A research team led by The University of Texas at Austin, and including AECOM and Aerodyne Research, conducted a major field study to determine the amount of methane emissions released during unconventional natural gas production in the United States, about which little empirical data exists. With a goal of obtaining scientifically rigorous, representative data from multiple producing basins, this unprecedented partnership brought together the Environmental Defense Fund, the university and nine of the United States’ leading natural gas producers.
AECOM updated national data and received wide recognition for our work. Starting with legacy Radian’s landmark studies for The Gas Research Institute that had stood as the standard for the industry since the mid 1990s, an extensive new field measurement program was designed. The goal was to measure emissions, especially those that were likely to have changed given the dramatic growth of the domestic production of oil and gas.
AECOM coordinated, with our client The University of Texas, sample sites and data from ten participating oil and gas companies as well as an environmental NGO, The Environmental Defense Fund. Our team determined how to measure previously unmeasured GHG emission sources for the EDF/UT Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects. We then assembled new equipment and performed measurements on upstream oil and gas sources across the United States that were published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals.
We briefed the White House, the House and Senate, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and various trade organizations. Our approach then became the model for the other 15 Environmental Defense Fund studies on the natural gas supply chain.
- Greenhouse gas inventories
- Field measurement plans
- Data management