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Shell launches pilot to test methane detection technology

Shell launches pilot to test methane detection technology

Image: Pilot testing new methane detection technology at Shell shale gas site. (Photo credit: Shell/Ian Jackson) (CNW Group/Shell Canada Limited).

EBR Staff Writer: Published 10 August 2017

Royal Dutch Shell has launched a methane detector pilot aimed at enabling early detection and repair of methane leaks to ultimately cut down on emissions during the production of natural gas.

The launch was done at a shale gas site of Shell in Canada near Rocky Mountain House in Alberta province.

Shell says that the pilot test is part of the Methane Detectors Challenge, a wider multi-stakeholder initiative which involves the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), oil and gas firms, US government agencies and technology developers. The objective of the challenge is to assess next generation methane detection technologies.

According to Shell, the pilot uses a new technology named as Quanta3 sensing system for continuous monitoring of methane emissions in contrast to handheld optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras.

Shell Unconventionals executive vice president Greg Guidry said: “This pilot shows we’re serious about reducing the methane emissions associated with natural gas production to support the overall climate benefit of this fuel.

“Shell is looking at all aspects of its operations, from equipment to processes, to assess and identify emission reduction opportunities.”

The oil and gas major has chosen West central Alberta as the site for its North American detector pilot as it has the required infrastructure to adequately test the Quanta3 sensing system technology.

Apart from that, Shell says that the cold weather conditions in the Canadian province offer a unique environment to assess the system compared to some of the pilots carried out in the past.

Based on the pilot outcome, Shell says that next generation detection technologies could be deployed as add-ons to OGI cameras and other monitoring tools.

Further, it predicts that the new technologies potentially have wider applications across the natural gas value chain.

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