Methane Detectors Challenge

Catalyzing next generation air emissions monitors

Environmental Defense Fund and seven oil and natural gas companies are calling on engineers and technology developers to submit proposals and compete in the "Methane Detectors Challenge."

A collaboration between industry and environmental groups, the Challenge is designed to spur the development of cutting-edge, new technologies that provide continuous detection of methane emissions.

The goal?

Make it easier for the oil and gas industry to rapidly find and fix methane leaks that are having a sizable impact on intensifying global climate change.

The Methane Detectors Challenge offers innovators the unique opportunity to have their technologies undergo extensive, independent testing, at no cost, in Southwest Research Institute's state-of-the-art laboratory in Texas. The most promising technologies, that also meet required specifications, will advance to pilot field trials at facilities run by many of the participating oil and natural gas companies.

Up to the Challenge? Submit the Request for Proposal today.

Why participate?

  1. Be first on the scene in an emerging market. Technologies competing in the Challenge will be front and center with industry leaders who are looking for cost-effective solutions that will help them reduce leaks and related risks.
  2. Show expertise in your field. Solving this Challenge won't be easy. It will take a robust and creative technical approach, and the most successful developers will earn significant credibility with academic, environmental, industry and technology leaders.
  3. Tackle a global issue of importance. More than one-third of today's human-caused global warming comes from highly potent, short-lived climate pollutants that include methane, and oil and gas activities are the largest source of these emissions in the U.S. Your technology could have a major impact in helping industry quickly identify and repair methane leaks at any number of the more than 700,000 wells it operates around the country, with international opportunities emerging.

Join the EDF Methane Detectors Challenge LinkedIn group now to get connected with other innovators and potential collaborators.

Driven by mix of academics, industry and nonprofit experts

Representatives from EDF and each company will collaboratively select applicants whose technologies will be tested by Southwest Research Institute, one of the nation's largest and most well-established, independent applied research organizations.

The selection panel will be advised by independent experts from Harvard University and the University of Houston, Clean Air Task Force, in addition to others from the research and technology communities. Subsequently, in 2015, it is expected that the top performing technologies through two rounds of testing will be selected for international industry pilot purchases and trial deployments.

The deadline for proposals for the Methane Detectors Challenge has now passed. Watch this page for updates on the project as it progresses.

Why we're doing this

We're spearheading this effort — in collaboration with Shell, Anadarko, Apache Corporation, BG Group, Hess Corporation, Noble Energy and Southwestern Energy — to catalyze new technology for continuous detection of methane.

The Methane Detectors Challenge presents a tremendous opportunity for innovative and environmentally conscious engineers and scientists. Not only is this a chance to test their innovations in a well-controlled setting and receive practical feedback on real-world deployment, the Challenge may accelerate technology that will have positive global impacts on our current and future environment, economy and energy supply.

Chuck Kolb President of Aerodyne Research