Research Opportunities



CAMS will sponsor targeted research studies that will improve our understanding of methane emissions across the entire value chain of the natural gas industry. A description of the initial projects of interest are provided below as well as a list of other potential research areas that CAMS will focus on in future studies.

Aerial Directed LDAR (Phase 1)

The purpose of this two-phase study would be to identify technology solutions that potentially are more cost effective than current EPA and other government approved ground-based optical gas imaging (OGI) technologies for LDAR application. Several other research organizations are evaluating new methane detection technologies for LDAR. Phase 1 of this study would be to review the objectives, findings and recommendations of these studies. This review of current efforts should identify scientific gaps and parameters that were not considered in the evaluations. Such considerations may include development of standardized protocols and identification of environmental or site conditions that may influence detection performance. A field study design should be included in Phase 1, based on learnings from this review and assuming that additional field testing is required. Phase 2 would be a field study at operational oil and gas facilities and analysis of the collected data to compare to approved OGI techniques. Technical reports/papers would be published with results at the end of each phase.

Harmonization of Past Top-Down Studies

Past top-down (TD) or aircraft based methane measurements from O&G basins have consistently estimated higher emission levels compared to bottom-up (BU) or inventory based methods. However, the recent significant findings from the RPSEA methane reconciliation study [Schwietzke, ES&T 2017] shed new light on the likely cause of past TD vs BU discrepancies, namely that midday snapshots by top-down methods may not be representative of routine or continuous emissions in annual emissions inventories for an active basin. The same study also finds strong spatial correlation of sub-basin emission estimates with well counts and distribution of natural gas production volumes. The objective of this study is to carry out a comprehensive re-analysis of past top-down studies based on current knowledge of the importance of temporal and spatial variabilities of methane emissions in active basins.

Research Areas
  • Lifecycle analysis of LNG systems
  • Gridded analysis of O&G methane emissions
  • Field application of ARPA-e and other emerging methane detection technologies
  • Storage tank measurements across the value chain
  • Methane reconciliation from wet gas field
  • Impact of abandoned and marginal wells
  • Low emissions reciprocating rod packing
  • Post-meter methane emissions analysis