Methane plumes floating above Lahore spotted through satellite

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Sep 20, 2021, 03:51 PM(IST)

The US Environmental Protection Agency said plans to roll back limits on methane leaks from pipelines and wells would save the oil and natural gas industry millions but major oil corporations want current rules maintained Photograph:( AFP )

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According to an estimate from geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS, the cloud was seen over Lahore on August 6 and had an emissions rate of about 126 metric tons of methane an hour.  A second, smaller plume was seen above the city on August 31, emitting about 39 tons of methane an hour

Satellites spotted a large plume of methane leaking from one of Pakistan’s largest cities last month.

According to an estimate from geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS, the cloud was seen over Lahore on August 6 and had an emissions rate of about 126 metric tons of methane an hour.  A second, smaller plume was seen above the city on August 31, emitting about 39 tons of methane an hour. 

It has become very difficult to determine the origin for the same. “These kinds of events around cities are very difficult to find the origin of,” said a spokesperson for Kayrros.

“Most of the time, it’s different sources that accumulate into methane clouds.”

This is not the first time such an incident has taken place in Lahore. 

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Lahore has a history of these kinds of leaks. Since the beginning of 2019, Kayrros has analysed dozens of methane clouds spotted around the city. Kayrros uses data collected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite. 

A researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research who also uses Sentinel 5-P’s data to hone in on global methane hot spots, Bram Maasakkers, has said that one potential source could be the Lakhodair landfill in the northeast part of the city.

Following Maasakkers’ work, geoanalytics firm GHGsat captured a large methane plume on July 1 from Lakhodair landfill. 

The rate of release was about 4 tons per hour, which GHGSat captured using its own commercial satellites. The landfill operators did not reply to a request for comment.

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