Re-imagining how methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are tracked and analyzed to drive large-scale emission reductions
Project Astra is a global collaborative effort at the forefront of methane detection aimed at reducing methane emissions. The team is developing an innovative sensor network that will harness advances in methane-sensing technologies, data sharing, and data analytics to provide near-continuous emissions monitoring across oil and gas facilities in the Permian Basin, the world’s largest oil field, and feed information into decision tools.
This first-of-its-kind high-frequency smart monitoring system will transform the way methane emissions are detected—identifying sites with leaks, feeding data to a central system that can quickly notify field response crews and speed repair, increasing frequency of inspections, and providing an affordable, efficient solution to help reduce total methane emissions that contribute to climate warming.
The project, led by The University of Texas at Austin, includes Chevron, the Environmental Defense Fund, ExxonMobil, GTI, Microsoft, Pioneer Natural Resources Company, and Schlumberger, and aims to demonstrate a new approach using advanced technologies to help minimize releases into the atmosphere.
UT-Austin—Scientific/research lead for the project
GTI—Deep technical and industry expertise for proving commercial viability
EDF—Technical expertise to drive environmental outcomes
Industry members—Deep technical and operational expertise for feasibility testing
Learn more at the Project Astra University of Texas-Austin technical website
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Path to Pilot Newsletter
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1: JULY 2021
Methane Sensor Inter-comparison Completed
Seven promising new methane sensor technologies were deployed and field-tested in The West Texas Methane Showdown, a pilot program that was launched in October 2020 and was completed in June 2021.
Chevron, Microsoft, and Schlumberger Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Three new companies join original partners EDF, ExxonMobil, GTI, Pioneer Natural Resources, and the University of Texas.
Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science to Fund Development of Pilot Region Digital Twins
Simulation of atmospheric concentrations in the Project Astra pilot region will guide network design and data analytics. Members of CAMS who are supporting the effort include Cheniere, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Pioneer Natural Resources, Sempra LNG and SIEP, Inc. (Shell).