University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

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BMP ID: 4922
Title: Aerial Optical Leak Imaging
Text: "Aerial Optical Leak Imaging. Infrared cameras, filtered and tuned for the wavelengths of sunlight absorbed and re-emitted by natural gas hydrocarbons, can present a visual image of leaking gas. Such cameras are operated in helicopters with global positioning systems (GPSs)and can detect leaks up to 2 miles away, depending on size and terrain. This is a very quick method to find and pinpoint location of pipeline and gathering-line leaks. Hand-held units are used on the ground in plants to quickly locate even very small leaks, less than 1 cf/hr." [see Table 2 and 3 in source document for costs, benefits and production characteristics]
Source Publication Name: Cost-effective methane emissions reductions for small and midsize natural gas producers
Citation Section: Table 1
Citation Page:
Supplemental Documents:  
Usage Type: Recommended
Timing: • Production / Operation / Maintenance
Oil / Gas Field:  
Surface Ownership: • Federal
• State
• Private
Mineral Ownership: • Federal
• State
• Private
Primary Contact: Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20460  United States
Phone:(202) 272-0167     Alt. Phone:(202) 272-0165
Fax:     E-mail: 
Alternate Contact:  
Categories: Air Quality and Emissions
Location: General / Federal
Vegetation Types:
General Comments:
Cost-Benefit Analysis: Equipment Cost= N/A; O&M Cost= $450/hr travel plus $65/mile; Saleable Gas Saving Mcd/d= 2,000; Basis for cost saving= Surveilance of 500 mile of flowlines, identifying leaks totaling 2% of 100 MMcf/d; Other Benefits = Reduce VOC emissions.
BMP Efficacy:
Date Entered: 2009-04-17 09:56 UTC
Last Updated: 2011-07-17 13:17 UTC