Methane Detectors Challenge

Accelerating technology innovation for methane detection in the oil and gas sector

The Methane Detectors Challenge (MDC) is a groundbreaking partnership between EDF, oil and gas companies, U.S.-based technology developers, and other experts that aims to enable oil and gas companies to detect and fix methane leaks in real time.

Launched in 2014, MDC is successfully raising awareness and spurring action through technology innovation, in an effort to solve the serious problem of undetected methane emissions along the oil and gas supply chain. The Methane Detectors Challenge has forged unlikely partnerships, leading to technology breakthroughs and innovation in the oil and gas sector.

Why methane matters

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas. In its first twenty years, methane has more than 80 times the global impact of carbon dioxide. The largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. and globally comes from the oil and gas industry. The good news? This can be fixed.

State of the challenge

Currently, partners in the utilities and oil and gas industries, including PG&E, Statoil, and Shell, are moving to purchase and deploy the top performing sensor systems across a range of geographies and facilities.

California's PG&E installed innovative methane detection technology to continuously detect methane leaks, reduce harmful emissions and minimize waste. Both Statoil, in Texas, and Shell, in Canada, launched pilots of a new solar-powered technology device to monitor methane levels and provide real-time leak detection to facility operators.