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Topic: Satellite Observations of NO2 and Methane over U.S. Oil and Gas Production Areas

Speaker: Barbara Dix, Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

Time: Tuesday, July 14, 11:45am – 1:00pm

Location: CEMS Webinar Registration Link

CEMS has received one (1) General CLE for this presentation              

            The development of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has led to a steep increase in the U.S. production of natural gas and crude oil from shale formations since the mid-2000s. Associated with this industrial activity are emissions of nitrogen oxides, NOx (= NO and NO2), and methane. NOx is a precursor for ground-level ozone formation, and methane is a greenhouse gas. NO2 and methane can be monitored from space. This talk presents an analysis of NO2 and methane observed by the OMI and TROPOMI satellite instruments over U.S. oil and natural gas production areas, including the Denver Julesberg and San Juan basins in Colorado and New Mexico. We use satellite data in combination with oil and natural gas industrial activity data to establish correlations in space and over time and derive source attributions. We are working on quantifying basin-wide emissions, pushing spatial scales to sub-basin levels and we are developing metrics to continuously observe methane emissions and flag anomalies that could be used to assess compliance with methane emission regulations.
Barbara Dix was born and raised in Germany in a small town, surrounded by vineyards, near the French border. In 1999, she finished a master degree in physics and theology and then taught high school for 3 years. Then she went back to graduate school. In 2007, Barbara graduated with a PhD in physics from the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Since 2008, she has worked at the University of Colorado in Boulder, as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a research scientist. Her scientific background is in instrument development, remote sensing of trace gases and satellite data analysis.

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