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Gulf Oil Platforms Emit Even More Methane than Reported

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CLIMATEWIRE | Oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico emit more methane than estimated in government inventories, according to researchers from the University of Michigan.

Their study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of the first to focus primarily on offshore oil and gas emissions, comparing flyover observations to the data industry reports to the federal government. Researchers found higher methane emissions from shallow water platforms, especially those that serve as central hubs to gather and process oil and gas in the Gulf.

“This illustrates how critical it is to make direct measurements,” said Eric Kort, a report co-author and University of Michigan associate professor of climate and space sciences and engineering. “We would have had no idea what the climate impacts would be from the Gulf and an accurate sense without these measurements.”

Researchers found that the carbon intensity of the Gulf’s oil and gas production could be as much as twice as government estimates. That calculation included major…

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