Joint Proposal from EnerNEXT, SAIT, NASA JPL – Fugitive Emission Management Program Effectiveness Assessment

Project Title: Joint Proposal from EnerNEXT, SAIT, NASA JPL – Fugitive Emission Management Program Effectiveness Assessment
Project Lead: Mr. Jim Cormack Email: [email protected]

Project Lead Organization / Company Information:
Organization: EnerNEXT

1. Statement of Capabilities of Project Team:

EnerNEXT (represented by Jim Cormack)
Jim Cormack has been developing, implementing, and managing oil and gas related methane leak detection and repair programs for more than 20 years.
• Extensive experience with all aspects of GHG policy, evaluations of oil and gas industry GHG costs/benefits, and GHG compliance reporting in multiple jurisdictions.
• Extensive experience with the evaluation and development of GHG reduction technology options specific to the oil and gas industry.
• More than ten years of experience as the accountable decision maker for a GHG reduction focused R&D program at a major energy company.
• Extensive experience researching and developing industry standard GHG emission calculation and methodology procedures.
• Contributor to numerous GHG and Methane Estimation Manuals including the CEPEI GHG Estimation Manual, the CAPP Best Management Practice for Fugitive Emissions Management, and the INGAA Directed Inspection and Maintenance program.
• Multi-year development of a GHG inventory IT system.
• Confidential Client: Clean technology licensing and pilot project for new modular oil upgrading technology.
• Eco-Growth: Advising on financing and deployment of disruptive emission reduction technology using carbon offsets and commodity futures trading.
• TriCore Carbon Credit Solutions: Drafting and negotiation of agreements for deployment of new solar powered methane emission reduction technology including project development agreement, equipment lease agreement and emission reduction purchase and sale agreements.
• Capital Power: Counseling on GHG emission reduction projects involving new clean technology applications and on emission reduction purchase and sale agreements under the Alberta Climate Change regulations.
• Repsol Canada: Advising on a GHG emission reduction project utilizing new technology and processes for reduction of methane emissions.
• North American Climate Exchange: Counselling on the development and regulatory approval of Alberta’s first climate exchange.
• ARC Resources: Advising on CO2 enhanced oil recovery pilot project.
• PennWest Petroleum: Advising on CO2 enhanced oil recovery pilot project.
• Confidential Client: Acquisition of approximately $400 million of oil and gas assets for purpose of new CO2 enhanced oil recovery project utilizing innovative alternative energy plants for production of zero-GHG emission energy and incremental oil from mature reservoirs.
• Confidential Client: Advising on strategy for monetizing carbon offsets in connection with a new renewable fuel plant.
• Confidential Client: Counseling to wind and run-of-river power producer on lease acquisitions, land and water permitting, offset ownership and offset project development.
• Commercial Joint Ventures with First Nations: Negotiated, structured and implemented private equity funded limited partnerships with First Nations to undertake natural resource, oilfield services and Treaty Land Entitlement projects.

SAIT / ARIS (represented by Dr. Ken Whitehead)
• Extensive experience of Geomatics and spatial analysis.
• Highly experienced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) pilots, with over 700 hours of fight experience and Blanket Special Flight Operations Certificates (SFOCs) covering all of Canada.
• Prior experience of flying UAVs in restricted oil and gas facilities for methane detection and flare stack inspections.
• Prior experience in mounting LDAR campaigns using UAVs in oil and gas facilities.
• Experience with sensor integration for UAV based LDAR campaigns.
• Previous experience in carrying out methane detection work for Petroleum Technologies Alliance of Canada (PTAC).
• Experience in working with the NASA / JPL OPLS sensor.
• Dedicated research organisation, with all the necessary infrastructure to support complex multidisciplinary projects.
• Using Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with different spectroscopic and IOT sensors for in-situ air quality monitoring
• Advancing and research opportunities in air pollution and GHG emission monitoring and measurement
• Spectroscopic determination of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and halocarbons (gases with fluorine, chlorine and bromine) nitrogen monoxide (NO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), VOCs, PM, black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC)
• Studying point source plumes or atmospheric trends, for urban and industrial air safety.
• Conducting environmental emission assessments from the results of UAVs for air quality and GHG studies
• Providing comprehensive solutions upon assessment of limitations and benefits and recommendations on a range of applications within applicable regulations

Dr. Lance E. Christensen
• Development of miniature (few hundred grams), highly sensitive (ppb) trace-gas instruments for detection of methane, ethane, CO2, and other trace gases pertinent for understanding fugitive natural gas emissions in the context of background agricultural and combustion processes.
• Development of novel, robust, and efficient methodologies to use highly sensitive trace-gas instruments to infer emission sources and quantify source emission rates.
• Experience engaging commercial instrument manufacturers and service providers to bring the instruments and methodologies for trace gas emission localization and flux quantification developed in our projects to market.

