I’ve been following this increasing interest in estimating methane emissions from natural gas extraction for some time now. I’ve posted about it a couple times: here, here and here. Lots of people are interested because fracking for natural gas may be the biggest deal changer in US domestic energy since we struck black gold in Texas all those years ago. Almost overnight, it has changed potential gas reserves in the US, and dramatically reduced natural gas market prices. One of the seemingly great things, because domestic energy, is the projected reduced GHG impact of natural gas.
Some people, notably Howarth at Cornell, have questioned the GHG LCA of natural gas as better than other fossil fuels.
The latest study seems to have measured actual atmospheric emissions next to field sites rather than relying on industry or EPA estimates, and the results confirm Howarth and others – that the methane emissions from these facilities are pretty bad.
Read more about it via these two links. I tried very hard to find the original article, but seems like it is in press, but not posted online yet?