CAMS Awards Funding for Satellite-based Methane Detection Technology Study

10/15/21 Des Plaines, IL

The Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science (CAMS) awarded funding to GeoSapient, Inc. for a study that will use sound science to explore the capabilities and limitations of current satellite-based methane detection technologies and methodologies. The work will also identify a framework for technology and data analytics, a focus area of the industry-led CAMS.

The award is the result of a competitive RFP process. GeoSapient is teaming with Harvard University’s Dr. Daniel Jacob, a recognized international leader in satellite observations of methane, and Innovative Imaging and Research (I2R), which specializes in remote sensing, geospatial, and optics-based products and services.

“GeoSapient assembled a world-class team to demystify and communicate the methane emission challenges and opportunities,” said John Kelley, GeoSapient’s president. “This work will help reconcile current on-the-ground measurement and expertise with the growing body of satellite measurements.”

“Ultimately, improvement is the key word,” said Dr. Jacob. “The study will advance understanding about methane emissions for regulators, policymakers, and oil and gas operators.”

CAMS member companies are committed to continuously studying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions based on the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. As satellite data is increasingly available, operators want to know how best to leverage the technology.

“This effort to ground truth GHG emissions measurements taken from the sky is vital to the industry’s effort to accurately quantify and monitor GHG emissions across the value chain,” said Christopher Smith, SVP for Policy, Government and Public Affairs at Cheniere. “Optimizing the strengths of satellites and other monitoring technologies will help ensure natural gas and LNG remains a net positive for the climate.”

“Methane-detection capability is an important factor towards the world’s effort to reduce carbon emissions,” said Vanessa Ryan, manager of carbon and climate policy for Chevron, “Research, innovation and deployment of best practices helps focus on the best technological opportunities to contribute to the accuracy and credibility of global methane reporting.”

“Technology solutions are essential to the global effort to address methane emissions,” said Bart Cahir, senior vice president of unconventional at ExxonMobil. “The research we are supporting through CAMS is helping determine the best approach to monitoring and reducing methane emissions for potential application across the industry.”

“Supporting technological advances in monitoring methane emissions through elevated remote sensing technology is an imperative step in enhancing industry success is this arena,” said Carrie Reese, Sustainable Development Director for Pioneer Natural Resources. “It is an up-and-coming advancement, and we fully support CAMS efforts to identify limitations and further the strengths of this satellite technology.”

About the Project Team
GeoSapient, Inc. is an early-stage startup in the Geospatial Analytics-as-a-Service market that helps energy and environment firms manage, optimize, and secure their global supply chains from the sky. GeoSapient systems integration expertise leverages the proliferating collection platforms, the data-in-motion explosion, and enabling technology.

Dr. Daniel Jacob is the Vasco McCoy Family Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Harvard University. He is a recognized international leader in satellite observations of methane and their use to infer methane emissions on all scales, from the global methane budget down to point sources. His research spans spectral retrievals of atmospheric methane from satellite radiance measurements, validation of satellite observations and integration with suborbital measurements, and inverse methods to derive emissions based on the satellite observations. He and his students have published 34 peer-reviewed scientific publications covering these different aspects of methane research. Jacob leads the Methane Working Group of the NASA Carbon Monitoring System Science Team.

Innovative Imaging and Research (I2R) develops cutting-edge remote sensing and imaging technologies for industrial, academic and government clients. In addition to developing custom imaging systems for niche markets, I2R improves client geospatial products through laboratory and in-flight camera calibrations, custom image processing algorithms, and aerial and satellite payload systems engineering services.

About the Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science
The Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science (CAMS) is a research collaboration on methane science directed by some of the world’s top leaders in energy development. CAMS research characterizes methane emissions and identifies specific sources so that mitigation strategies are most effective. Results from CAMS research has the potential to lead to technology solutions, better work practices, and new equipment designs to manage methane emissions.

Demonstrable advancements in the environmental performance of natural gas are reinforced by industry’s long-term commitment to monitoring and reducing methane emissions.

CAMS members include Cheniere, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Pioneer Natural Resources, Sempra LNG, Shell and Williams. The consortium is administered by GTI, a leading research, development and training organization that has been addressing global energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government for 80 years.