By Megan Finch
The oil and gas industry, driven by efficiency, safety, and environmental responsibility, has strategically adopted wireless technologies, particularly those leveraging licensed spectrum. The oil and gas facilities are complicated, so they need communication that goes beyond normal limits. In far-off places, flexible wireless tech for sensors is essential. This helps with instant monitoring and control without being limited by wired setups. Furthermore, wireless solutions are a cost-effective choice in large oil and gas facilities. They avoid the high deployment and maintenance costs linked with wired infrastructure. In addition, given the industry’s demand for continuous and uninterrupted connectivity, wireless technologies including licensed spectrum solutions ensure seamless communication and outperform traditional Wi-Fi networks.
Selecting the best spectrum solution to serve wireless technologies is critical, especially for applications like methane monitoring. Licensed spectrum, encompassing both narrowband and broadband frequencies, ensures dedicated and interference-free communication—essential for precise and reliable data transmission required by the oil and gas industry.
As methane is an invisible gas, it’s hard to determine how much gas is leaking and where it’s coming from specifically. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ),
“A team of scientists from Harvard University, Boston University, NOAA, and the Environmental Defense Fund, used measurements of methane and ethane concentrations in the air over Boston to track emissions from 2012 to 2020. The scientists found natural gas emissions were approximately six times higher than inventory estimates, and more than half of emissions may be leaks from so-called end uses, such as compression stations and meters, along with boilers, furnaces and other appliances, rather than from pipelines.” 
Wireless sensors revolutionize methane leak detection, responding to an urgent global issue. In 2012, 3.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas escaped into the atmosphere, resulting in a $30 billion revenue loss.  Due to the substantial methane contribution from oil, gas, and coal operations, a organization’s methane report highlights the significance of real-time tracking for predicting and preventing emissions. Real-time tracking minimizes the risk of methane hazards, including asphyxiation at high, dangerous methane levels, through continuous environmental monitoring and timely alerts.
Moreover, addressing the challenges posed by methane leaks requires not only a robust spectrum solution but can include a comprehensive approach. This can include monitoring many types of emissions and tracking the safety of employees. One example is Private LTE, as demonstrated by the Cradlepoint NetCloud Service with CBRS-Compatible Routers, to enhance safety and communication in large oil and gas refineries. This Private LTE enhances safety in large oil and gas refineries with a reliable wireless local area network (LAN). 
Integrating licensed spectrum technology strategically facilitates real-time tracking, accurate data reporting, and sustainability goals. As businesses strive to reduce methane emissions, the marriage of advanced sensor technology and industry commitment holds the key to building a more sustainable future.
Integrating licensed spectrum technology into wireless methane monitoring not only addresses methane leaks in the oil and gas industry but aligns seamlessly with efficiency, safety, and environmental responsibility goals. The presented wireless solutions effectively address challenges in remote and challenging terrains, providing a cost-effective alternative to conventional wired infrastructure and highlighting the industry’s dedication to uninterrupted connectivity.