PoMELO began as an R&D prototype in late 2017 and has since evolved into a widely used industrial solution in Alberta, Canada. PoMELO has proven its ability to help find leaks, reduce emissions, and confirm when sites are leak free.
The technology was built around three guiding principles: simplicity, speed, and scientific rigor. We automated complex atmospheric modeling, so users can work with information in real time. We designed and pioneered a one-visit work practice to accelerate action: screen a site quickly, map the emitting and non-emitting parts of the site, and follow-up immediately to understand and act to reduce methane emissions within minutes of arriving on a site. We also developed and deployed the Passive concept, which involves opportunistic measurement from vehicles performing other tasks in the oilfield.
PoMELO is one of the most tested technologies available for industrial-scale leak detection at oil and gas sites. Testing is ongoing – we regularly perform controlled releases to validate and refine the algorithms so that users can trust the information produced by the system and work with the quantification uncertainty for risk-based decision making. To date, we’ve completed 65 days of testing with > 700 release rates.
PoMELO’s performance is open and transparent. The system has been tested in the Stanford/EDF Mobile Monitoring Challenge (2018) - the only university and Canadian technology invited to participate, several rounds of the Alt-FEMP study and the Alberta Methane Field Challenge (2019), at the Methane Emissions Technology and Evaluation Centre (2019), and 10 controlled release campaigns to date at Carbon Management Canada’s Field Research Station (2017-ongoing). Several published test reports and test datasets are available on the Resources page.
PoMELO’s R&D journey has been supported by research grants from Natural Resources Canada, Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada, Alberta Innovates, Western Economic Diversification, Emissions Reduction Alberta, and the University of Calgary.
In addition to reducing emissions, one of the most important contributions of PoMELO is that it has helped build talent to address the technical challenges of emissions management. Students and technical personnel have gained advanced skills and experience conducting controlled release testing, measuring emissions at oil and gas sites, partnering with industry, and creating new methods and algorithms.
We acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals: Brynn Tarnowsky, Adam Boulding, Tyler Gough, Jim Bauer, Thomas Fox, Marshall Staples, Mozhou Gao, Clay Wearmouth, Michelle Clements, Soroush Ojagh, Coleman Vollrath, Danni Liu, Zhenyu Xing, and Chandler Billinghurst.