Fugitive Emissions from Shale Gas Extraction: Evaluating Mobile Measurement Techniques in the Marcellus Shale Region

Stanton, Levi [Browse]
Senior thesis
57 pages


Zondlo, Mark [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
Advancements in unconventional shale gas extraction techniques have caused a surge in the United State’s production of natural gas. With the increase in unconventional activity, which involves both hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling, comes a growing concern about the fugitive emissions related to the extraction, transportation, and processing of natural gas. Methane, the primary component in natural gas, is a very potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 84 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20 year time horizon. Unfortunately, there is not a scientific consensus on the fugitive emission rate, nor the shape of the distribution of fugitive emission rates. Therefore, this study evaluates the feasibility of using a mobile vehicle platform for the facility-level study of emissions. For this study, three field campaigns were conducted in the Marcellus shale region with the focus on developing a methodology for measurements. The study found an average emission rate of .85 g methane per second, which is in line with similar studies conducted on well pad emissions.

Supplementary Information