Report

Methane emissions from the 2015 Aliso Canyon blowout in Los Angeles, CA

Science  25 Feb 2016:

DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2348

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Abstract

Single-point failures of the natural gas infrastructure can hamper deliberate methane emission control strategies designed to mitigate climate change. The 23 October 2015 blowout of a well connected to the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility in California resulted in a massive release of natural gas. Analysis of methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6) data from dozens of plume transects from 13 research aircraft flights between 7 Nov 2015 and 13 Feb 2016 shows atmospheric leak rates of up to 60 metric tonnes of CH4 and 4.5 metric tonnes of C2H6 per hour. At its peak this blowout effectively doubled the CH4 emission rate of the entire Los Angeles Basin, and in total released 97,100 metric tonnes of methane to the atmosphere.

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