A Q&A with Bridger Accounts Manager Dayne Lubenow
Our team of Accounts Managers here at Bridger are the direct points of contact for our clients and oversee Gas Mapping LiDAR™ (GML) scanning and logistics. With backgrounds in oil and gas, hard sciences, GIS, laser optics, and engineering, our accounts management team works directly with clients every day to take care of the details and make sure GML scans run smoothly and efficiently.
We sat down with Dayne Lubenow, one of our Accounts Managers, to learn more about his role at Bridger.
Q: Tell us what an Accounts Manager does at Bridger Photonics?
Lubenow: Accounts Managers are the interface between clients and the technical side of GML data collection. From working with clients to help them understand how our technology works, to delivering final report sets, Accounts Managers act as a personal representative and point of contact to guide clients through the GML process and make sure their project runs smoothly. We are here to answer questions, provide planning and logistics, and ensure that the client receives their desired data products to streamline their emissions mitigation.
Q: What’s it like for a client to work with Bridger?
Lubenow: When prospective clients reach out to use GML to help reduce methane emissions, the first step is understanding how our technology works. We give each prospective client a technology overview, answering any questions they have up front. Next, we learn about their asset portfolio, their workflows, and we provide examples of how clients with similar portfolios have successfully adopted GML. We then work together to design a scan program and data deliverables that work for them based on factors that include the age of infrastructure, regulatory standards, volume of production, preferred GIS software, and more.
Clients then provide Bridger with GIS data of their assets so we can create custom flight plans to survey the desired facilities as efficiently as possible. Next, flight dates and a project Kick-Off Meeting are scheduled. The project Kick-Off Meeting is the official hand-off of the project over to the designated Accounts Manager where we can meet the stakeholders, discuss the schedule, and review the project goals. Once the data acquisition begins, Bridger performs an initial round of scans over all the designated assets, followed by a second round of flights over any emission sources detected on the first round. By flying multiple times, we help clients identify persistent versus intermittent emissions. Once all flights have been completed, customers can expect to receive the processed data sets within 5-10 business days.
Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges the oil and gas industry is facing today regarding methane emission detection?
Lubenow: I think the biggest challenge facing methane detection is understanding what the true emissions profile, or emissions inventory, is for a particular basin or set of assets. This is because most methane detection technologies generally have to compromise between detection sensitivity and coverage area. For example, satellite-based technologies may be able to cover the entire earth in a matter of days or weeks, but can only see extremely large emission events. At the other extreme, ground-based technologies can detect smaller emissions but may only cover a few facilities per day. Because of these limitations, it becomes difficult to estimate the actual amount of methane emitting from an operator’s asset portfolio. We handle intermittent emissions by scanning more frequently, and we provide complete spatial coverage. This means our clients don’t have to worry about missing major emissions sources, like flares, tanks, and compressor exhaust in their emissions inventories. Airborne technologies like GML help to fill the gap by finding the sweet spot between coverage and sensitivity.
Q: Can you explain what detection sensitivity is and why this, and the probability of detection, are essential metrics for our clients to know?
Lubenow: Proper specification of a detection sensitivity will give clients a clear picture of what emission sources will be detected and what will be missed because they are too small. For example, the standard detection sensitivity that we use for the production sector is 3 kg/hr with >90% probability of detection under typical conditions. That means we will statistically detect 9 out of 10 emission sources with an emission rate of 3 kg/hr. For larger emission rates, we rapidly approach 100% probability of detection (we don’t miss any). For smaller emission rates, it becomes less and less likely that we will detect the source. But, we chose our detection sensitivity because it allows us to detect more than 90% of emissions in a typical production basin, which is huge. For the distribution sector, we use a detection sensitivity of 0.5 kg/hr with >90% probability of detection under typical conditions with an unobstructed view of the emission source.
Tying back into the industry challenge discussed in Q3 about emissions inventories, we need to use sensitive technology so that each of our scans detects >90% of emissions in typical basins. By understanding the probability of detection at a specified detection sensitivity and for a given set of environmental variables, we can even determine the emissions that we missed because they were too small. This is critical to accurately determining emissions inventories.
Q: Why do you think operators choose Gas Mapping LiDAR?
Lubenow: Operators choose GML for several reasons. The first is because we provide actionable data that’s easy to understand and determines the exact locations of emission sources. This provides an ease-of-use factor that makes it efficient for operators to locate emissions. Next, we have found the perfect sweet spot between efficiency and sensitivity. By using manned aircraft, we can cover hundreds of sites per day, all while detecting over 90% of the emissions in typical production basins. This allows us to scan for companies that have assets over a large geographic region in a short period of time. Lastly, because of the sensitivity and accuracy of our data, operators are generally cost-negative after fixing the leaks we identify. By putting the gas that was emitting back into their sales pipeline, the repaired emission sources typically pay for the cost of our scans and then some.
Q: How have you seen Gas Mapping LiDAR help companies work towards their ESG goals?
Lubenow: As an Accounts Manager that works primarily with clients in the distribution sector, I’ve seen GML substantially increase the speed and frequency in which leaks are identified and repaired. The use of our technology has helped companies like SoCalGas reach and surpass their 2025 emissions reductions goals and work ahead towards their 2030 goals.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working with clients?
Lubenow: My favorite part about working with clients is the feedback we get from operators after they receive our data. Operators are usually blown away by the accuracy and sensitivity we can achieve by flying over their assets with GML. Our data allows them to look at a map and walk right up to the exact emission source. The ease of use makes for happy operators and fast emissions reduction.
Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Lubenow: GML is currently being used for regulatory compliance in the U.S. and Canada through multiple programs including PHMSA, ALARM, multiple Canadian Alt-FEMP programs, and more. Additionally, GML can meet all regulatory requirements of the newly proposed EPA regulations. The detection sensitivity, probability of detection, and frequency at which GML can be used make it a no-brainer for operators seeking NSPS OOOOa/OOOOb compliance. I’m excited to see what the future holds for GML and advanced aerial technologies to push the envelope on meaningful emissions reductions.
Dayne Lubenow holds two master’s degrees from Idaho State University in GIS and in Biology with an emphasis in Plant Ecophysiology. After spending years as a GIS professional and an adjunct professor, he joined the Bridger team where he previously worked on the technical side of data processing, and now is an Accounts Manager, primarily for distribution sector clients. Originally from Wyoming, Dayne is familiar with the oil and gas industry and the challenges it faces. In his free time, he loves to fish, hunt, and spend time with his family while enjoying all that southwest Montana has to offer.
Interested in joining the Bridger team? Check out our list of open jobs on our Careers page.