Scientists Shine Light on Methane Leakage at Shale Basin
Previous estimates of methane leaking from the Bakken oil and gas field appear to have been overstated, according to a new study by Boulder researchers, but the emissions are still significant.
Scientists representing Boulder’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder working at the NOAA, teamed with researchers at three other institutions, released their findings today.
The study calculated that about 275,000 tons of methane per year leak from the Bakken, which covers parts of Montana and North Dakota. That is comparable to the emission rate found for Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg basin.
That quantity, although considerable, is less than reported by some satellites and is also below the most recent Environmental Protection Agency inventory for petroleum systems.