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Energies 2016, 9(1), 14; doi:10.3390/en9010014

Methods for Global Survey of Natural Gas Flaring from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Data

1
Earth Observation Group, National Centers for Environmental Information, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80205, USA
2
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
3
Russian Space Research Institute, Moscow 117997, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard B. Coffin
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4839 KB, uploaded 30 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

A set of methods are presented for the global survey of natural gas flaring using data collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The accuracy of the flared gas volume estimates is rated at ±9.5%. VIIRS is particularly well suited for detecting and measuring the radiant emissions from gas flares through the collection of shortwave and near-infrared data at night, recording the peak radiant emissions from flares. In 2012, a total of 7467 individual flare sites were identified. The total flared gas volume is estimated at 143 (±13.6) billion cubic meters (BCM), corresponding to 3.5% of global production. While the USA has the largest number of flares, Russia leads in terms of flared gas volume. Ninety percent of the flared gas volume was found in upstream production areas, 8% at refineries and 2% at liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals. The results confirm that the bulk of natural gas flaring occurs in upstream production areas. VIIRS data can provide site-specific tracking of natural gas flaring for use in evaluating efforts to reduce and eliminate routine flaring. View Full-Text
Keywords: Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS); Nightfire; gas flaring; carbon intensity; carbon dioxide emissions Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS); Nightfire; gas flaring; carbon intensity; carbon dioxide emissions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Elvidge, C.D.; Zhizhin, M.; Baugh, K.; Hsu, F.-C.; Ghosh, T. Methods for Global Survey of Natural Gas Flaring from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Data. Energies 2016, 9, 14.

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