Step Onto the Virtual Well Pad

Pennsylvania has an opportunity to substantially lower emissions of methane from our natural gas industry, the nation’s second-largest, simply by requiring better monitoring and quicker response to leaks on well pads. Finding and fixing these leaks will mean significantly reducing the volume of a potent greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. It will also mean improving the efficiency of natural gas operations — an important factor in the bottom line for any business.

Methane mitigation looks like an even smarter investment when you consider the steadily diminishing cost of leak detection and repair (LDAR) thanks to new technologies and innovations entering the market. Simple and cost-effective solutions are already well within reach — but do decisionmakers in business and government understand just how accessible these tools are becoming? And do they realize there are good jobs to be had in the growing methane mitigation industry?

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is working to educate Pennsylvanians on what LDAR work looks like by putting them directly into the experience — virtually. Attendees at a technology demo held recently in Pittsburgh got a chance to try out an EDF-commissioned virtual reality game that simulates how methane mitigation workers locate leaks using handheld sensors, infrared cameras, and other equipment.

“The cool thing about a virtual reality experience is that it really can bring the experience of walking onto an oil and gas well site or compressor station to the masses,” said Andrew Williams, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for EDF’s U.S. Climate and Energy division. “It gives us the tool to expand the universe of folks knowing about and understanding why it’s important to control methane emissions.”


Learn more about why cutting methane emissions is a win-win for Pennsylvania — both environmentally and economically — at