December 6, 2023
Scientists discover a leak of 40,000 tons of methane gas with satellite data  environment

Scientists discover a leak of 40,000 tons of methane gas with satellite data environment

Scientists from European Space Agency (European Space Agency), from satellite data, discovered methane plumes coming from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

This is the first time that gas from space has been detected coming from an offshore platform, according to the researchers.

The discovery was announced last week by the agency, after the study was published with the discovery in Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Plumes have been detected in the oil and gas production platform “Zaap-C”, off the coast of Campeche – in one of the main oil fields in the Mexico. (See the image at the beginning of the report).

According to the scientists, the platform released large amounts of methane for 17 days. In all, about 40,000 tons of gas – one of the most important factors of global warming – were released into the atmosphere in December 2021.

Emissions are equivalent to about 3% of annual oil and gas emissions from Mexico. This release alone is similar in size to all regional annual emissions from the marine area Mexico.

From a longer time analysis, the researchers concluded that this amount of emission was a single incident, with the longest duration since combustion activity began on this platform.

Other methane leak detections have already been detected through satellite data, from those from agriculture to pipelines, oil wells, fossil fuel processing plants and landfills.

“The results demonstrate how satellites can detect methane plumes from marine infrastructure,” said Luis Guanter of the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

“This represents a breakthrough in monitoring industrial methane emissions from space, as it opens the door to the systematic monitoring of emissions from offshore platforms,” ​​he added.

According to the European Space Agency, leaks from offshore facilities account for nearly 30% of the world’s production of methane, one of the most responsible factors for global warming. times greater in a 20-year period.