Shell adds Canadian shale assets to methane detection challenge

By North American Shale magazine staff | September 11, 2017

Shell is the latest major energy producer to join the Methane Detectors Challenge. The multi-stakeholder initiative run by the Environmental Defense Fund is now helping Shell to track and monitor possible methane emissions at Canadian shale gas wells.

Shell already has voluntary leak detection and repair programs at all of its shale operations, but with the help of technology provider Quanta3, the energy giant will now be able to continuously monitor emissions without the need for the random use of optical gas imaging cameras. Quanta3, a Colorado-based company, has developed a laser-based sensor that monitors infrastructure 24/7 through a connection to the cloud. A solar array powers to sensors and accompanying hardware. According to the EDF, a new generation of technology could be proven in Canada.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has also participated in the challenge. In Northern California, PG&E has installed a laser-based system at a natural gas storage facility.

Statoil, another participant in the challenge, is already installing solar-powered methane detection systems at its shale sites.

“The U.S. oil and gas industry loses about $2 billion of natural gas a year from leaks at dispersed sites, much of them undetected for months due to lack of continuous monitoring,” said Aileen Nowlan, manager of the Methane Detectors Challenge. “By building bridges between innovators and customers that need scalable solutions, EDF is accelerating technologies that can help the oil and gas industry improve operations and forging solutions that build safer communities and let the planet thrive.”