Huge methane leak in Kazakhstan: “equivalent to emissions from 717,000 gasoline cars over an entire year” | environment

According to the BBC, one of the largest methane leaks ever occurred in Kazakhstan last year. It is said that 127,000 tons of gas that is very harmful to the climate have leaked. This amount is equivalent to the emissions of more than 717,000 gasoline cars over the course of an entire year. Local authorities confirmed that the leak is currently being closed with cement.

The leak is said to have originated in a well belonging to the oil and gas company Buzachi Neft in the southwest of the country, according to the BBC. An explosion occurred there on June 9, followed by a fire that lasted for more than six months and was only brought under control on December 25. The company itself denies leaking a large amount of methane gas.

However, based on satellite data, it can be concluded that high concentrations of methane have already leaked, the British channel says. The French company Kayrros, the Dutch Space Research Institute SRON and the Polytechnic University of Valencia verified the data. According to the latter, “only the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline led to a larger potential methane leak.” Up to 230,000 tons of methane are said to have leaked.

Methane is more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide. The amount of methane gas allegedly leaked in Kazakhstan is equivalent to the emissions of more than 717,000 gasoline cars over the course of an entire year. “The scale and duration of the leak are highly unusual,” said Manfredi Caltagirone, head of the United Nations Observatory for International Methane Emissions.

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Denton Watson

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