Dr Barrett said “The measurement of leaks from pipelines is fairly well covered by existing instrumentation and methods. What our particular research interest here is around undertaking these more difficult measurements associated with more diffuse sources of methane.
“With a large number of distributed CSG wells and associated infrastructure, it’s a lot more difficult to pinpoint leaks in those systems, rather than a transport pipeline. Our methods are particularly tailored to this sort of problem.”
The CSIRO team found that by modelling the results of methane concentration levels around sources and combining the data with meteorological measurements such as wind speed and direction, they were able to monitor the flux of methane and more accurately locate the sources.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), molecule for molecule the comparative impact of methane on climate change is more than 25 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.