REPORT: Methane Measurement Industry is Ready to Scale Up to Meet the Demand for Accurate, Real-World Data

As regulators pursue accurate emissions inventories, the methane measurement industry is ready with a variety of available and cost-effective technologies capable of tracking methane pollution.

July 12, 2023
Jack Alber, (415) 530 -7042,

A new report from Datu Research shows that methane measurement companies are ready to scale up with affordable, commercially available technology that will enable state and federal regulators to more accurately account for methane emissions. The industry is ready to grow and well-prepared to scale up to meet the nation’s methane monitoring needs. 

The report, titled Measuring Methane Emissions in the U.S. Oil & Gas Industry: Commercial Capabilities surveys companies across the methane mitigation industry and finds that many offer technology with the potential to meet clear detection thresholds crucial for accurate emissions. As decisionmakers across government and the private sector seek to assess and reduce emissions, these solutions will play a critical role. 

Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas responsible for more than 25% of today’s global warming. It is also the main component of natural gas and represents wasted product when released into the atmosphere. EDF estimates U.S. oil and gas companies emit upwards of 16 million metric tons of methane annually, representing $2 billion worth of wasted gas. 

“Methane emissions are a serious problem for our planet, and the methane measurement industry’s readiness to deploy solutions to accurately capture emissions shows that serious problems attract creative thinkers,” said Jon Goldstein, Senior Director of Regulatory & Legislative Affairs for Environmental Defense Fund. “Clear, scientifically robust standards for how oil and gas companies and regulators collect this data will increase transparency for the public, protect communities from pollution and help create jobs.” 

The solutions are here to support strong standards 

“The methane measurement industry is growing and diverse, with several companies poised to scale up commercially in anticipation of both regulatory and market forces,” said Marcy Lowe, CEO of Datu Research. “Companies are already deploying measurement technologies in all major basins of the U.S. This survey also demonstrates the lack of uniform standards that could create more certainty for the methane measurement industry and operators.” 

Several detection companies have already greatly improved their sensitivity crossed a crucial threshold by achieving a low minimum detection level, and the industry is still investing in new affordable technologies to scale up their commercial offerings.  

An upcoming rulemaking from Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission will determine the process for how oil and gas operators are required to monitor their methane emissions in the state. This rulemaking will determine what measurement practices will be required and provide signals to the methane measurement industry that will unleash growth. Consistent guidelines will be essential for the state to develop an accurate methane inventory and stay on track to meet its Greenhouse Gas Reduction goals

Nationally, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently updating its reporting requirements from oil and gas operators under the U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The Inflation Reduction Act directed EPA to update the program to include empirically collected data and ensure the accuracy of total reported emissions. With cost-effective technologies already in place, the methane measurement industry is ready to deliver.  

Rapidly growing, ready to arrive 

In 2021, Datu Research released a report detailing the impressive expansion that the methane mitigation industry has already undertaken. Taken together, these two reports show us a rapidly growing industry ready to deploy cost-effective solutions to curb methane emissions. 

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund