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Rock From The Road: Blog & Travelogue

March 16, 2018 – This just in from USGS. The envelope, please. The estimated total output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2017 was 2.26 billion metric tons, about...

Prime-Time Products

Eagle Iron Works debuted the new Condor line of screw washers at AGG1 in Houston. Backed by the Eagle Iron Works name that is known for long wear life, heavy...
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Manufacturers in Focus

For more than seven years, Baldor Electric Co. has been a member of the ABB Group. But as of March 1, 2018, the company is now ABB, and they are...
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People on the Move

The Rogers Group Inc. (RGI) board of directors is proud to announce the recent election of Andrew E. Chrostowski to their board.
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Rock Stars

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association will present the 2018 State Executive of the Year award to Todd Ohlheiser, executive director of the Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association...
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Distributor News

Komatsu America Corp., through its subsidiary F and M Equipment Ltd., has entered into a purchase agreement with PBE Group, consisting of Pine Bush Equipment Co. Inc. and East PBE Inc. The planned closing date for the sale is April...
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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.