Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations

Published 2011 / 04
Summary Scientific article (letter) in Climatic Change. Short summary of known numbers (mostly Marcellus Shale). For both conventional and shale gas, the GHG footprint is dominated by the direct CO2 emissions and fugitive methane emissions. Estimates for methane emissions as contributors to the GHG footprint of shale gas compared to conventional gas. The report also discusses the comparison of greenhouse effects of CH4 and C02, noting that more research suggests CH4 is even more potent a GHG than commonly assumed by IPCC. This report even assumes conventional gas to have an equivalent life-cycle footprint to coal. Carbon-trading markets under-value the greenhouse effect of CH4 as they focus on a 100 time-frame, whereas warming effects may well occurs sooner.
Keywords Methane, greenhouse gases, global warming, natural gas, shale gas, unconventional gas, fugitive emissions, lifecycle analysis, LCA, transitional fuel, global warming potential
File name Climatic Change Cornell University_20110412_Greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas.pdf