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Abstract - Methane is a substantial contributor to climate change. It also contributes to maintaining the background levels of tropospheric ozone. Among a variety of CH4 sources, current estimates suggest that CH4 emissions from oil and gas processes account for approximately 20% of worldwide anthropogenic emissions. Here, we report on observational evidence of CH4 emissions from offshore oil and gas platforms in Southeast Asia, detected by a highly time-resolved spectroscopic monitoring technique deployed onboard cargo ships of opportunity. We often encountered CH4 plumes originating from operational flaring/venting and fugitive emissions off the coast of the Malay Peninsula and Borneo. Using night-light imagery from satellites, we discovered more offshore platforms in this region than are accounted for in the emission inventory. Our results demonstrate that current knowledge regarding CH4 emissions from offshore platforms in Southeast Asia has considerable uncertainty and therefore, emission inventories used for modeling and assessment need to be re-examined.
Nara, H., H. Tanimoto, Y. Tohjima, H. Mukai, Y. Nojiri, & T. Machida (2014) Emissions of methane from offshore oil and gas platforms in Southeast Asia, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 4.