Satellite Guided Mobile Wireless Methane Detection for Oil and Gas Operations
Methane emissions from over 1 million operating oil and gas wells, pipelines, processing plants and related facilities in the US are increasingly viewed as a significant contribution to overall greenhouse gases. Identifying and locating these methane emission sources drives continued development of better methane sensing modalities. Satellites are now on station that are specifically useful for sensing methane levels over the whole earth, but suffer from low resolution and a given site visit frequency on the order of a few times per month. They are useful in locating regions of high atmospheric methane concentration and can be used to guide inspection.Individual ground-based sensing gives real time feedback but is capital and labor intensive. As satellite sensing improves and ground based sensor placement increases, we propose mobile methane sensing using satellite guidance as an alternative that bridges the current gap in that it can provide near term feedback at a low cost per well.We present a satellite guided wireless mobile sensor system for detecting, localizing, and quantifying methane leaks.