A Methane Hunter Finds Leaking Gas That Threatens EU’s Climate Goals
A special infrared camera captured more than 70 plumes from pipes, oil fields and storage units operated by one of the European Union’s biggest oil and gas producers.
“It felt like every well in Romania is leaking,” said Turitto, who’s traveling around Europe with the 100,000 euro ($118,000) camera to track down fugitive releases. “Tanks were rusted out. It was impossible to document all the methane emissions.”
The EU is relatively free of the kinds of large-scale methane leaks that have been detected through satellite imagery in countries from Kazakhstan to Australia. Over the past two years, those bigger plumes — typically with emissions rates in excess of 5 tons per hour — have been spotted on only about a dozen occasions in Europe, compared with more than two thousand globally, according to estimates from geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS.
“It’s literally under the radar”