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Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy
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Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012

PNAS
30 Jun 2014
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Martin T. Wells, Renee L. Santoro, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff
Previous research has demonstrated that proximity to unconventional gas development is associated with elevated concentrations of methane in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania. To date, the mechanism of this migration is poorly understood. Our study, which looks at more than 41,000 conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells, helps to explain one possible mechanism of methane migration: compromised structural integrity of casing and cement in oil and gas wells. Additionally, methane, being the primary constituent of natural gas, is a strong greenhouse gas. The identification of mechanisms through which methane may migrate to the atmosphere as fugitive emissions is important to understand the climate dimensions of oil and gas development.
Peer Reviewed

A new look at methane and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Colorado Denver-Julesburg Basin

Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres
08 May 2014
Gabrielle Pétron, Anna Karion, Colm Sweeney, Benjamin R. Miller, Stephen A. Montzka, Gregory Frost, Michael Trainer, Pieter Tans, Arlyn Andrews, Jonathan Kofler, Detlev Helmig, Douglas Guenther, Ed Dlugokencky, Patricia Lang, Tim Newberger, Sonja Wolter,
The study revisits the estimates of hydrocarbon emissions from an oil and gas basin using airborne measurements and finds that inventories underestimate hydrocarbon emissions in the basin by a factor of 2 or more.
Peer Reviewed

Spatially Explicit Methane Emissions from Petroleum Production and the Natural Gas System in California

Environmental Science & Technology
23 Apr 2014
Seongeun Jeong,* Dev Millstein, and Marc L. Fischer
This study presents a spatially-resolved methane inventory for the state of California based on EPA emission factors and compares the estimated emissions to atmospheric measurements. The study finds that the EPA's methane emission estimates for natural gas transmission and distribution are too low by a factor of 2.
Peer Reviewed

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development

PNAS
14 Apr 2014
Dana R. Caulton, Paul B. Shepson, Renee L. Santoro, Jed P. Sparks, Robert W. Howarth, Anthony R. Ingraffea, Maria O. L. Cambaliza, Colm Sweeney, Anna Karion, Kenneth J. Davis, Brian H. Stirm, Stephen A. Montzka, Ben R. Miller
Peer Reviewed

The Health Implications of Fracking

The Lancet
28 Feb 2014
Kovats S, Depledge M, Haines A, Fleming LE, Wilkinson P, Shonkoff SB, Scovronick N
What is known about the health effects of gas extraction by induced hydraulic fracturing of gas-bearing rock—ie, fracking? A workshop held on Nov 15, 2013, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and attended by scientists, public health professionals, and decision makers addressed this question.
Peer Reviewed

Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems

Science
14 Feb 2014
A. R. Brandt, G. A. Heath, E. A. Kort, F. O'Sullivan, G. Pétron, S. M. Jordaan, P. Tans, J. Wilcox, A. M. Gopstein, D. Arent, S. Wofsy, N. J. Brown, R. Bradley, G. D. Stucky, D. Eardley, R. Harriss

This study examines recent estimates of methane leakage, which have challenged the benefits of switching from coal to natural gas.

Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks Across Washington, DC

Environmental Science and Technology
Jan 2014
Jackson, Robert B., Adrian Down, Nathan G. Phillips, Robert C. Ackley, Charles W. Cook, Desiree L. Plata, and Kaiguang Zhao
This study presents sampling results of methane leakage from the natural gas distribution system in Washington DC. 12 of the 19 locations tested showed concentrations hig enough to risk explosion.
Peer Reviewed

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Electricity Generation Technologies: Overview, Comparability and Limitations

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Dec 2013
Turconi, Roberto, Alessio Boldrin, and Thomas Astrup
This study presents a review of 167 case studies involving the life cycle assessment (LCA) of electricity generation based on hard coal, lignite, natural gas, oil, nuclear, biomass, hydroelectric, solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind to identify ranges of emission data for GHG, NOx and SO2.
Peer Reviewed

Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
25 Nov 2013
Scot M. Miller, Steven C. Wofsy, Anna M. Michalak, Eric A. Kort, Arlyn E. Andrews, Sebastien C. Biraud, Edward J. Dlugokencky, Janusz Eluszkiewicz, Marc L. Fischer, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Ben R. Miller, John B. Miller, Stephen A. Montzka, Thomas Nehrkor

Successful regulation of greenhouse gas emissions requires knowledge of current methane emission sources. Existing state regulations in California and Massachusetts require ∼15% greenhouse gas emissions reductions from current levels by 2020. However, government estimates for total US methane emissions may be biased by 50%, and estimates of individual source sectors are even more uncertain. This study uses atmospheric methane observations to reduce this level of uncertainty. We find greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and fossil fuel extraction and processing (i.e., oil and/or natural gas) are likely a factor of two or greater than cited in existing studies. Effective national and state greenhouse gas reduction strategies may be difficult to develop without appropriate estimates of methane emissions from these source sectors.

Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States

PNAS
29 OCT 2013
David T. Allen, Vincent M. Torres, James Thomas, David W. Sullivan, Matthew Harrison, Al Hendler, Scott C. Herndon, Charles E. Kolb, Matthew P. Fraser, A. Daniel Hill, Brian K. Lamb, Jennifer Miskimins, Robert F. Sawyer, and John H. Seinfeld

This work reports direct measurements of methane emissions at 190 onshore natural gas sites in the United States.

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