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Louisiana Probes Source of Methane Cloud Spotted From Space

The plume is the most severe observed by the Sentinel-5P satellite in the US since mid-March, according to an analysis of the data.

Two methane plumes were spotted by satellite on May 28. Louisiana is investigating the source of the easternmost cloud.

Two methane plumes were spotted by satellite on May 28. Louisiana is investigating the source of the easternmost cloud.

Source: Kayrros SAS

Louisiana is investigating the source of a cloud of methane that was spotted from space near multiple natural gas pipelines.

The state began its probe after Bloomberg News contacted the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources about a concentration of the planet-warming gas detected May 28 by a European Space Agency satellite. The plume had an emissions rate of 44 tons of methane an hour and was the most severe detected in the US since March 19, according to an analysis of the data by Kayrros SAS.

If the release lasted an hour at the rate estimated by the geoanalytics firm, it would have roughly the same short-term impact as the annual emissions from about 800 US cars. A second plume identified the same day by the satellite that was roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of the original release didn’t have enough information for Kayrros to estimate its emissions rate.