2. Project management and control information:

Jim Cormack
Jim Cormack’s consulting work focuses on Environmental Management, Regulation and Risk with a focus on pragmatic solutions that deliver measurable results.

With more than 25 years of experience in the oil, gas, and energy sectors, Jim is a seasoned energy industry leader with a strong understanding of the complexities of stakeholder concerns; combined with a comprehensive background in process management.
Jim is an internationally recognized GHG policy and operations expert with extensive experience in reporting Environmental Risk to energy industry senior management and a corporate Board. Jim’s focus is in the areas of strategic planning, risk assessment, business process improvement, and governance activities for all aspects of Environmental Management.

Jim’s extensive methane management experience has extended throughout his career, starting with work as a summer student in 1987 doing Leak Detection and Repair work at an oil refinery. This focus on methane progressed to direct involvement (starting in the 1990’s) on what has become Alberta Directive 60, the development and field implementation of a country wide Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program in the early 2000’s, direct involvement in the development of many of the current North American industrial GHG regulations, as well as building the GHG compliance process for a major pipeline company. Jim was also a sponsor and member of a Steering Committee of the multi-year methane emission study initiated by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and led by researchers at Colorado State University (CSU).
Study results were initially published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology in 2015.
Jim also participates in Canadian and U.S. multi-stakeholder policy discussions on environmental legislation.

Jim is a past Chair of the Canadian Energy Partnership for Environmental Innovation as well as a past Chair of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s committee for Environment, Health and Safety.

Dr. Ken Whitehead
Dr. Ken Whitehead is currently the Research Associate with the Centre for Innovation and Research into Unmanned Systems (CIRUS) at SAIT, where he is responsible for coordinating joint UAV research initiatives with industry. He is a UAV mapping and applications specialist, and a former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, where he studied the potential uses of UAVs for environmental monitoring. While completing his PhD, Ken worked with pioneering UAV survey company, Accuas, where he was responsible for coordinating research into UAV data processing and developing potential UAV applications. He also worked with researchers from a number of universities on a variety of joint industry / academic projects. Ken has lead authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on UAV applications, the current state of the UAV industry in Canada, and on the application of accuracy standards for UAV surveys.

Prior to moving to Canada in 1999, Ken worked in both the UK and South Africa, and held a variety of different positions in both the public and private sectors. Over the course of his career he has worked as a land surveyor, photogrammetrist, remote sensing and GIS specialist, remote sensing instructor, and as an independent mapping consultant. During the course of his PhD, he carried out research in the Canadian Arctic, and pioneered the use of UAVs for glaciological surveys. He remains active in the research community, and is especially interested in developing methods for the fusion of ground-based data with UAV imagery.

Lance E. Christensen
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive • Ms 183-401
Pasadena, CA 91109
(818) 354-0521

Dr. Christensen is Principal Investigator for JPL’s Open Path Laser Spectrometer (OPLS) small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) instrument and NASA’s ALIAS-I high-altitude aircraft instrument which makes in situ measurements of trace gas-phase species in Earth’s atmosphere using tunable laser spectroscopy. He is a member of JPL’s TLS team for Mars Curiosity Rover. He has designed, built, and utilized miniature tunable laser spectrometers for water, carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur dioxide isotopic studies. Dr. Christensen is funded by the Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) and NYSEARCH to develop cost-effective ground-based and aerial robotic methane and ethane sniffers for finding and quantifying natural gas leaks.

Ph.D. 2002 Physical Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
B.S. 1996 Chemistry (honors), University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

2003-current Staff, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
1998-2000 Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Chemistry, Caltech, Pasadena, California.
1996-1997 Lab Technician, Medical Products Div., 3M Corp. Maplewood, Minnesota.

