Research project to assess satellite-based measurement of emissions

July 8, 2021
Chevron, Shell, and TotalEnergies are supporting the 12-month research project.

Offshore staff 

MONTREAL – GHGSat has announced a new research project to assess the feasibility of its space-based methane monitoring technology to measure emissions from offshore oil and gas platforms.

Chevron, Shell, and TotalEnergies are supporting the 12-month research project, which is expected to demonstrate the feasibility of high-resolution satellite-based monitoring of anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions at sea.

With a vantage point roughly 500 km above the Earth, and high revisit rates, satellites could hold the key to verifying emissions from rigs, GHGSat says. To find out, the company is testing a technique developed by NASA, amongst others, and proven in fields such as ocean height and ice-thickness measurement.

GHGSat says it has been pioneering the use of high-resolution satellites to measure CH4 emissions since 2016.

Following the successful demonstration of the capability, each of the industrial participants will have six of their offshore facilities observed at locations around the world such as the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

The initial feasibility assessment will begin later this year with satellite readings being checked against measurements taken on-board the platforms by hand-held devices and drones.