By January 8, 2018 Read More →

19 February – The Role of Natural Gas in a Climate Constrained World

Date: 19 February 2018
Time: 12:00pm
Location: Baker 129 Conference Room
Speaker: Arvind P. Ravikumar
Topic: The Role of Natural Gas in a Climate Constrained World

Abstract: Methane, the primary constituent of natural gas, is a short-lived and potent greenhouse gas. In the US, oil and gas operations account for about a third of all methane emissions. Even as increased use of natural gas to replace coal has reduced power sector GHG emissions, it has raised serious concerns over the global warming implications of associated methane emissions. Recent studies paint a disturbing trend – emissions are significantly higher than estimates developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Technology lock-in in the space- and water-heating sectors further underscores the likelihood of increased gas use in the future. It is therefore important to mitigate methane emissions until more sustainable and cost-effective options can take over.

In this talk, I first describe the role and limitations of conventional imaging technologies in methane leak detection programs at natural gas facilities. Furthermore, using the electricity sector as an example, I show how the geographic distribution in measured methane leakage affects the climate-friendliness of a coal to gas switch. Finally, I discuss how we can leverage recent advances in technology and improved understanding of methane leakage to inform emissions mitigation policy. In this context, I will review recent EPA regulations to address methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and describe some of the recommendations recently adopted by regulatory agencies based on our research.


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