? R.L. Herman, et al. “Enhanced stratospheric water vapor over the summertime continental United States and the role of overshooting convection” Atmos. Chem. Phys. 17, 6113-6124, (2017).
? P.R. Mahaffy, et al. “The imprint of atmospheric evolution in the D/H of Hesperian clay minerals on Mars” Science, 347, 412-414, (2015).
? D.W. Fahey, et al. “The AquaVIT-1 Intercomparison of Atmospheric Water Vapor Measurement Techniques” Atmospheric Meas. Techniques, (2014).
? C.R.Webster, et al. “Isotope Ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the Martian Atmosphere”, Science. 341, 260-263, (2013).
? L.E. Christensen, et al. “Tunable Laser Spectroscopy of CO2 near 2.05 ?m: Atmospheric Retrieval Biases Due to Neglecting Line-Mixing”, J.Quant. Spec Rad. Trans. 110, 739-748, (2012).
? A. Townsend-Small, et al. “Isotopic measurements of atmospheric methane in Los Angeles, California, USA: Influence of “fugitive” fossil fuel emissions” JGR 117, (2012).
? D. Noone “Properties of air mass mixing and humidity in the subtropics from measurements of the D/H isotope ratio of water vapor at the Mauna Loa Observatory”, JGR 116, 2011.
? G.D. Spiers, et al. “Atmospheric CO2 measurements with a 2 ?m airborne laser absorption spectrometer employing coherent detection” Appl. Opt. 50, 2098-2111 (2011).
? L.E. Christensen, et al. “Thermoelectrically-cooled interband cascade laser for field measurements” Opt. Eng. 49, 111119 (2010), DOI:10.1117/1.3498767

3. Project Plan (Scope & Deliverables):

High level description of the proposed Project Methodology/Approach:
The Project team will utilize a collaborative and flexible team approach with at least four of our most senior team members directly involved in the project, along with senior technical research staff. The Project team will work collaboratively with PTAC and the MRPC to ensure that the scope of the project is focused on priority objectives throughout. The work schedule, objectives and deliverables of the Project team will be managed by Jim Cormack of EnerNEXT. Jim has extensive project management experience. The Project team have a very wide network in the fields of GHG reductions and technology development that will be of direct benefit in effectively meeting the objective and the unique requirements of this project. Our collaborative approach is well suited to this unique project.
Throughout the project, input will be sought from methane management subject matter experts, PTAC and MRPC members, and other subject matter experts. The Project team will proactively coordinate and schedule time for these important inputs.
The “Field Study Design Recommendations” activities will be critical to the success of the project. The deep and wide professional network of the Project team will be of value to these important Project activities. The Project team also has extensive direct experience with commercial readiness evaluations of methane measurement, methane capture and/or reduction technology options across numerous industry sectors. This experience will be crucial to the effective and efficient delivery of Field Study Design Recommendations that will deliver real value.
The Project team has extensive experience with remote sensing and methane detection, using a variety of different technologies. SAIT has considerable experience with UAV applications, and is currently working on another project for PTAC, which is investigating the application of NASA JPL’s OPLS technology for LDAR in conventional oil and gas production facilities. Further to this, SAIT and Dr. Christensen are also working on another project for Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. This project is focussed on detecting the diffuse emissions associated with extraction of resources from oil sands sites.
The recommendations from Phase 1 will be focussed on the overarching relative effectiveness of the various programmatic approaches to managing methane. This includes the assessment of many interrelated variables including:
• Historic operator experience with various aspects of methane management best practices
• Facility design, leak repair and recurrence issues
• Technical studies from various sources
• Various measurement issues including data gaps, cost effectiveness, and technology development
While Phase 2 will be shaped by the recommendations developed during Phase 1, the following work plan for adding any necessary field measurement data is tentatively proposed:
The project will build off the current project which SAIT and NASA / JPL are undertaking for PTAC. It is proposed to expand the emphasis from specific sites to develop a regional monitoring approach. This will necessitate bringing additional methane detection technologies to bear. In addition to the OPLS, it is proposed to incorporate a hyperspectral or laser methane technology onto a UAV platform. We will be actively seeking technology providers who are able to offer this technology and who are interested in working with us on this project. This will allow remote detection of methane around oil and gas facilities. Since these systems work by spectral attenuation of different wavebands, there is no need to actually be located within a raised concentration of methane in order to detect it. This is complementary to methane sniffing approach used by the OPLS. The advantage of the OPLS is that it is able to give accurate estimations of methane concentrations, which can allow flux to be accurately determined.
SAIT/JPL/other partners are currently optimizing the measurement ‘system’, and not just using cutting edge instruments like OPLS or the latest OGI. The system includes;
– accurate utilization of on-board miniature sonic anemometer – as we’ve experimented with placement of the anemometer and have proven to ourselves how to subtract out the movement of the sUAS.
– real-time feedback and analytics to localize the leaks, especially for LDAR. One of the most compelling LDAR experiments we did was tracking down a leak in real-time with the sUAS-OPLS.

