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Update on recent empirical evidence on fugitive emissions from the gas industry

Department of the Environment and Energy, 2017

Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts

About the document

The Department of the Environment and Energy has supported empirical research into fugitive emissions of methane from Australian coal seam gas (CSG) fields since 2013. This research program has reached an important milestone with the completion of a new study. The estimation methods used for Australia have been updated in light of this new evidence for Australian CSG gasfields.

The Department has also updated estimation methods for Australia drawing from recent, relevant US experience, where gaps in the Australian data exist.

The new estimation method updates for the Australian inventory mainly concern the treatment of leakages and few updates were implemented for the estimation of emissions from equipment vents or from flaring activity for this inventory.

The changes to the treatment of leakages stemmed from the separation of gas production processes currently identified by the IPCC Guidelines into new sub-categories used by the US EPA and the provision of more explicit methods that identified emissions from more components of the gas supply chain.

The major sub-categories of fugitive emission sources relate to (Figure 1):

  • Drilling, well completions and workovers,
  • Onshore wells and well-pad operations,
  • Onshore gas gathering and boosting equipment and stations,
  • Offshore gas platforms,
  • Gas processing plants,
  • Gas transmission plants and pipelines,
  • LNG terminals,
  • Distribution networks, and
  • Condensate vents.

Figure 1: Emission estimation segments for the gas supply chain

​Consideration will be given to the development of methods to cover decommissioned production and exploration wells for the 2018 submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).