Global Assessment of Oil and Gas Methane Ultra-Emitters

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Authors

Thomas Lauvaux , Clément Giron, Matthieu Mazzolini, Alexandre d'Aspremont, Riley Duren, Daniel H. Cusworth , Drew Shindell, Philippe Ciais

Abstract

Methane emissions from oil and gas (O&G) production and transmission represent a significant contribution to climate change. These emissions comprise sporadic releases of large amounts of methane during maintenance operations or equipment failures not accounted for in current inventory estimates. We collected and analyzed hundreds of very large releases from atmospheric methane images sampled by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) over 2019 and 2020 to quantify emissions from O&G ultra-emitters. Ultra-emitters are primarily detected over the largest O&G basins of the world, following a power-law relationship with noticeable variations across countries but similar regression slopes. With a total contribution equivalent to 8-12% (~8 MtCH4/yr) of the global O&G production methane emissions, mitigation of ultra-emitters is largely achievable at low costs and would lead to robust net benefits in billions of US dollars for the six major producing countries when incorporating recent estimates of societal costs of methane.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5NS54

Subjects

Atmospheric Sciences, Oil, Gas, and Energy

Keywords

methane, TROPOMI, plume

Dates

Published: 2021-05-07 20:09

Last Updated: 2021-05-08 03:09

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None

Data Availability (Reason not available):
http://www.tropomi.eu/data-products/methane

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