• ConExpo-Con/Agg Revisited (Part 1)

    ConExpo-Con/Agg Revisited (Part 1)

    It Was the Biggest ConExpo-Con/Agg Ever. Here Are Some of the Products and Services We Saw at the Show. Read More
  • Site Simulation: A Vision of Success

    Site Simulation: A Vision of Success

    Barton International Relies on Volvo Site Simulation to Find the Right Equipment for the Job. Read More
  • Rethinking Radials

    Rethinking Radials

    How Bias Can Provide Cost and Performance Benefits. Read More
  • Headwaters MB Aggregates Market Report

    Headwaters MB Aggregates Market Report

    In This Exclusive Analysis Prepared For Rock Products, Headwaters MB Looks At Current Market Trends Such As Public Valuation, Mergers And Acquisitions and Aggregates Production. Read More
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Rock From The Road: Blog & Travelogue

April 21, 2017 – The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) celebrated 25 years of the Young Leaders Annual Meeting at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz. Industry professionals...
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Prime-Time Products

ASGCO added a semi-ceramic option to their pulley lagging product line, featuring 40 percent coverage. With this newest addition, customers have a choice between full-ceramic coverage with the Arrowhead Ceramic...
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Manufacturers in Focus

The grand opening of Polydeck’s newest remote facility, the South Texas Distribution Center (DC) in San Antonio, was held on Friday, April 7.
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People on the Move

Jonathan Fippinger will join Crisp Industries as its new North Texas sales representative, according to the company. He will replace Greg Venghaus, a long-time Crisp employee who passed away suddenly...
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Rock Stars

Douglas D. R. Palmore, senior vice president of customer and technical services at Luck Companies, was named the 2017 recipient of the Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award from the...
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Distributor News

Superior Industries Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer and global supplier of bulk material processing and handling systems, announced Grant Aggregate as a new distributor of Superior components products. Officially a distributor since Jan. 1, 2017, Grant Aggregate will market, stock and...
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Resource Center

Study: Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Lower Than Alleged


Initial findings from a new comprehensive study undertaken by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Texas found that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below estimates of previous studies.

In 2011, a study released from Cornell University led by ecologist Robert Howarth purported to show high levels of methane “leakage” from natural gas systems, including wells that had been hydraulically fractured. The Howarth study indicated that as much as 7.9 percent of natural gas developed from shale was leaking into the atmosphere thus negating its carbon-friendly advantages.

Studies since the release of the Howarth report have all tended to dispute or outwardly challenge the findings contained in the report. However, initial findings from the new study should leave little doubt.
The first part of the EDF study confirms the consensus reached by most scientists that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below the estimates provided in the Howarth report. The study reviewed emissions associated with well development, production, and completions and found leakage of methane fell below estimates made by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The agency's most recent data found that overall leakage from the natural gas production process was actually below 1.5 percent.

Using their own writings, critics of the use of natural gas have claimed that leakage rates must fall below 2 to 3 percent in order to obtain any benefit from the use of natural gas. This report simply confirms USEPA's findings of leakage rates well below those found in the Howarth study and even below the thresholds set forth by critics of the natural gas industry.