NASA Issues Report On New Mexico Methane Hotspot

NASA News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  NASA released a study Monday on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico.
The report, based on intensive aerial surveys and ground crews, is a follow-up on the 2014 satellite report that initially found the “hotspot” in the region, and sought to further identify and explain its causes.

The study identified 250 large methane plumes emitted from well pads, storage tanks, pipelines, gas processing plants, and venting from the San Juan coal mine. The new study found that roughly half of basin-wide methane emissions identified in a prior study come from more than 250 very large polluters that were detected by intensive NASA aerial surveys and ground crews.

Unfortunately, the study did not identify or attribute the sources of the remaining 50 percent, rather pointing to the possibility that these emissions come from operations that pollute below the study’s threshold. Despite attempts from industry to point to other operations as culprits, NASA’s researchers identified a single non-oil or gas source that contributed to the San Juan Basin “hotspot,” a coal mine in the region.
NASA’s report is the latest report to highlight the threat the Four Corners community faces from methane pollution.