NEWS COMMENTARY

Earth observation satellites show that Permian oil production emits 260 million tons of CO₂ equivalent in gas each year

Published:
April 28, 2020
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Tropomi is the ESA's most advanced Earth observation satellite to date. It is capable of accurately measuring concentrations of 10 substances, including NOx and methane in the atmosphere, with a resolution of 7 km × 7 km. Thus, it can accurately pinpoint sources of pollutants. Since its launch in 2017, the satellite has already uncovered methane leaks during an incident in Ohio and from a pipeline in Turkmenistan. The system also made headlines by showing the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns on air pollution. Now the research has shown that methane emissions from Permian oil production are twice as large as thought. This means the industry is wasting huge potential revenue from natural gas and is also much more polluting than assumed.

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