Quantifying cost-effectiveness of systematic Leak Detection (LDAR) using infrared cameras

Boston-based Clean Air Task Force (CATF) commissioned Carbon Limits to analyze methane leaks from oil and natural gas production. These can be easily identified using infrared cameras and are highly cost-effective to repair. The study is based on data gathered by inspectors who used infrared cameras to scrutinize 4,000 well sites, gas compressor stations and processing plants, about 90 percent of them in Canada with the remainder located in the U.S. The inspectors found more than 58,400 individual pieces of equipment—an average of 13.6 per facility—that were emitting methane. Nearly 40,000 of those pieces of equipment had unintentional leaks, most of which could be fixed with simple repairs. The median cost of the fixes was just $50.

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