Kuva expands methane emissions program

By Keefe Borden12 April 2022

Kuva Systems, a continuous methane monitoring service provider, has deployed additional infrared cameras after a successful pilot program with Marathon Oil.

In 2021, Marathon Oil piloted eight of Kuva’s methane imaging infrared cameras at its oil and gas production sites in the Permian Delaware Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Williston Bakken Shale and the SCOOP area of the Oklahoma Anadarko Basin. The company has since expanded to 10 additional cameras throughout its operational area.

In January 2022, Marathon Oil committed to reducing its methane intensity 60% by 2025 and 80% by 2030 based on their current operations portoflio, relative to a 2019 baseline, the companies said.

“We are excited to be an early adopter of Kuva’s solution,” said Dana Wood, environmental supervisor at Marathon Oil. “We believe that the technology, combined with our SCADA data, provides a more fulsome view of our operations and allows us to better understand and mitigate environmental impacts.”

Kuva said its technology can help companies reduce methane emissions and meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. The company’s patented platform is a continuous methane monitoring system designed to supplant older, less accurate and more expensive methods of methane detection. Kuva’s solution enables upstream and midstream oil and gas companies to quickly identify leaks and analyze and address the root cause of emissions.

“We now have the technology to help companies more quickly identify methane leaks by delivering actionable information, and we’re committed to helping our clients achieve their environmental goals,” said Stefan Bokaemper, CEO of Kuva Systems.

Kuva said its technology allows its customers to identify, analyze and address operational issues faster and safer than with manual inspection visits. Traditionally, camera systems that provided continuous emissions monitoring would cost ten times what Kuva’s patented technology is offering customers.

Kuva said 80% of methane emissions are caused by a small number of large leaks, frequently from equipment malfunctions. The area imaging system automatically and continuously monitors high-risk sites to identify leaks as they appear, without intervention.

Kuva’s monitoring platform is powered by Microsoft Azure. The Microsoft Azure IoT environment provides scalability, configurability, digital twin as well as industrial-grade security and encryption for both the Kuva camera and the Kuva cloud solution. Kuva said its partnership with Microsoft enables the company to work with more customers and extend its reach further than otherwise possible.

The Oilfield Technology Center (OTC) at Texas Tech University has been conducting testing of the Kuva camera’s gas detection performance since September 2020, including testing to establish detection limits in preparation for upcoming EPA rules expected later this year. Located on 10 acres in Lubbock, TX, in the Permian Basin, the OTC is a research and teaching facility with typical oilfield equipment including a full-scale working tank battery complete with processing equipment, providing a realistic field setting for emissions testing.

Earlier this year, Kuva said its infrared camera monitoring system was approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator as part of Whitecap Resources’ alternative fugitive emissions (AltFEMP) management program. As part of the approved pilot, Kuva’s infrared imaging cameras have been installed at Whitecap facilities in Alberta.

Kuva’s industrial IoT platform provides alerts with colorized video clips of otherwise invisible gas plumes when methane emissions are detected and verified. The ability to see precisely which equipment is releasing emissions and when, enables field operations to cross-check with their process data, and to then remotely determine root-causes, and often resolve the issue - without the need for an in-person investigation, Kuva said.

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