By February 25 2015
Data show that methane emissions from major natural-gas fields in the eastern and central United States are relatively low, suggesting that overall methane emissions from gas production may not be as high as feared.
Total methane emissions from three regions — the Haynesville, Fayetteville and Marcellus formations — average about 1% of the gas produced there. That is roughly in line with US government estimates and lower than similar measurements for older fields in the West, according to a study published on 18 February in the Journal of Geophysical Research1.
These formations are responsible for roughly 20% of the total US natural-gas production, and 50% of shale-gas production, which relies on hydraulic-fracturing techniques.