gas Wells Are Increasing & Traveling Far Downwind"
"A new UMD study shows a steep rise in greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas wells produced by fracking in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The emitted gases travel far downwind from the producing states, suggesting the need for regional cooperation in monitoring and reducing emissions from natural gas production, say the authors."
- 1822 - [August 14, 2013] - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection, Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee - "Overview of the 2013 Emissions Inventory for the Natural Gas Industry"
"A presentation - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released data from its 2013 air emissions inventory of the natural gas industry. The data clearly show that methane emissions continue to decrease in Pennsylvania —as is the case across the country– all while natural gas production in the state has skyrocketed. Although the data show some levels of air emissions have increased, it’s important to note that total aggregate emissions are down."
- 1823 - [February 12, 2015] - Energy in Depth, Nicole Jacobs - "PA DEP Finds Methane Emissions Plummet as Natural Gas Production Ramps Up"
"The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released data from its 2013 air emissions inventory of the natural gas industry. The data clearly show that methane emissions continue to decrease in Pennsylvania —as is the case across the country– all while natural gas production in the state has skyrocketed. Although the data show some levels of air emissions have increased, it’s important to note that total aggregate emissions are down."
- 1841 - [May 6, 2015] - PublicSource, Natasha Khan and Eric Holmberg | PublicSource - "8 facts about the shale gas industry’s air pollution"
"The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently released data on air emissions from the shale gas industry in 2013.
PublicSource looked into the data and built a series of interactive charts so you can more easily explore the information.
Overall, the data showed emissions from the shale gas industry increased from 2012 to 2013 for five major pollutants:"
- 1885 - [May 19, 2015] - StateImpact - Pennsylvania | Energy.Environment.Economy, Susan Phillips - "Study: Lower than expected air pollutants detected at Marcellus drilling sites"
"An article in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, published today, says measurements of air pollution from Marcellus drilling and transportation sites in Bradford and Sullivan counties were lower than the researchers expected. The study, “Atmosphere Emission Characterization of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development Sites,” also reports levels of methane emissions were higher than those indicated in previous research."
- 1950 - [June 9, 2015] - frackorporation, dhippauf - "Gas Gag for Dollars"
"We’ve heard the phrases “put your money where your mouth is” or “put up or shut up”.
In a variation of these old phrases, natural gas corporations are now saying “take the money and shut up”.
In Finleyville, PA, residents regularly complained about air contaminants, noise levels exceeding 80 decibels (inside their homes), vibrations and light coming from nearby fracking operations by EQT Corporation."