Articles | Volume 45
Adv. Geosci., 45, 125–131, 2018
Adv. Geosci., 45, 125–131, 2018

  10 Aug 2018

10 Aug 2018

Methane and ethane emission scenarios for potential shale gas production in Europe

Antoon J. H. Visschedijk et al.

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Cited articles

Alvarez, R. A., Pacala, S. W., Winebrake, J. J., Chameides, W. L., and Hamburg, S. P.: Methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 6435–6440,, 2012. 
Berner, U.: Entwicklung und Anwendung empirischer Modelle für die Isotopenvariationen in Mischungen thermogener Erdgase (PhD thesis), Technische Univ. Clausthal, Clausthal, Germany, 1989. 
Bullin, K. A. and Krouskop, P. E.: Compositional variety complicates processing plans for US shale gas, Oil Gas J., 107, 50–55, 2009. 
Dalsøren, S. B., Myhre, G., Hodnebrog, Ø., Lund Myhre, C., Stohl, A., Pisso, I., Schwietzke, S., Höglund-Isaksson, L., Helmig, D., Reimann, S., Sauvage, S., Schmidbauer, N., Read, K. A., Carpenter, L. J., Lewis, A. C., Punjabi, S., and Wallaschm M.: Discrepancy between simulated and observed ethane and propane levels explained by underestimated fossil emissions, Nat. Geosci., 11, 178–184,, 2018. 
Short summary
Electricity produced by gas instead of coal is more climate-friendly as it emits 2 times less CO2 but with methane leakage rates > 3 % of production this advantage is lost. Ethane in (shale)gas can be used to identify gas leakage. The ratio of ethane/methane for European shale gas plays is derived and emission under different production and leakage scenarios is quantified. This can be used to design an atmospheric monitoring system that alerts competent authorities if unacceptable leakage occurs.