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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-306
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-306
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Constraining the Accuracy of Flux Estimates Using OTM 33A

Rachel Edie1, Anna M. Robertson1, Robert A. Field1, Jeffrey Soltis1, Dustin A. Snare2, Daniel Zimmerle3, Clay S. Bell3, Timothy L. Vaughn3, and Shane M. Murphy1 Rachel Edie et al.
  • 1University of Wyoming 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82070
  • 2All4 Inc., Kimberton, Pennsylvania 19442, United States
  • 3Colorado State University Energy Institute, 430 N College Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80524

Abstract. Other Test Method 33A (OTM 33A) is a near-source flux measurement method developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) primarily used to locate and estimate emission fluxes of methane from oil and gas (O&G) production facilities without requiring site access. A recent nation-wide estimate of methane emissions from O&G production included a large number of flux measurements of upstream O&G facilities made using OTM 33A and concluded the EPA National Emission Inventory underestimates this sector by a factor of ~ 2.1 (Alvarez et al., 2018). The study presented here investigates the accuracy of OTM 33A through a series of test releases performed at the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center (METEC), a facility designed to allow quantified amounts of natural gas to be released from decommissioned O&G equipment to simulate emissions from real facilities (Fig. 1). This study includes test releases from single and multiple points, from equipment locations at different heights, and spanned methane release rates ranging from 0.16 to 2.15 kg h-1. Approximately 95 % of individual measurements (N = 45) fell within ±70 % of the known release rate. A simple linear regression of OTM 33A versus known release rates at the METEC site gives an average slope of 0.96 with 95 % CI (0.66,1.28), suggesting that an ensemble of OTM 33A measurements may have a small but statistically insignificant low bias.

Rachel Edie et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Rachel Edie et al.
Rachel Edie et al.
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Short summary
Ground-based measurements of emissions from oil and natural gas production are important for understanding emission distributions and improving emission inventories. Here, measurement technique Other Test Method 33A (OTM 33A) is validated through several test releases staged a the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center. These tests suggest OTM 33A has no inherent bias and that a group of OTM measurements is within 5 % of the known mean emission rate.
Ground-based measurements of emissions from oil and natural gas production are important for...
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