Putting Methane Leaks Into Perspective

first_imgNatural Gas Pipelines Are LeakingReport Warns That Climate Change Efforts Are Too SlowLandfills Are a Big Methane ProblemConcern Mounts Over Natural Gas Leaks Inventory tallies vs. aircraft surveillanceThe EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory is done in a way experts like us call a “bottom-up” approach. It entails tallying up all of the nation’s natural gas equipment – from household gas meters to wellpads – and estimating an annualized average emission rate for every category and adding it all up.There are two challenges to this approach. First, there are no accurate equipment records for many of these categories. Second, when components operate improperly or fail, emissions balloon, making it hard to develop an accurate and meaningful annualized emission rate for each source.[Source: Environmental Protection Agency]“Top-down” approaches, typically requiring aircraft, are the alternative. They measure methane concentrations upwind and downwind of large geographic areas. But this approach has its own shortcomings.First, it captures all methane emissions, rather than just the emissions tied to natural gas operations – including the methane from landfills, cows, and even the leaves rotting in your backyard. Second, these one-time snapshots may get distorted depending on what’s going on while planes fly around capturing methane data.Historically, top-down approaches estimate emissions that are about twice bottom-up estimates. Some regional top-down methane leak rate estimates have been as high as 8% while some bottom-up estimates have been as low as 1%.More recent work, including the Science study, have performed coordinated campaigns in which the on-the-ground and aircraft measurements are made concurrently, while carefully modeling emission events. Natural gas is displacing coal, which could help fight climate change because burning it produces fewer carbon emissions. But producing and transporting natural gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas that also contributes to climate change. How big is the methane problem?For the past five years, our research teams at Colorado State University have made thousands of methane emissions measurements at more than 700 separate facilities in the production, gathering, processing, transmission, and storage segments of the natural gas supply chain.This experience has given us a unique perspective regarding the major sources of methane emissions from natural gas and the challenges the industry faces in terms of detecting and reducing, if not eliminating, them.Our work, along with numerous other research projects, was recently folded into a new study published in the journal Science. This comprehensive snapshot suggests that methane emissions from oil and gas operations are much higher than current EPA estimates. Helpful gadgets and sound policyOn a sunny morning in October 2013, our research team pulled up to a natural gas gathering compressor station in Texas. Using an $80,000 infrared camera, we immediately located an extraordinarily large leak of colorless, odorless methane that was invisible to the operator, who quickly isolated and fixed the problem.We then witnessed the methane emissions decline tenfold – the facility leak rate fell from 9.8% to 0.7% before our eyes.It is not economically feasible, of course, to equip all natural gas workers with $80,000 cameras, or to hire the drivers required to monitor every wellpad on a daily basis when there are 40,000 oil and gas wells in Weld County, Colorado, alone.But new technologies can make a difference. Our team at Colorado State University is working with the Department of Energy to evaluate gadgetry that will rapidly detect methane emissions. Some of these devices can be deployed today, including inexpensive sensors that can be monitored remotely.Technology alone won’t solve the problem, however. We believe that slashing the nation’s methane leak rate will require a collaborative effort between industry and government. And based on our experience in Colorado, which has developed some of the nation’s strictest methane emissions regulations, we find that best practices become standard practices with strong regulations.We believe that the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back regulations, without regard to whether they are working or not, will not only have profound climate impacts. They will also jeopardize the health and safety of all Americans while undercutting efforts by the natural gas industry to cut back on the pollution it produces. RELATED ARTICLES What causes these leaksPerhaps you’ve never contemplated the long journey that natural gas travels before you can ignite the burners on the gas stove in your kitchen.But on top of the 500,000 natural gas wells operating in the U.S. today, there are 2 million miles of pipes and millions of valves, fittings, tanks, compressors, and other components operating 24 hours per day, seven days a week, to deliver natural gas to your home.That natural gas that you burn when you whip up a batch of pancakes may have traveled 1,000 miles or more as it wended through this complicated network. Along the way, there were ample opportunities for some of it to leak out into the atmosphere.Natural gas leaks can be accidental, caused by malfunctioning equipment, but a lot of natural gas is also released intentionally to perform process operations such as opening and closing valves. In addition, the tens of thousands of compressors that increase the pressure and pump the gas along through the network are powered by engines that burn natural gas and their exhaust contains some unburned natural gas.Since the natural gas delivered to your home is 85 to 95% methane, natural gas leaks are predominantly methane. While methane poses the greatest threat to the climate because of its greenhouse gas potency, natural gas contains other hydrocarbons that can degrade regional air quality and are bad for human health. What’s wrong with methaneOne way to quantify the magnitude of the methane leakage is to divide the amount of methane emitted each year by the total amount of methane pumped out of the ground each year from natural gas and oil wells. The EPA currently estimates this methane leak rate to be 1.4% — that is, for every cubic foot of natural gas drawn from underground reservoirs, 1.4% of it is lost into the atmosphere.This study synthesized the results from a five-year series of 16 studies coordinated by environmental advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which involved more than 140 researchers from over 40 institutions and 50 natural gas companies.The effort brought together scholars based at universities, think tanks, and the industry itself to make the most accurate estimate possible of the total amount of methane emitted from all U.S. oil and gas operations. It integrated data from a multitude of recent studies with measurements made on the ground and from the air.All told, based on the results of the new study, the U.S. oil and gas industry is leaking 13 million metric tons of methane each year, which means the methane leak rate is 2.3%. This 60% difference between our new estimate and the EPA’s current one can have profound climate consequences.Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas, with more than 80 times the climate warming impact of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it is released.An earlier EDF study showed that a methane leak rate of greater than 3% would result in no immediate climate benefits from retiring coal-fired power plants in favor of natural gas power plants.That means even with a 2.3% leakage rate, the growing share of U.S. electricity powered by natural gas is doing something to slow the pace of climate change. However, these climate benefits could be far greater.Also, at a methane leakage rate of 2.3%, many other uses of natural gas besides generating electricity are conclusively detrimental for the climate. For example, EDF found that replacing the diesel used in most trucks or the gasoline consumed by most cars with natural gas would require a leakage rate of less than 1.4% before there would be any immediate climate benefit.What’s more, some scientists believe that the leakage rate could be even higher than this new estimate. By ANTHONY J. MARCHESE and DAN ZIMMERLE Anthony J. Marchese is Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering, and Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University. Dan Zimmerle is senior research associate and director of METEC, Colorado State University. This post originally appeared at The Conversation.last_img read more

