Current regulatory compliance for methane detection can be achieved with intermittent monitoring using optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras for leak detection and repair (LDAR). These existing approved technologies have limitations in efficacy due to the intermittent nature of the ‘snapshot’ images that they create for surveyed oil and gas facilities on an annual or triannual basis and do not provide consistent baseline data. Fugitive emission leaks have temporal variability and can occur at any time in between survey timing, potentially causing leakage for several months without detection or repair, at a cost to both the operator with lost production and to the environment with increased emissions. OGI cameras used as LDAR technology can be highly subjective and do not provide operators with continuous site level data to improve confidence in their emission reduction efforts.
Accurate, continuous monitoring is essential for effective emissions reduction. Leaks that are detected faster can be fixed faster, leading to increased methane emissions reductions and improved environmental performance and sustainability. As ESG attention shifts from simply detecting and repairing leaks to requiring totalized emissions reporting, continuous monitoring and data transparency will be critical to provide producers and key stakeholders with reliable information to make informed and strategic decisions about their emissions practices.
Qube Technologies has developed environmental surveillance technology to continuously monitor and detect for greenhouse gas emissions. The technology uses low-cost, high sensitivity sensors to continuously monitor environmental conditions and automatically detect methane and other harmful gases in real-time. All monitored data is transmitted to a cloud-based platform where Qube can analyze, model, and infer information relating to site level leaks and emissions events. Leaks that may have previously gone unabated for months with traditional survey technology can be detected in days or weeks with immediate notifications sent to operations teams through a web-based dashboard, leading to expedited repairs to reduce emissions. The digitization and automation of emissions monitoring through Qube’s platform removes the operational requirement to schedule costly and time-consuming annual or triannual site inspections as the technology allows operators to oversee leaks only on an as-needed basis. Once detected, the technology relays inferred data on where leaks are occurring to an operations team in order to effectively repair and verify that the leak has been fixed.
As part of its technology platform, Qube is currently developing advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning models to accurately locate, quantify, and classify emissions in order to provide a robust solution for producers to meet and exceed emissions reduction targets, exceed industry standards, and lead in their sustainability efforts. Qube’s technology represents a step-change in emissions monitoring, offering operators an inexpensive and reliable system that enables rapid detection, localization, quantification, and classification of fugitive emissions.