PARIS: Scientists have for the first time used satellite data to detect a major offshore leak of the potent greenhouse gas methane, according to peer-reviewed research.

The findings add a crucial tool to an expanding space-based arsenal for pinpointing previously invisible methane plumes from the oil and gas industry.

Fossil fuel operations globally emitted about 120 million tonnes of the planet-warming gas in 2020, nearly one-third of all methane emissions from human activity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters identified a plume from an oil and gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico that spewed some 40,000 tonnes over a 17-day period in December.

The platform, near Campeche in southern Mexico, is in one of the country’s biggest oil producing fields.

Published in Dawn,June 13th, 2022

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