A recent newcomer in the global energy mix, natural gas will represent the second biggest share after oil by 2040 , according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Demand on natural gas is rising globally with the economic growth of developing countries and the significant move from coal to gas initiated by governments to meet the challenge of climate change and the t ransition to low-carbon economies.
If natural gas is considered as t he fossil fuel with the lowest specific carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) fo r the same power generated, methane however - natural gas main component- has a far more important impact on global warming than CO2 with a greater Global Warming Potential. Therefore, to support the major role natural gas has to play in the energy transition, the gas industry will have to cut methane emissions.
Leak sources are multiple within the complex gas systems in place ranging from gas wells to millions of miles of pipelines, millions of compressors, valves and other components. Likewise leak factors are numerous, among which natural ageing of installations, exposure to environmental conditions or continuous operation. The task facing the gas industry is not an easy one, especially as a recent study published by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates methane emissions from US oil and gas operations are much higher than previous estimates.
Traditional methods and detection technologies have existed for decades but today technology is advancing at an amazing rate in several aspects and disciplines applicable for gas leak detection. This paper discusses the use of advanced laser technologies combined with multi-network satellite location services and robust enterprise software for accurately measuring, locating, communicating, and responding to gas leaks large and small helping to protect the public, gas service and emergency response personnel, and the environment.