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Trending... by Mark S. Kuhar, Editor

October 21, 2019 – Injuries and deaths caused by roof collapses and falling debris, common culprits for underground mine accidents, could be prevented by the unlikely force of robots and...

ROCKtv

Dealing with belt misalignment? PPI has the solution, check out the PPI Pro Trainer, designed to fix misalignment and keep your system running longer. PPI, www.ppi-global.com...

Prime-Time Products

Metso expanded its mobile crushing and screening solutions offerings for the aggregates industry with an extensive new product portfolio. The new Metso Nordtrack range introduced 19 products designed to meet...
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Manufacturers in Focus

In a move driven by customer demand and strong industry forecasts, conveyor belt producer Smiley Monroe announced the opening of a manufacturing facility in Franklin, Ky. This $2 million investment,...
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The Strategist

By: Pierre G Villere The future holds great promise, as technology continues to disrupt traditional norms and methods in the construction industry in general, and in the aggregates industry in particular.

People on the Move

Vulcan Materials Co. named Denson (D.) Franklin III as senior vice president and general counsel effective Dec. 2, 2019.
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Rock Stars

William F. Childs IV will retire as chief executive officer of Chaney Enterprises effective October 2019. "I would like to thank all of the wonderful people I have worked with...
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Study: Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Lower Than Alleged


Initial findings from a new comprehensive study undertaken by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Texas found that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below estimates of previous studies.

In 2011, a study released from Cornell University led by ecologist Robert Howarth purported to show high levels of methane “leakage” from natural gas systems, including wells that had been hydraulically fractured. The Howarth study indicated that as much as 7.9 percent of natural gas developed from shale was leaking into the atmosphere thus negating its carbon-friendly advantages.

Studies since the release of the Howarth report have all tended to dispute or outwardly challenge the findings contained in the report. However, initial findings from the new study should leave little doubt.
The first part of the EDF study confirms the consensus reached by most scientists that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below the estimates provided in the Howarth report. The study reviewed emissions associated with well development, production, and completions and found leakage of methane fell below estimates made by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The agency's most recent data found that overall leakage from the natural gas production process was actually below 1.5 percent.

Using their own writings, critics of the use of natural gas have claimed that leakage rates must fall below 2 to 3 percent in order to obtain any benefit from the use of natural gas. This report simply confirms USEPA's findings of leakage rates well below those found in the Howarth study and even below the thresholds set forth by critics of the natural gas industry.