Our Founder and CTO, Dr. Steve Liang was characteristically passionate as he shared his thoughts on methane leak detection and establishing an international standard for methane monitoring data. 

 Dr. Liang led the development of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) SensorThings API, a set of international standards for IoT data exchange and is now embarking on leading the international methane sharing standard as well.

 If you missed the live webinar, “How to make use of the international methane data sharing standard for your business” and are considering watching the recording, here are a few key takeaways from the talk. 

1. Reducing fugitive methane emissions makes a big difference

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Pound for pound, its impact on our environment is 25 times worse than CO2. We know that 25% of methane emissions on planet earth are a result of fugitive emissions (leaks) in the oil and gas industry. It’s the single largest contributor to man-made greenhouse gases and also can represent significant losses for oil and gas companies. 

 Why are we focusing on these fugitive emissions? Because we can do something about it. With a better detection and repair system, we can have an immediate impact. But monitoring, detecting, analyzing and acting on leaks is still a time-consuming and costly process.  

 Keep reading to find out how we can use technology to go from our current state of disparate monitoring systems and reactive repairs to a future where we can predict leaks before they even happen.  

2. A methane data standard is key to enabling better, faster methane leak detection and repair

One of the most difficult components of a FEMP (Fugitive Emissions Management Program) is managing the collection and the flow of data. Most programs fail because of inconsistent or incomplete data collection. 

 The challenge is in the fact that data is often collected in siloed systems. It’s only when we can bring this siloed data together into a “system of systems” that we can achieve better, faster, and more cost-effective emissions management. 

 With a methane data standard, we can enable more early detection, get a clear and immediate understanding of the situation, and have the ability to analyze that data comprehensively. 

3. An effective methane emission management system needs to use an integrated sensing approach

The primary reason why a system of systems is necessary is that fugitive emissions monitoring requires a number of sensor types. There’s no one sensor to rule them all.

 Even in methane detection alone, there are many sensors, each with special temporal coverage. Proper monitoring requires a multi-sensor solution that could include OGI (optical gas imaging) cameras, vehicle-based mobile sensing systems, in-situ monitoring stations, or even satellites.  

With a data standard, all of these sensors can talk to one another. This will enable better monitoring, faster response times for repair and also creates the ability for these systems of systems to improve with time, using artificial intelligence (AI). 


Bonus takeaway: How data standards unlock the power of AI to predict leaks before they happen

As a company, our goal is to be the fabric that interconnects the world’s IoT data. The power of our platform is not merely its ability to combine data sources like information from methane sensors. Companies begin to unlock the real value as data continues to be collected, allowing the machine to learn and make improvements. 

Methane leak detection data must be machine-readable and have contextual data so that we can run AI predictions effectively. By merging all of the data into one platform and learning from each experience, the model can begin to make predictions about methane leaks. 

 The goal is to eventually stop leaks before they happen, but to get there we have to be able to analyze all of that data in one place. 

Where do we start?

We believe the key to success is starting small and moving fast. Establishing an international standard in a consensus-based process can be incredibly slow. That’s why we suggest starting with the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) best practice documents. This way, we build on top of proven successful standards, saving time and further simplifying the industry standards.

We will start with fugitive emissions and then we can move on to venting, permafrost methane emissions, agriculture and more.

Learn more about a standards-based methane emissions monitoring solution

We believe the key to success is starting small and moving fast. Establishing an international Interested in how we can help energy companies create a standards-based methane emissions monitoring solution? Contact us for a discussion about your methane emissions monitoring strategy. 

This webinar was the first in the SensorUp Sustainability Series. Sign up to be notified of valuable content like this in 2021.

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