Powerful Cloud of Greenhouse Gas Spotted Near Russian Pipeline
(Bloomberg) -- A powerful plume of the greenhouse gas methane was spotted earlier this month by satellite near a natural gas pipeline operated by Gazprom PJSC in central Russia.
The concentration of gas was detected Nov. 1 and had an estimated emissions rate of 108 tons an hour, according to Kayrros SAS, which analyzed European Space Agency data. The geoanalytics firm said the plume was detected near Russia’s Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipe, which is part of a larger network that transports the gas to Europe through Ukraine.
Gazprom acknowledged emailed requests for comment, sent on Nov. 4, but didn’t answer questions about the emissions event.
The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod is part of the Brotherhood pipeline network, which is one of the oldest gas conduits linking Russia and Europe. Moscow has argued that the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which still requires approval and runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, offers cleaner gas because it’s shorter and the infrastructure is newer, thus reducing associated emissions.
Read more: Russia’s Dirty Gas Is Keeping Europe From Freezing Over
The German energy regulator earlier this week suspended the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 operator, saying Gazprom has to comply with the EU rules and set up a German subsidiary to run the pipeline. The move sent European gas prices surging as much as 12%..
Kayrros identified 44 releases from 2019 through Oct. 25 this year within a 60-kilometer (37-mile) corridor along the Brotherhood pipeline and 33 emissions events near the Northern Lights and Yamal-Europe conduits.
If the Nov. 1 event lasted an hour it would have roughly the same short-term climate impact as the annual emissions from more than 5,000 cars in the U.K.
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