According to a new report by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (IHS CERA) "Mismeasuring Methane: Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Upstream Natural Gas Development", estimates used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others for greenhouse gas emissions from upstream shale gas production are likely significantly overstated. The estimates are based on assumptions that do not reflect current industry practice and should be reevaluated, the reports says.
"Methane emissions have become a very important and controversial issue given their potency as a greenhouse gas," said Mary Barcella, IHS CERA director of North American natural gas. "Unfortunately, such emissions are not being measured. Estimates are being used that are not supported by data, do not reflect current industry practice and would be unreliable to use as a base for decision-making."
The IHS CERA report notes that data on unconventional gas well GHG emissions is currently lacking due to the fact that they are not adequately measured. More reliable data is needed in order to produce estimates with any degree of certainty.