NOTE: this announcment from CIRES is from 2018; posted as CO-LABS Executovve Director Dan Powers spoke at the 2019 Earth X summit regarding natural gas technologies and policies. Further below is information on the new April 2019 law re: oil and gas regulations in Colorado.
March 23, 2018: A new field instrument developed by a collaborative team of researchers can quantify methane leaks as tiny as 1/4 of a human exhalation from nearly a mile away. CIRES, NOAA, CU Boulder, and NIST scientists revamped and “ruggedized” Nobel Prize laser technology—turning a complex, room-sized collection of instruments into a sleek, 19-inch portable unit to tote into the field near oil and gas operations. The instrument collects precise, nonstop data, providing game-changing information critical for safe industry operations and controlling harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
The team, funded by an ARPA-E grant focusing on “high risk/high reward” science, published their research this week in the journal Optica along with a companion paper on the leak-finding routines in the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques.
Detecting methane and other gas leaks from oil and gas operations has traditionally been hampered by high costs and technological constraints, which have limited efforts to provide continuous monitoring. The new technology, which relies on a laser system called a dual frequency comb spectrometer, provides a much-needed solution: extremely efficient, accurate data collection at a fraction of the cost of previous technologies.
RELATED: Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed SB 19-181 into law on April 16, 2019. SB 19-181 ensures that oil and gas development and operations in Colorado are regulated in a manner that protects public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources. SB 19-181’s amendments to the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (“Act”) are effective as of April 16, 2019, the date the Governor signed the bill into law.
Information and relevant links related to the implementation of the SB 19-181 will be provided here, including a forthcoming timeline, FAQ, and other pertinent guidance documents.