By: Jeff Williams
November 24, 2021
The energy industry finds itself at an unprecedented moment of change with enormous opportunities for increased profitability through improved emissions monitoring capabilities. For years, methane emissions have challenged the industry causing equipment failure, jeopardizing safety, and resulting in product loss. At the root of these challenges has been an inability to conduct basic emissions data gathering for analysis and reporting purposes. However, today the industry has access to new technologies that allow energy companies to identify and reduce or eliminate methane leaks at lower costs than ever before.
Recognizing the critical importance of curbing methane emissions, in early November the EPA issued a proposed rule that would expand and strengthen emissions reductions requirements. Key to the proposal is encouraging “the use of innovative methane detection technologies and other cutting-edge solutions.” Focusing on methane leaks from well sites and compressor stations -- areas likely to have the largest emissions -- the proposed rule seeks to provide companies with the flexibility to adopt novel technologies that can more rapidly identify leaks without incurring significant costs.
The move is well timed and not only because of environmental imperatives. Over the past two years, there has been a rapid expansion of investment in much needed methane detection technologies. The majority of these investments have focused on technologies that generate vast amounts of spatial data including ground sensors and aerial imagery from overhead assets such as drones, planes, and satellites. This proliferation of spatial data has created an unprecedented amount of information for operators to leverage. However, addressing the challenges posed by the methane emissions requires the ability to utilize multiple data sources at once -- there is no silver bullet -- and fusing different spatial data types is not an easy feat.
However, Geosite’s recently launched application, Ascend, was specifically designed with this task in mind. Ascend’s innovative data fusion techniques, allows users to access multiple methane detection data types in a single, intuitive environment. Ascend can support the integration of internal SCADA data, third party IoT sensors, or aerial /satellite imagery all in one location. Together, these resources make emissions reduction manageable and actionable.
In addition to visualizing emissions data, Ascend provides real time alerts and response tools to enable exception based monitoring. Ascend provides a centralized and up-to-date view of measured emissions alongside operational data, such as targeted SCADA signatures (like casing pressure to identify slugging events and flare volume totals). This allows end users to identify sources of methane leaks, take steps to reduce those emissions, lower the likelihood of equipment failures or incidents, enhance production volume, and adopt better environmental practices.
Recently, Geosite partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to integrate Ascend as a core component of AWS’ Emissions Monitoring and Surveillance solution. Working with AWS, allows Geosite to provide our clients with the best emissions data available by leveraging AWS’ marketplace of independent vendor partners like Qube and PreceisionHawk.
At Geosite we’re thrilled to provide energy companies with a way to lower emissions and operational costs. From managing complex operations and regulatory data across distributed organizations, to helping energy companies understand what emissions data may be available and useful, we generate a common operating picture to keep a dynamic and fast paced operation organized and optimized.