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Energy & Science

Large Methane Clouds Spotted Near Gas Pipelines in Iran

The nation is the third-biggest emitter of the superwarming greenhouse gas from oil and gas production, according to the International Energy Agency

Iran oil
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

Satellites spotted several large clouds of methane near fossil fuel infrastructure in Iran, which is one of the largest producers of natural gas and responsible for the world’s third-most emissions of the superpotent greenhouse gas from oil and gas activities. 

The methane plumes were identified by geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS using European Space Agency data. The largest leak occurred on Sept. 5,  in the southwest of the country near the border with Iraq. The rate of release was about 95 tons per hour, which has approximately the same climate-warming impact as 4,700 cars in the U.K. running for one year.

Learn more about the planet-warming power of methane: