A huge cloud of methane (CH4), the greenhouse gas and climate killer, was spotted by a satellite in northwestern Algeria near Oran, the country’s second city. A methane plume has been detected near a line from the Medgas gas pipeline that supplies Spain, Bloomberg reported.
A total of three gas plumes were spotted by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite in late May. The most powerful of them had a methane emission rate of 118 tons per hour and was located about 13 kilometers from a supply line connected to the Medgas pipeline, according to an analysis by companies cited by Bloomberg. (Releasing as short-term climate impact as the annual emissions of over 2,000 cars an hour).
The compressor station at Hussey R’Mel reached a methane emission rate of 4.5 metric tons per hour, which regularly and indefinitely spews its fumes, the US company further noted.
Algeria (8% of gas imports from Europe) is the old continent’s third supplier after Russia and Norway, and is considered a global methane hotspot. In the past, emissions were regularly observed near the Hassi R’Mel gas field in the east of the country. Scientists recently determined that field-connected equipment has been emitting methane for nearly 40 years.
In 2021, geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS estimates, the Hassi R’mel field released about 939,000 tons of methane, a 2/3 increase compared to fiscal 2020. But oil flaring from the Hassi R’mel gas field R’mel has been emitting greenhouse methane since at least 1984, harming the regional environment and harming the global climate, according to a new satellite-based study exclusively ‘discovered’ shared with
In short, these powerful greenhouse gases, detected by satellite near Oran in northwest Algeria, are near a pipeline connected to the Medgas gas pipeline, which supplies a quarter of Spain’s natural gas production. Bloomberg.
Some of these leaks are predicted to be a voluntary act of the Algerian regime, which overrides the value of the interruption of gas supplies to Spain for the benefit of Italy. Spain, knowingly, is now clinging more and more to the credibility of the US LNG alternative since going cold with Algeria. This is unique to Europe, which has fully aligned itself with the climate commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow, and Germany, France and Spain are leading the way in this area.
And while it looks like we will still have to rely on gas supplies from Algeria for the time being, Europeans are now looking to other cleaner gas frontiers. “A giant gas field in this North African country, which Europe relies on to fill its Russian import deficit, risks complicating the EU’s climate objectives”, warned Bloomberg, condemning the pollution of Algerian gas exploitation. The agency also points out that Algeria has not signed the pledge to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030, launched during COP26 in Glasgow.
As the second greenhouse gas, methane is heavily monitored. Recently, the Tropomi atmospheric monitoring instrument detected a methane leak as large as 20 million vehicles a year.
Launched in 2018, the Tropomi tropospheric observatory on the ESA Sentinel 5-P satellite mission enables the estimation of emissions with finer spatial resolution. Over two years (2019-2020) 1,800 methane plumes were observed worldwide, most of them in Russia, Turkmenistan, the United States, the Middle East and Algeria. These “leakages” (minimum estimates) have a climate impact equivalent to the circulation of 20 million vehicles per year and correspond to 10% of emissions in this sector.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2020, and this trend continued until 2021. Fueling global warming is causing more and more extreme weather events and other serious consequences for our planet (health, labor productivity, crop yields…)..
On a smaller scale, the pollutant effects of CH4Advantage (US$4,400 per ton of CH4) about $6 billion from Turkmenistan, $4 billion from Russia, $1.6 billion from the United States, $1.2 billion from Iran, and $400 million from Kazakhstan and Algeria. Good bonanza!