NYSEARCH Project M2018-001: Reducing Methane Emssions At Threaded Connections

Fig. 1: Bubble from leaking NPT joint

Fig 2: Threaded Connection Test Loop

To address increased regulatory focus on methane emissions, NYSEARCH has responded with a broad, multi-faceted program that is holistically investigating the cause(s) of emissions from threaded connections including product compliance with NPT and ANPT standards, sealants and their application, torque, thread workmanship, and other characteristics which will result in an effort to minimize or eliminate leakage at these connections.

In recent years, a focal point for gas industry regulators has been sources of methane emissions including those at very low levels that result in any methane accumulations. While the overall contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from natural gas distribution systems is low (less than 1% of produced natural gas from distribution per AGA), threaded connections from meter sets and meter/regulator stations are reported to account for up to 50% of those distribution system emissions. NYSEARCH responded to this regulatory focus with a broad, multi-faceted program to holistically investigate the cause of emissions from threaded connections and the impacts of compliance with standards, increased quality control, characteristics of the overall process of how threaded connections are joined in the field. Further evaluation beyond thread compliance can reveal another perspective to better understanding the cause of leaks from threaded connections and thus provide utilities information on how to best reduce methane emissions at threaded connections.


For more than thirty years, NYSEARCH has worked as a consortium of natural gas Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) who have a common interest and need for research and technology development and demonstration. Today, as part of the Northeast Gas Association (NGA), NYSEARCH manages over (30) projects in various stages of development for LDCs, transmission companies, federal agencies and their manufacturing and commercial partners. NYSEARCH is located in Parsippany, NJ and NGA is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts.