An explosion that occurred at a natural gas well belonging to an Exxon Mobil in 2018 emitted much methane into the atmosphere than some nations do annually. A fresh study using satellite statistics has confirmed.
Why does it matter? The reason it matters s is that it is the first time there are detection and quantification of methane with the use of statistics tics collected by satellite. The study reveals that space technology would become a major instrument in methane leaks detection, which is one of the most potent gases of the greenhouse.
Statement in the study abstract read that their work shows the effectiveness and strength of routine satellite measurements in quantifying and detecting the emission of greenhouse gas from unpredictable events.in this case, the magnitude of a relatively known extremely big accidental leakage became known.
Details of the study published on Monday about the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The crew of scientists from the United States of America and the Netherlands used statistics from a satellite on orbit in measuring and identifying methane surging from the blowout on February 15. This happened in the previous year at the fracking site located in Belmont County owned by XTO Energy.
- Regarding the scientists, note Readings acquired by the space agency of Europe launched the TROPOMI tool discovered in the 20 days it took in stopping the uncontrolled releasing of the natural gas, which is about 20 methane tons released per hour. This is twice the rate of peak emission of the more than reported in 2015 blowout at SoCal Gas’s storage facility of Alison Canyon in California.
- A statement announcing the study confirmed that with the assumption from the rate observed reflected a mean for the 20-day period, totaling emission from the event in Ohio would have totaled like 60,000 tons. It added that the figure compared to one-quarter of the whole Ohio state-reported yearly oil and methane gas emissions.
Context: A report co-author Dr. Steven Hamburg, who is also the chief scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), says that emissions of methane are a big contributor to climate change.
- Firms including ExxonMobil, which is the world’s biggest publicly traded oil producer, have set goals in cutting methane emissions amid pressure coming from members of the public on change of climate and investors.
- Hamburg points out that the challenge is source locations are usually unpredictable and might occur in out of the way places all over the globe.