US SoCalGas secures Bridger tech to detect methane leaks
Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), the largest gas distributor in the US, has signed a $12mn deal to secure light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology to detect, pinpoint and quantify methane emissions across its network, the companies said on August 24.
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the distribution sector accounts for 6% of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. SoCalGas already monitors emissions with foot patrols, but it now wants to use helicopters equipped with Bridger's LiDAR sensors to make the process more effective. After each day's scan, Bridger will provide SoCalGas with a digital map showing gas plume images, so that the sources of leaks can be pinpointed with GPS coordinates, and crews dispatched to fix them.
"Using this new technology is another way we are working to meet our commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2045," SoCalGas' vice president of gas engineering and system integrity, Gina Orozco, commented. "This technology provides us with a critical early detection system that can help us mitigate leaks more quickly, while we also move to use more lower and zero-carbon fuels to increasingly decarbonise our pipeline system."
SoCalGas outlined its plan in March to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, estimating that it already avoids some 3.2mn metric tons of annual emissions through the use of renewable natural gas, hydrogen as a power source and other clean initiatives.