Adobe Prelude: Organize, Log and Rough Cut

first_imgJump start your editing workflow with Adobe Prelude before moving to Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.Whether your an individual or a team, everyone is looking for ways to save time and work efficiently while creating the best work they can.  This is especially true in the video production business, where time is short and deadlines are always fast approaching.Prelude is a handy tool for video pros to ingest and organize your video footage.  Video producers and editing assistants can use Prelude to ingest, log, and create a simple rough cut edit in Prelude before handing off to the editor. Prelude can be used on-location on a laptop or older computer as it has lower system requirements than Premiere Pro.But Prelude is not just for Adobe Premiere Pro video editors.  If you also work with Final Cut Pro 7 or Final Cut Pro X (common for freelancers) you can export an XML file from Prelude to continue working in those apps.In this post we’ll explore logging, clip organization and creating a rough cut in Adobe Prelude.  Note, if you’re new to Prelude, check out my previous posts on ingesting in Prelude here and here.Get Organized With PreludeIt’s hard to be creative when you can’t find your footage! Getting organized at the beginning of the project will save you a lot of hair pulling later on.  To organize your clips in Adobe Prelude create bins, just as you would in Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer.Click the bin (folder) icon to create a new bin (highlighted in red below). Or right-click in the Project Window and select “New Bin”.Editing trivia break: If you are wondering why they are called bins and not folders, film hung in bins when editors were cutting film!Right Click Contextual Menu:Be aware that if a bin is selected and you create a bin, the bin will be created nested inside the previous bin.  In some instances you may want to have sub bins, it just depends on your workflow. Note, you can’t see icons of clips currently in the Project, but hopefully that is added in a future release.Logging: Subclips & Adding MarkersIn Prelude we can create subclips and add markers to save the editor time. Subclips let you break large clips into smaller, more manageable clips and can be better organized by topic or priority. Comments are useful to pass along notes to the Editor like “stabilize shot” and “fix white balance.”Double click on a clip in the Project to open it’s Timeline. To add a marker, press the appropriate number (1 for subclip, 2 for comment).Give your marker a name in the highlighted blue “Name” column. Use J,K,L to navigate the clip and set In & Outs with I & O like you would in an editing app.After adding your marker you’ll see an asterisk in the timeline, telling you you have unsaved changes. After you save a subclip, you will see the subclip in the Project.You can always name the marker later and add comments by clicking on it, and renaming it in the Marker Inspector.Creating a Rough Cut in PreludeIf you want to rough out an edit in Prelude, you’ll first need to click the Rough Cut icon (highlighted in red below) or use the shortcut Command + N (on a Mac) or CNTRL + N (on a PC).  Name and save the rough cut, and it appears in your project.  Click image for larger view.Open the timeline by double-clicking the rough cut in the project panel.You can now drag clips and subclips into the rough cut timeline, or right click on a clip and select “Append to Rough Cut”. The editing functionality is kept basic (no transitions or insert/overwrite), as Prelude is designed to roughly string together clips which is then handed to the editor.Send to Premiere Pro from PreludeIf you are running Premiere Pro and Prelude on the same machine you can send your Prelude project to Premiere.  Select the rough cut and the bins you want to send, right click and choose “Send to Premiere Pro”. Alternatively, you can use File> Send to Premiere Pro.If you have Premiere Pro already open, whatever you send from Prelude will be added to your current Premiere project.Export to Premiere Pro, FCP 7, & XIf Premiere Pro is on another machine or if you want to export Final Cut Pro XML,  use Export instead of Send To.Select your rough cut, clips and bins.  Then from the menu bar select File > Export (you can also use the shortcut Command + M on a Mac or CNTRL + M on a PC).  In the dialog box, set your Destination (hard drive or FTP), Project, and Media settings.  Then, click OK.If you are a Final Cut Pro X editor you will need the 7toX app  ($9.99) to convert from FCP 7 to FCP X xml.  Depending on your format you may also want to transcode to Pro Res if working in FCP.Markers & subclips are sent with the XML to Final Cut Pro 7 & X (terminology is different).  This is helpful, as freelancers often use various software depending on the job. For more details check out the Adobe online help site and forum.  Are you using Adobe Prelude in your post production workflow?  Have tips or tricks to share?  Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Narendra Modi condoles death of archbishop of Shillong

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condoled the demise of archbishop of Shillong, saying he will be remembered for his passion towards Meghalaya’s progress.Dominic Jala (68), the archbishop of Shillong, Meghalaya died in a car accident in California, US, according to news reports.“Anguished by the passing away of Most Rev Dominic Jala, the Archbishop of Shillong. He will be remembered for his impeccable service to society and passion towards Meghalaya’s progress,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Mr. Modi.last_img