Methane Detectors Challenge

Catalyzing next generation air emissions monitors to tackle methane pollution

Environmental Defense Fund and seven oil and natural gas companies are challenging technology developers and engineers to design cutting-edge, new methane monitors that can help the oil and gas industry better detect, and ultimately reduce, methane emissions.

Methane is a pressing climate issue with enormous environmental upside when reduced. In many cases, there are also economic advantages for oil and gas companies to capture gas for sales that is otherwise leaked. Advancing technologies that make it easier for companies to continuously detect methane leaks is the goal of the challenge. 

Learn more about the four technologies selected for phase 2 testing in the Methane Detectors Challenge.

State of the Challenge

EDF and its partners collaboratively selected five applicants whose technologies are being tested by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), one of the nation’s largest and most well-established, independent applied research organizations. Laboratory testing of the five technologies was conducted in fall 2014 at SwRI.

The technologies performed well in detecting methane concentrations over a range of temperature and humidity conditions. Four of the technologies (Dalian Actech/SenSevere, SenseAir AB, Quanta3 and University of Colorado/NDP Group) were selected by EDF and the participating companies to advance to second phase field testing, which is proceeding at SwRI in San Antonio, Texas throughout late spring and summer of 2015, providing more intensive indoor and outdoor testing and evaluation.

The selection panel is being advised by independent experts from Aerodyne, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Houston Advanced Research Center, in addition to others from the research and technology communities. It is expected that later in 2015, the top performing technologies will be selected for international industry pilot purchases and trial deployments, testing the most promising technologies in the field at participating oil and gas company facilities. 

Watch this page for updates on the project as it progresses.

Join the EDF Methane Detectors Challenge LinkedIn group now to connect with other innovators and receive updates on the Challenge.


Why we’re doing this

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

Anadarko prides itself on being a leader in the control and reduction of emissions wherever we operate. This requires we evaluate and implement proven methods of controlling and measuring emissions, as we continuously strive to improve our operational performance through sound science and technology.

To that end, the diverse technologies being tested through the Methane Detectors Challenge hold real promise, and we look forward to the next phase of this process.

David McBride, Vice President, Health Safety and Environment, Anadarko