Picarro, Inc., the world's leading provider of instruments for carbon and water cycle measurements, has been named a 2012 Energy Innovation Pioneer by IHS CERA, the leading global source of information and analytics on energy markets, geopolitics and industry trends. IHS CERA selects companies for the award based on creativity, feasibility of plan, scalability of technology and leadership team. Energy Innovation Pioneers are being recognized at this week's CERAWeek conference, which draws over 2,000 executives and other thought leaders from the global oil and gas industry to discuss energy policy, markets and technologies, as well as environmental and climate concerns.
"We selected Picarro as an Energy Innovation Pioneer because of their unique approach to monitoring fugitive emissions," said James Rosenfield, co-founder of IHS CERA and co-chair of CERAWeek. "In a world of growing natural gas production and use, they provide accurate information that enables companies to operate safely and sustainably. Now in its seventh year, the Energy Innovation Pioneers program at CERAWeek acknowledges entrepreneurial companies that are addressing the big issues and challenges facing the energy industry today and in the future. This year's selection process was the most competitive ever."
Picarro's high precision gas and isotopic analyzers are used in a wide variety of scientific, environmental and industrial applications. Notably, the company's solution for natural gas leak detection, Picarro Surveyor™, is transforming the way utilities survey for the thousands of known and unknown gas leaks along their pipelines. Picarro Surveyor has been described as "revolutionary" by PG&E Executive Vice President of Gas Operations Nick Stavropoulos, because of its ability to detect leaks thousands of times more precisely and at a rate that is an order of magnitude faster than incumbent surveying technologies.
Natural gas has the potential to become a leading source of clean energy, yet its safety and environmental risks cannot be ignored. Leaks can be both toxic and explosive, and methane, the primary component in natural gas, has 25-times more the global warming potential than carbon dioxide when emitted into the atmosphere. When this is coupled with the aging infrastructure that pervades global utilities, a more expeditious method for detecting natural gas leaks becomes an issue of paramount importance.
Picarro Surveyor is enabling the natural gas industry to exponentially increase the frequency of leak surveys. The solution combines a state-of-the-art, high precision Picarro gas analyzer, which can be placed in the trunk of a car, with Picarro's cloud-based data logging and analysis platform P-Cubed™. As utility personnel drive through an area at highway speeds, P-Cubed gathers data from the analyzer wirelessly and uses patent-pending algorithms to log and analyze it. Picarro Surveyor uses sophisticated and proprietary algorithms to graphically display leak location, survey route and leak size using tablet computers, laptops or smartphones. The data is available in real-time to vehicle operators, supervisors, response teams, senior executives or anyone else with secure web access on any device.
Picarro's technology automatically determines the stable isotope signature of the methane it detects to confirm the source is actually natural gas, thus ruling out false positives from innocuous and biologically occurring sources of methane in the environment.
"It's a wonderful honor for Picarro to be recognized by IHS CERA as an Energy Innovation Pioneer," said Picarro CEO Michael Woelk. "Our team has worked incredibly hard to bring transformational technology to market like Picarro Surveyor. The raw performance and operating simplicity of this solution will enable the gas industry to find and manage leaks and emission sources that lesser technologies simply miss. That's a win for the gas industry, for neighborhood safety and for the environment."
Picarro instruments are used by thousands of scientists, engineers and operators in 55 countries on all seven continents. The company's high precision greenhouse gas measurement instruments have been designated by the World Meteorological Organization as the global gold standard. Customers include leading research institutions (Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, the LSCE and Beijing University), leading government agencies (the China Meteorological Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the environmental protection agencies of the U.S., Germany, Canada, Ireland and Switzerland), and multi-national corporations (Eli Lilly, Waste Management, Inc. and Rio Tinto Alcan).