Methane Hunters: Methane gas leaks are a bigger problem than we think
More than 78,000 oil wells are actively producing today in Kern County, California. Every single one is a potential methane leak source. Even managed oil wells are expected to emit small volumes of greenhouse gases, but in one of the most sustainable states in North America, the number and size of methane plumes is shocking. This is the story of how the Aerospace team discovered this problem was not just happening in one state. After almost a year of reporting, Scientific American – part of Springer Nature – published an article by investigative journalist Chiara Eisner, uncovering the extent of the problem. The impact was immediate and prompted an oil and gas producer to look at their equipment and check if they had any leaks. But with nowhere for methane to hide, the question is, how can new eye-in-the-sky tools work with regulators and industries to deliver the important methane reductions our world needs?