07 Mar 2022
07 Mar 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Satellite quantification of oil and natural gas methane emissions in the US and Canada including contributions from individual basins

Lu Shen1,2,3, Ritesh Gautam3, Mark Omara3, Daniel Zavala-Araiza3,4, Joannes Maasakkers5, Tia Scarpelli2, Alba Lorente5, David Lyon3, Jianxiong Sheng6, Daniel Varon2, Hannah Nesser2, Zhen Qu2, Xiao Lu2,7, Melissa Sulprizio2, Steven Hamburg3, and Daniel Jacob2 Lu Shen et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 2School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
  • 3Environmental Defense Fund, Washington DC 20009, United States
  • 4Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, 3584 CC, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 5SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • 6Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States
  • 7School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China 519082

Abstract. We use satellite methane observations from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), from May 2018 to February 2020, to quantify methane emissions from individual oil and natural gas (O/G) basins in the US and Canada using a high-resolution (~ 25 km) atmospheric inverse analysis. Our satellite-derived emission estimates show good consistency with in-situ field measurements (R2 = 0.92) in 14 O/G basins distributed across the US and Canada. Aggregating our results to the national scale, we obtain O/G-related methane emission estimates of 12.6 ± 2.1 Tg a-1 for the US and 2.2 ± 0.6 Tg a-1 for Canada, respectively 80 % and 40 % higher than the national inventories reported to the United Nations. About 70 % of the discrepancy in the EPA inventory can be attributed to five O/G basins: the Permian, Haynesville, Anadarko, Eagle Ford and Barnett Basin, which in total account for 40 % of US emissions. We show more generally that our TROPOMI inversion framework can quantify methane emissions exceeding 0.2–0.5 Tg a-1 from individual O/G basins, thus providing an effective tool for monitoring methane emissions from large O/G basins globally.

Lu Shen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-155', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-155', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Apr 2022

Lu Shen et al.

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Replication Data for: Satellite quantification of oil/gas methane emissions in the US and Canada including contributions from individual basins Shen et al.

Lu Shen et al.


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Short summary
We use 22 months of TROPOMI satellite observations to quantity methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector in the US and Canada at the scale of both individual basins as well as country-wide aggregates. We find that O/G related methane emissions are underestimated in these inventories by 80 % for the US and 40 % for Canada, and 70 % of the underestimate in the US is from 5 O/G basins, including Permian, Haynesville, Anadarko, Eagle Ford and Barnett.