Ravikumar Awarded $13 Million for Methane Emissions Reduction

June 28, 2023

Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (UT PGE) Research Associate Professor Arvind Ravikumar has been awarded $13 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and partner groups for three projects focused on methane emissions mitigation. These grants are part of nearly $47 million in DOE funding to advance the development of new and innovative measurement, monitoring and mitigation technologies to help detect, quantify and reduce methane emissions across oil- and natural-gas-producing regions of the United States.

Dr. Arvind Ravikumar

As principal investigator of “The Marcellus Methane Monitoring Project: Multiscale Measurement and Reconciliation of Methane Emissions in the Marcellus Shale Basin,” Dr. Ravikumar and his research team will develop and demonstrate a comprehensive, multiscale, facility-level methane emissions measurement and reconciliation protocol within the Marcellus Shale Basin. The work will build on the team’s recent work and aims to integrate data from satellites, aerial systems, continuous monitoring sensors with operational information, develop modeling and emissions reconciliation tools, and create a roadmap for updating national inventories and improving emissions factors.

Ravikumar will also lead “Methane Accounting Project: Multiscale Methane Monitoring and Accounting Framework Across Oil and Gas Supply Chains” to develop a framework for long-term implementation of a multiscale methane measurement and accounting platform across the U.S. oil and gas supply chain. The framework will enable rapid deployment of methane emissions monitoring systems across diverse oil and gas facilities in the U.S. and abroad, paving the way for global standardization in monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) programs.

Ravikumar is co–principal investigator of “Surface-Based Methane Monitoring and Measurement Network Pilot Demonstration: Project Astra Phase II” with UT Austin Professor Dave Allen in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. With partners Chevron, Environmental Defense Fund, ExxonMobil, GTI, Microsoft and Pioneer Natural Resources, Ravikumar and Allen plan to expand, improve and evaluate an existing sensor network of continuous emissions monitoring systems to rapidly detect and quantify large, intermittent methane emissions from oil and gas facilities in the Permian Basin.

“Because methane contributes to nearly a quarter of observed radiative forcing and has a short atmospheric lifetime, mitigating methane has significant near-term and long-term benefits,” says Ravikumar. “Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas supply chain is a critical component of global climate action and air quality improvement.”