Daniel Zimmerle is the Director of the Methane Emissions Program in the Energy Institute @ Colorado State University. Zimmerle was a principal investigator on four major studies of methane emissions in the natural gas supply chain, including studies of upstream, midstream, and distribution systems at a nation and/or regional scale, and leads the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center, one of the largest test facilities for natural gas leak detection solutions. Zimmerle’s current research on natural gas emissions includes studies of equipment and pipeline emissions, field studies, and fundamental investigations of commonly utilized several leak detection and quantification methods, including optical gas imaging (OGI), high flow sampling, and downwind methods.
Additionally, Zimmerle also works on energy access and development in rural communities in the developing world and the integration of distributed generation into power systems.
An ‘accidental academic,’ Zimmerle’s pre-CSU experience is all industrial. He served as the Chief Operating Officer at Spirae, Inc. and 20 years at Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies including experience as both a division general manager and R&D manager, during which time he led organizations in multiple businesses and organizations that included personnel in the US, Ireland, Singapore and other countries.
He holds a BSME and MSME from North Dakota State University.
2020 Panelist Profile | Q&A with Dan
What brings you back? – AND/OR - What are you looking forward to at this year’s Energy Summit (aside from your session)
I’m very interested in movements in the regulation and practice of leak detection and repair programs, and it appears COGA is more interested in these programs recently.
What made you decide to join us at this 32nd Annual Energy Summit conference to participate on this panel, and how they are interpreted?
State O&G associations include smaller operators that we do not work with routinely. I’m interested in reaching a broader spectrum of operators for the work we’re doing … and I believe that this broader spectrum will also be interested in recent results from our work.
Why do you think your panel topic is critical in the oil and natural gas industry at this time?
In the last 4-5 years, community interest and technology change has driven relatively rapid changes in how regulators, operators, and the community view emissions mitigation and O&G sites. If this is done well, we may collectively be able to reduce emissions at minimal incremental cost by using programs structured to make the best of new technologies.
How would you recommend that someone stays current on these issues if they are interested or want to know more?
I don’t work heavily on the regulatory side … but on the technology side I’d put in a plug for the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) at the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center (METEC), which I run at CSU. This is a general forum where operators can share/receive the latest information on technologies, technology performance, and experimental results.
What is your personal favorite story about, or characteristic of the Colorado oil and natural gas community and those who work in it.
I’m particularly interested in the ‘next generation’ well pad designs being deployed along the Front Range (and in the Permian, Marcellus and elsewhere) – large, electrified, pipeline offloading, etc. While these sites feel ‘large and industrial’ they also have the potential for substantial reductions in air emissions …
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