A group of 13 European Gas Infrastructure Operators and Gas Associations have launched an innovative project under the umbrella of The European Gas Research Group (GERG), to test different technologies to quantify methane emissions last week in Zelzate, Belgium.
The tests successfully took place in a compression station operated by the Belgian Gas Transmission System Operator (TSO) Fluxys, assessing top-down methodologies for the quantification of methane emissions. This initiative follows a first testing in a controlled environment in Spain in October 2021.
The project is coordinated by the Spanish TSO Enagás and supported by Bureau Veritas, as field coordinator, with the participation of European Gas Infrastructure Operators and Gas Associations: Engie, Gassco, Gasunie, GERG, Medgaz, National Grid Gas Transmission, Open Grid Europe, Snam, Storengy, Sedigas, Synergrid and Uniper.
The results of this project will contribute to achieve the target of the ‘Global Methane Pledge’ and to obtain the ‘OGMP 2.0 gold standard’, a voluntary initiative coordinated by the United Nations environmental Program (UNEP).
A delegation of the European Commission visited the site during the tests to find out about the activities of the project and the different technologies involved. The project is in line with the objective of the European Commission to improve quantification and reduce methane emissions in the energy sector and represent an opportunity to continue paving the way towards climate neutrality.
New Top-Down Technologies and the reconciliation process
The top-down or site level approach can provide comprehensive information about emissions at a site or in a region, whilst bottom-up approach focuses on individual sources and equipment. The combination of both approaches for the quantification of methane emissions in a site is defined as reconciliation. This project seeks to provide participants further knowledge on how to use and reconcile both approaches, a key step to continue improving accuracy of methane emissions estimations in the gas sector.
For the tests, bottom-up quantification with most accurate source level technology was performed simultaneously to the measurements of 11 different cutting-edge technologies, combining different types of sensors and quantification methodologies, including bottom-up (source level), site level and continuous monitoring approaches. Technologies involved have been selected according to the results of a previous GERG project lead by Enagas, where the accuracy of different technologies was assessed thanks to the performing of blind tests with controlled releases.
An independent analysis of the results will be carried out by scientists associated to the Utrecht University, in the Netherlands. A set of recommendations on how the reconciliation process may be applied will also be developed.
The project counts with an advisory board to validate the scope and test program and to check the results. This board is composed by experts on this matter recognized at international level from Authorities and Institutions, Academia, Industry and Civil Society organisations.
The next phase of this project will be focusing on the implementation of tests in LNG regasification terminals, underground gas storages and other compressor stations in different European countries, to continue the definition of the reconciliation process.