As a participant on the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) project, Kinder Morgan had the opportunity to help build and implement a test site facility for Colorado State University’s Fort Collins Campus. Built with equipment similar to typical natural gas operations, the new test site simulates actual natural gas leaks that might occur at production, gathering and underground pipeline facilities. The site is equipped with well heads, tank batteries, valves, pipelines and engines.
Industry professionals and agency personnel use the facility to train their employees in the use of leak detection equipment. The site is also used by technology developers to test and demonstrate their equipment meets the needs of the industry.
“This joint effort aims to identify the most effective means of implementing methane emission reductions at natural gas transmission and storage operations,” said Kinder Morgan’s Vice President of Environmental, Health and Safety Tom Hutchins. “Reducing emissions is very important because natural gas is a key source of energy to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The facility was developed with funds from industry and the Department of Energy. The test site project is part of the ARPA-E Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) program. The MONITOR program’s goal was to develop innovative and cost-effective methane leak detection technologies to more precisely and efficiently locate and measure methane emissions associated with natural gas operations and oil production wells with associated gas production. The next generation leak detection technologies should drive enhanced leak detection and repairs to further reduce methane emissions.