Colorado State University

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FORT COLLINS – Colorado State University researchers present results of comprehensive study of methane emissions from natural gas transmission and storage facilities [press release]

 Read the newest paper published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology. 

The goal:

                  Estimate methane emissions from the transmission and storage (T&S sector) of the U.S. natural gas industry.

Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide when released into the atmosphere unburned. The nation’s vast natural gas infrastructure – including wells, pipelines, and storage facilities – is one of many sources of methane emissions in the United States.

This is the second paper released by the CSU team for natural gas transmission and storage facilities. It is part of the largest on-site measurement campaign of the U.S. natural gas infrastructure to date.

Study area:

                  U.S. transmission and storage sector (approximately 1,800 compressor stations and underground storage facilities across 300,000 miles of pressurized natural gas pipelines.)

Transmission lines across the U.S. Color coded by company. Transmission classification is inexact.  Data from MapSearch™, 2013

The study focused on natural gas transmission compressor stations and underground storage stations. The study utilized a unique design which included multiple and simultaneous measurements, using different measurement methods, at each facility.  The field campaign measured emissions at 9 storage and 36 transmission facilities operated by study partners. Field data was augmented by additional measurements and public data sources to build a statistical model of national emissions for the T&S sector.

This is the second of two papers published on this project. See the journal of Environmental Science & Technology to view the team’s first paper that outlines initial measurement results.

More information can be found at and

Download the data:

Transmission and Storage Study Q&A contains additional clarifying questions & answers submitted by several researchers.  The file includes:

Model contains two-page descriptions of each of the sub-models utilized in the study model estimate

Data By contains the input and output data for each sub-model for all five lanes of the study model




Energy Institute Member Organizations

Center for Energy and Behavior Center for Energy Development and Health Center for Energy Water Sustainability Center for Laser Sensing and Diagnostics Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics Center for the New Energy Economy Electric Power Systems Laboratory Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory Industrial Assessment Center Institute for the Built Environment Rural Energy Center Sustainable Biofuels Development Center