Today: April 21, 2024
Today: April 21, 2024

Google-backed satellite to track global oil industry methane emissions

Share This
LA Post: Google-backed satellite to track global oil industry methane emissions
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici
March 04, 2024

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new satellite backed by Alphabet Inc's Google and the Environmental Defense Fund group will launch from California on Monday with a mission to pinpoint oil and gas industry methane emissions from space.

The MethaneSAT sattelite will add to a growing fleet of spacecraft in orbit that are meant to help fight climate change by publishing data on emissions of the invisible but potent greenhouse gas.

While the European Space Agency and another satellite-based tracker called GHGSat are already providing methane emissions data, MethaneSAT will provide more detail and have a much wider field of view, its backers say.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) said the data will bring accountability to the more than 50 oil and gas companies that pledged at the Dubai COP28 climate summit in December to zero out methane and eliminate routine gas flaring, and help those preparing to comply with forthcoming methane regulations in the EU and the U.S., including a methane pollution fee.

"We'll be able to see who the laggards are, but hopefully they will use that information in a constructive way to improve their performance," said Mark Brownstein, senior vice president for energy transition at EDF.

MethaneSAT was developed in conjunction with the New Zealand Space Agency and Harvard University, among others, and its data will be available to the public later this year, EDF said. Google Cloud will provide the computing capabilities to process the information.

Methane emissions - which come from oil and natural gas production, agricultural waste, and landfills - are many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Oil industry group the American Petroleum Institute said emissions data from third parties should not be used for regulatory purposes without verification.

"The environmental regulator is still going to be paramount here as the authority in terms of validating the data,” said Aaron Padilla, API vice president of corporate policy.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; additional reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Popular

Olympic champion Jepchirchir wins women's race at London Marathon

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya pulled away late to win the London Marathon women’s race on Sunday and cement her status as the favorite to defend her gold in Paris

15 people suffer minor injuries in tram accident at Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles

A tram accident at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in Los Angeles has injured 15 people

Ryan Garcia knocks Devin Haney down 3 times and hands his amateur rival his first pro loss

Ryan Garcia knocked Devin Haney down three times and handed the WBC super lightweight champion his first loss, winning the fight by majority decision but not the title because he was over the weight limit

Things to know about the NBA playoffs, which start Saturday

The Boston Celtics had almost no trouble at all with the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs this season, going 35-4 against those squads

Related

US commerce secretary downplays chip in advanced Huawei phone

Morning bid: Fragile FX, tech swoon cloud sentiment

Conservative Brazilians laud Elon Musk at rally in support of ex-president Bolsonaro

Tens of thousands of Colombians protest against the leftist president's reform agenda

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer