LONDON (Reuters) – Last fall, European Space Agency satellites detected huge plumes of the invisible planet-warming gas methane leaking from the Yamal pipeline that carries natural gas from Siberia to Europe.
A undated handout image shows methane emission hotspots associated with oil, gas and coal between January 2019 and May 2020. KAYRROS/Handout via REUTERS
Energy consultancy Kayrros estimated one leak was spewing out 93 tonnes of methane every hour, meaning the daily emissions from the leakage were equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide pumped out in a year by 15,000 cars in the United States.
The find, which has not been reported, is part of a growing effort by companies, academics and some energy producers to use space-age technology to find the biggest methane leaks as the potent heat-trapping gas builds up rapidly in the atmosphere.
Kayrros, which is analysing the satellite data, said another leak nearby was gushing