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    CAMS to fund research into satellite methane detection


Study will examine efficacy of satellite detection technologies

by: Dale Lunan

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CAMS to fund research into satellite methane detection

The industry-led Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science (CAMS) said October 15 it would provide funding to GeoSapient for a science-based study into the capabilities and limitations of satellite-based methane detection technologies.

GeoSapient is teaming with Harvard University’s Dr Daniel Jacob, a recognised international leader in satellite observations of methane, and with Innovative Imaging and Research (IR2), which specialises in remote sensing, geospatial and optics-based products and services.


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“GeoSapient has assembled a team to demystify and communicate the methane emission challenges and opportunities,” GeoSapient president John Kelley said. “This work will help reconcile current on-the-ground measurement and expertise with the growing body of satellite measurements.”

Ultimately, Jacob added, the work is all about improving the state of satellite detection. “The study will advance understanding about methane emissions for regulators, policymakers and oil and gas operators.”

CAMS members – the group includes LNG producers Cheniere Energy, Sempra LNG, Anglo-Dutch major Shell, Norway’s Equinor, US majors Chevron and ExxonMobil, US producer Pioneer Natural Resources and midstream services provider Williams – are committed to the continuous study and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, using the best-available technology. As satellite detection technologies become more widespread, the group said, its members want to know how best to leverage those technologies.

“This effort to ground the truth about GHG emissions measurements taken from the sky is vital to the industry’s effort to accurately quantify and monitor GHG emissions across the value chain,” said Christopher Smith, Cheniere’s senior vice president, policy, government and public affairs. “Optimising the strengths of satellites and other monitoring technologies will help ensure natural gas and LNG remains a net positive for the climate.”

CAMS did not specify how much funding it would provide.