Leak Detection and Repair in the Russian Federation and the United States

Possibilities for Convergence


  • Tom J. Cinq-Mars Duke University
  • Taisa Kropotova Kazan Federal University
  • Maria Morgunova Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Amina Tallipova Higher School of Economics
  • Sher Yunusov Duke University


methane emissions, leak detection and repair, oil, natural gas, regulation


This study focuses on the mitigation of methane emissions from large-scale oil and gas infrastructure. It is built on two complementary cases of the Russian Federation and United States, who are two of the largest oil and natural gas producers, possess the most extensive oil and natural gas pipeline networks, and both deal with the emerging problem of high-level methane emissions. The paper attempts to identify differences and similarities between the countries' approaches in mitigating methane emissions. Analyzing open data on methane emissions, legislation, corporate standards, and reports of state agencies, this research seeks to answer the question of whether there is space for cooperation and exchange of experiences and best practices between the two countries in methane leak detection and repair (LDAR). Our analysis shows a considerable lack in corresponding regulation in both countries and identifies a dramatic misalignment between international, national, and corporate actions. However, we see the opportunity to significantly reduce the existing gaps in regulation and technological adaptation through international cooperation and exchange of best practices. The paper supports corresponding policy and practical implications that rely on bilateral and multilateral initiatives and a cooperative approach between oil and gas companies and the government.