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Kayrros and Copernicus images allow quantification of global methane leaks

(31 March 2020 - Kayrros) Kayrros has announced the latest findings from its technology to track, quantify and attribute global methane emissions.

Kayrros uses data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus program’s Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite and has built a detection and quantification model to trace emissions back to their source. These unique and comprehensive findings show that:

Methane emissions can now be detected and quantified at an asset level on a global scale, which represents a major step-change in the ability to work towards the reduction of man-made emissions.

The data shows that there are around 100 high volume-emitting events at any one time around the world. Together, in the course of one year, they are releasing 20 megatons of methane which is equivalent to 1.8 gigatons of CO2 in the first twenty years.

Through its proprietary attribution model, Kayrros can identify that around one half of that CO2 equivalent in the first twenty years, or 1 gigaton, are in regions with heavy industry such as oil & gas, coal mining, etc. This is equivalent to the total annual CO2 emissions of Germany and France together.

Kayrros is a leading Earth observation analytics player able to combine extensive mapping of assets, deep sectoral understanding, and complex machine learning algorithms as well as detection and quantification models in order to identify the missing link between concentrations and emissions.

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Sample of abnormal methane concentrations (40 ppb above background) detected by Kayrros – analysis over 2019. The size and colour of the circles indicate the size and intensity of the plume detected. The redder the colour, the higher the concentration of the methane plume. (courtesy: Kayrros analysis, contains modified Copernicus data [2019])

“What we are announcing today is ground-breaking,” says Antoine Rostand, CEO of Kayrros. “The combination of Sentinel 5-P satellite imagery and Kayrros technology represents a world first in the ability to track and attribute these substantial individual methane leaks. The good news is most of these are man-made and can easily be addressed through action by individual companies, governments and regulators.”

Claus Zehner, Sentinel 5-P Mission manager at ESA, says, “We are pleased to support Kayrros in its use of the Sentinel 5-P data to develop new tools for global methane emissions monitoring. Europe’s investment into satellite technology is ever more crucial if it can support the reduction of global emissions and slow down climate change.”

Kayrros has presented its methodology and approach to the European Commission and its Directorate General for Energy. The upcoming European strategy to reduce methane emissions will include a methodology for methane measurement and quantification that builds on Copernicus and other satellite data for detection and validation. Kayrros remains in dialogue with the European Commission about its work.

Kayrros has also worked with LSCE scientists on Sentinel 5-P imagery to identify and quantify thousands of major methane plumes from various sources around the world. Thomas Lauvaux from the LSCE comments, “To date, only a handful of these large anthropogenic sources have been documented. To expand this, as Kayrros technology does, constitutes a significant step toward mitigating methane emissions around the globe, a significant contributor to climate change, with the support of operators who now have the required information to take immediate action.”

Antoine Rostand emphasizes, “The consequences of these findings are immense, as they enable individual companies in the energy sector to identify and address methane leaks across their networks. Equally, governments and regulators should take note that access to such detailed emissions data will drastically change their ability to hold emitters accountable and potentially reverse the trend of ever-increasing emissions rates.”

This technology is now available to the industry for immediate implementation.

About Kayrros

Kayrros is the leading global asset observation platform worldwide. Harnessing satellite imagery and unconventional data with machine learning, natural language processing and advanced mathematics, Kayrros delivers focused monitoring and measurement of energy and natural resource activity around the world. With access to data on more than 200,000 industry assets, Kayrros customers can observe individual or multiple assets in proprietary or multi-client workflows to analyse industrial and environmental performance for the insight needed to make optimal operational and financial decisions