Results of a Double-Blind Study of Gas Mapping LiDAR’s Methane Detection and Quantification
A recent fully blind study conducted by Carleton University’s Energy and Emissions Research Laboratory (EERL) used controlled methane releases within active oil and gas facilities. The goal was to provide a true test of Gas Mapping LiDAR’s capabilities to detect, locate, and quantify unknown sources of methane emissions.
Bridger Photonics was conducting an aerial scan of active oil and gas facilities, and this experiment was conducted in parallel with EERL’s facility survey. A ground team moved beneath the scan to perform controlled methane releases at several sites, providing a true, blind assessment of Gas Mapping LiDAR in real-world conditions.
Here are a few of the highlights from the study:
1. Bridger Photonics Detected All Emissions Above 2 kg/hr
Gas Mapping LiDAR operates with a detection sensitivity of 2.8 kg/hr (150 scfh) with a 95% probability of detection (PoD) under most operational conditions of typical production basins. The study found that Bridger Photonics detected all emissions above 2 kg/hr and several sources below. Studies show that this detection sensitivity results in the detection of >90% of basin emissions.
Why It’s Important: This was a true evaluation of Gas Mapping LiDAR’s capabilities within an actual oil and gas field. The ability to detect at the stated rate, and even below, for the production sector is evidence that Gas Mapping LiDAR can be a potential replacement for optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras. Subsequent studies show that Bridger catches more emissions from fewer emitters than OGI cameras.
2. Gas Mapping LiDAR Quantified Blind Releases with a Bias of -8%
Within this blind testing, Bridger Photonics quantified the controlled releases with a bias of only -8% and only ±31% 1-sigma uncertainty.
Why It’s Important: Although it’s a small sample, the data near Gas Mapping LiDAR’s lower detection limit is useful in considering the worst-case bound for the quantification uncertainty. Uncertainty in measurement for larger sources could be expected to be similar or better.
3. Results Were Achieved Under Poor Conditions
The weather conditions during testing were suboptimal with scan areas having wet, muddy ground. In addition, winds were turbulent which caused Bridger to fly at the top of its operational flight altitude range.
Why It’s Important: Gas Mapping LiDAR caught all methane emissions above 2 kg/hr despite these difficult conditions. While weather is somewhat predictable, it can take a turn and varies immensely from basin to basin. It’s important that a methane detection technology can fair well in poor conditions and consistently within basins of varying weather and environmental settings.
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