Articles | Volume 17, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 12405–12420, 2017
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 12405–12420, 2017
Research article
19 Oct 2017
Research article | 19 Oct 2017

Mobile measurement of methane emissions from natural gas developments in northeastern British Columbia, Canada

Emmaline Atherton et al.

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Subject: Gases | Research Activity: Field Measurements | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Allen, D. T., Torres, V. M., Thomas, J., Sullivan, D. W., Harrison, M., Hendler, A., Herndon, S. C., Kolb, C. E., Fraser, M. P., Hill, A. D., Lamb, B. K., Miskimins, J., Sawyer, R. F., and Seinfeld, J. H.: Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110, 17768–17773,, 2013.
Alvarez, R. A., Pacala, S. W., Winebrake, J. J., Chameides, W. L., and Hamburg, S. P.: Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 6435–6440,, 2012.
BC Oil and Gas Commission: Montney Formation Play Atlas NEBC, available at:, last access: 1 August 2016, 2012.
BC Oil and Gas Commission: Energy Briefing Note: The Ultimate Potential for Unconventional Petroleum from the Montney Formation of British Columbia and Alberta, available at:, last access: 1 August 2016, 2013.
BC Oil and Gas Commission: Hydrocarbon and By-Product Reserves in British Columbia, available at:, last access: 1 August 2016, 2014.
Short summary
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and leaks from natural gas infrastructure are thought to be a significant emission source. We used a mobile survey method to measure GHGs near Canadian infrastructure. Our results show that ~ 47 % of active wells were emitting. Abandoned and aging wells were also associated with emissions. We estimate methane emissions from this development are just over 111 Mt year−1, which is more than previous government estimates, but less than similar studies in the US.
Final-revised paper