November 26, 2013

A five-page study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week that suggests United States greenhouse gas inventory may be underestimating total methane emissions, particularly from the oil/gas and agricultural sectors in the US, adds to a growing body of data on the subject but cannot be viewed in isolation.

American research body “Energy in Depth” (EID) analysed the study/ Its critique can be found here.

As lead researcher Scott Miller told NBC News, looking at methane emissions “really requires a collaborative effort” and the National Academy of Sciences study is ultimately one of many “different pieces of a much bigger puzzle”.

The study conflicts with a range of work conducted by a number of organisations, including most recently the University of Texas and the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company that shows gas well completion emissions are lower than previously estimated.

Much of the research is focused on US shale gas developments.

In Australia the industry reports and is responsible for all emissions associated with its activities.  The CSIRO and Department of Environment are currently reviewing the way natural gas emissions are measured, estimated and reported in a research project APPEA supports.