Companies selected for mobile methane monitoring technology competition
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Stanford University’s Natural Gas Initiative have invited 11 organizations, covering 12 different technologies, to the controlled testing phase of the Mobile Monitoring Challenge (MMC), a competition to advance mobile methane monitoring technologies at oil and natural gas facilities.
Researchers and MMC co-sponsors EDF and Stanford, along with ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, and other industry advisers, reviewed dozens of proposals from five countries and a range of businesses as well as academia. The leak detection technologies selected for the study are deployed via trucks, drones and planes.
"Developing innovative solutions will be instrumental in reducing methane emissions," said Sara Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil affiliate XTO Energy. "The Mobile Monitoring Challenge lays the groundwork to leverage novel and cost-effective technologies that could help companies find and manage emissions in a faster, more efficient way."
"The strong and diverse technology applications confirm that there is tremendous potential for surveying oil and gas infrastructure quickly and effectively," said Isabel Mogstad, project manager at EDF+Business. "Collaborating with industry and technologists accelerates even better, faster, cheaper solutions for detecting and quantifying methane emissions."
The 11 organizations selected to participate in controlled field testing include:
- ABB Los Gatos (drone)
- Advisian (drone)
- Aeris Technologies (truck)
- Baker Hughes (drone)
- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (plane)
- Bluefield Technologies (truck)
- Heath Consultants (truck)
- Kairos Aerospace (plane)
- Picarro (drone)
- SeekOps, Inc. (drone)
- University of Calgary (truck and drone)
"The oil and gas industry accounts for about a third of all methane emissions in the United States," said Adam Brandt, assistant professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford. "The low price of natural gas reduces financial rewards for finding and fixing leaks, so we need mobile, low-cost and fast detection systems."
Stanford researchers will evaluate technologies for their ability to quickly detect and roughly quantify methane leaks of various sizes. Results of the controlled trials will be published in peer-reviewed journals and used to inform product improvements.
By 2019, the challenge aims to have oil and gas industry leaders piloting the most promising technologies in various operating conditions, leading to broad commercial use.
Environmental Defense Fund
Natural Gas Initiative