Edmonton, AB (October 6, 2020) – Since introducing new methane regulations, the federal and provincial governments have put added pressure on operators in the upstream oil and gas industry to measure and report on emissions from their job sites. With this, finding reliable, rapid, and cost-efficient methods of monitoring emissions is more important than ever.
GeoVerra, in partnership with researchers in the FluxLab at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, developed a new vehicle-based technology that offers just that. The technology, which is essentially a mobile lab, consists of commercially available hardware — gas concentration and meteorological measurement instruments, including outside wind and temperature sensors — mounted on a truck. The information it collects is then analyzed through computational algorithms and delivered directly to the driver and passenger as they drive around a wellsite.
“The ExACT technology is an innovative solution that offers a competitive advantage over other traditional gas detection technologies as it moves quickly, efficiently, and is capable of detecting emitting sites requiring further follow up,” says Mitch Ettinger, chief operating officer at GeoVerra. “Producers can use our technology as an overall screening mechanism to determine which sites need repairs but eliminate the use of costly optical gas imaging (OGI) hand-held surveying for their entire operation,” adds Ettinger.
OGI, which has been the more common method of data collection, is slower and more labor-intensive, costing operators unnecessary dollars for extensive site surveys when at times, it’s not even required. Compared to the OGI method, which takes about an hour to monitor a site, the ExACT truck takes less than 15 minutes, or a quarter of the time.
Recognizing that there are times when component emissions monitoring techniques such as the OGI would be necessary, GeoVerra is working with FluxLab to come up with a built-in solution that allows for OGI monitoring, in conjunction with the ExACT truck. In the meantime, GeoVerra has an on-board OGI camera to deliver package solutions when further investigation into a leak is needed. GeoVerra and the FluxLab continue to work together to find ways to improve the technology, including using it on boats and all-terrain vehicles and increasing the speed of access to the data so operators can receive results in real-time.
“We know there’s added pressure on producers to do what’s right for their stakeholders and the community – sustainability and environmental stewardship aren’t just buzzwords that are going to go away,” comments Adrienne Maskalyk, director forestry and environmental at GeoVerra. “This isn’t something that is going to come and go in a few years – it’s something companies are investing heavily in, and we’re doing the same to help support our industry partners.”