Sustainable Shale Oil and Gas - Chapter 3: Detection of Methane and Amelioration

Elsevier, Sustainable Shale Oil and Gas, Chapter 3, 2017, Pages 29–43
Vikram Rao & Rob Knight


This chapter reviews available and experimental methods by which fugitive methane can be detected at the minimum concentrations mandated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and it discusses methods by which the gases can be captured and turned to commercial use. Seven of the 11 projects funded under the ARPA-E MONITOR (US Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions) program for detection methods are characterized. Some of the systems are improved or more economical versions, some are mobile, and all are novel in some respects. Methods for handling by-product gas from oil wells are applicable at wells designed to produce gas, where “green completion” is the objective. The chapter concludes with a detailed discussion of synthesis gas as a way of turning a disposal problem into viable commercial opportunity.