It is proposed to make use of a fixed wing UAV platform, equipped with spectral methane detection technology. Fixed wing platforms are able to fly faster, and cover larger areas than multirotors. By adopting this approach, it will be possible to scan regional clusters of production facilities rapidly. This approach also anticipates loosening up of Transport Canada’s regulations governing line of sight UAV operation in the coming years, making it scalable, and offering a potential methodology for scanning large areas.
Sites which show high concentrations of methane from this initial survey will be investigated further using the OPLS technology, mounted on a multirotor platform. Already, with the current PTAC project, we have bounded the time it takes to do a survey of a production site. Currently, it takes about 40 minutes to survey a 100×100 m site with OPLS mounted on a multirotor UAV, and locate leaks to within +/- 5 m. It is our goal to reduce this by at least half. Adding time for optional mass-balance quantification of overall site emissions and the logistics of set-up and tear-down, this would enable the in-depth, monitoring of around 8 sites a day per UAV crew.
Depending on end-user goals, the OPLS also provides the most justifiable method to measure overall site emission flux through the mass-balance method. In this method, the UAV flies a curtain pattern downwind of the site in a bounding horizontal box perpendicular to the wind. This pattern is repeated several times to increase the overall accuracy of the measurement and its spatial extent encompasses the full horizontal and vertical expression of emissions within the pattern. This methodology contrasts favorably against other quantification methods such as eddy-covariance which need logistically-difficult-to-implement sonic anemometers and have a limited spatial fetch. These include the OTM33A methods mentioned above, which are limited to individual point sources, and optical inference methods which are largely unproven and subject to thermal emission characteristics and albedo.
Taken together, we believe this methodology will provide an efficient and cost-effective means of monitoring multiple oil and gas production facilities, and potentially could be adopted on a wide scale.

Project Plan
Deliverable Activities
Fugitive Emission Management global literature review Research and analysis.
Input from subject matter experts.
US EPA NSPS review.
UOG operator input.
Peer reviewed studies.
“Clearstone” reports.
Effectiveness assessments.
Summary of findings, identification of gaps, and recommendations Evaluation of emission factor issues.
Evaluation repair and program effectiveness issues.
Evaluation of other related industry considerations.
Consideration of cost and Canadian operational constraints.
Development of recommendations.
Recommendations on the design of a scientifically credible field study for FEMPs In collaboration with MRPC.
Prioritization and optimization of programmatic, measurement and other operational variables to be considered.
Develop site selection methodology and criteria.
Design of a field based study.
Finalize field study design with the MRPC Develop criteria and study methods.
Comparative analysis prioritization.
Recurrence and root-cause methodology.
Measurement frequency assessment.
Finalize site selections and arrangements with the AER Collaborate with AER, MRPC and operators.
Measurement technology final decisions.
Confirmation of safety and logistical issues.
Execute field studies Assemble historical info from SME’s and/or operators.
Measurement schedules and planning.
Initial data analysis confirming focus on project objectives.
Data analysis and draft report Focus on effectiveness of various methods, frequency related variables, leak reoccurrence issues, comparisons to literature findings.
Operational considerations.
Incorporate peer-review feedback Collaborate with MRCP.
Update findings and final report.
Presentations to MRPC, PTAC Air Research Forum, and final report Comprehensive and concise.
Clear communication material.
Full Final Report.

4. Budget & Payment Schedule:

Key Milestones of the Project
Contract award: on or about November 30, 2017
Phase 1 re-assessment of priorities with PTAC and MRPC members: February, 2018
Completion of Phase 1: May, 2018
Phase 2 initiation: March, 2018
Phase 2 confirmation of final work plan with stakeholders (PTAC and MRPC): May, 2018
Final report and supporting materials: March, 2019

Fee Proposal
The Project team proposes to charge the following fees to support the implementation of the Project described in this Proposal:

Activity Proposed fees
Phase 1: Literature review, data analysis, and field study design recommendations as per the RFP. $50,000.00 plus GST
Phase 2: Initial field study, data analysis, and preliminary reporting scope as per the RFP. Including preparations of and delivery of presentations on progress and findings. Including Project team travel expenses. $225,000.00 plus GST

5. References:

– Carlo Plava, President – NAEM, North American Environmental Markets, Inc.
– John Cordaway, Manager – Business Operations, TransCanada, Houston, TX
– Pacific Gas and Electric
– Alberta Energy Regulator
Contact details to follow.


FEMP Rating

Capability of the team in terms of relevance to this project – sections #1, #3, #5 of the proposal apply (35%)

Ability to produce a scientifically credible project design, which will ultimately provide meaningful data and will assist with the informed-decision making/policy framework development process. (45%)

Quality of the proposal (20%)