Monitoring Methane Leaks From Space

Date: 14:00:00 - Nov 30 2017
Speakers: Mr Dylan Jervis

In June 2016, GHGSat launched the world's first and only satellite capable of measuring greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and methane) from targeted industrial facilities around the world. The objective of this paper is to report on the early results in using our patented technology to accurately and quickly detect methane leaks around oil and gas installations which are costly, dangerous and have an environmental impact. 

The technology on our satellite was designed to be capable of detecting medium to large methane leaks around oil and gas installations in near real-time, thereby lowering the cost and increasing the effectiveness of Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) activities. Featuring imagery taken with our satellite in the Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) bands at facilities across the world, the paper will demonstrate the effectiveness of our satellite in identifying and measuring methane leaks. Each image is 12km by 12km and can measure up to several dozens of oil ad gas installations or an entire large facility at one time. The paper will discuss examples of methane leaks we have already identified at oil and gas installations, for example in the Permian Shale Basin. The system's capacity to monitor hundreds of sites around the world has been demonstrated by achieving 1,000 measurements 2 months ahead of schedule with a single satellite. Because our technology is not capable of detecting the smallest of leaks, the effectiveness is greatly enhanced when combined with ground based monitoring methods otherwise too onerous and time consuming to deploy consistently on a large scale. The compatibility with these systems will be discussed. Finally, the paper will elaborate on the lessons learned from our first satellite, including a discussion of how they shaped the design of our next two satellites (scheduled for launch in Q4 2018/ Q1 2019) and how they will be even more effective at detecting methane leaks. The conclusion presented is that our technology can play a key role in increasing and accelerating the detection of methane leaks while considerably lowering the cost of LDAR activities to oil and gas companies.

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Mr Dylan Jervis
Mr Dylan Jervis (GHGSat)

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