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Rock From The Road: Blog & Travelogue

June 19, 2017 – There is equipment to be sold. Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) President and CEO Brian P. McGuire advised that any U.S. Cuba policy should continue engagement with...
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Prime-Time Products

Metso’s Lokotrack Urban series mobile crushing plant revolutionizes crushing in densely populated environments, such as city centers, the company said. The new solution simplifies crushing operations, incorporates significant noise protection...
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Manufacturers in Focus

CASE Construction Equipment celebrated the CASE brand’s 175th birthday with a rally and luncheon attended by 800+ employees in Racine, Wis., as well as local dignitaries, elected officials and a...
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People on the Move

LiuGong Machinery introduced Kevin Thieneman as chairman of LiuGong North America and senior chief director of Guangxi LiuGong Machinery.
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Rock Stars

ASTM International’s Committee on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates (C09) presented its top annual award – the Award of Merit – to Robin E. Graves, corporate manager of technical services for...
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Distributor News

Based on an already successful business relationship, leading members of the Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) management team embarked on a visit to Orimattila, Finland, in April for a factory visit at ALLU's headquarters. During their visit, the ECA team...
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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.