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June 27th, 2013
APG Flaring to be Monitored from Space in Russia

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World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Research and Development Center ScanEx plan to implement the project of satellite-based monitoring of associated petroleum gas (APG) flaring in the Russia.

According to the WWF Oil and Gas Sector Environmental Policy Program Manager Head Alex Knijnikov during the presentation of the analytical report on the associated gas flaring, independent assessment of the volumes of APG flared in Russia are several times higher than those reported in official statistics.

– We have a big flaw – the lack of reliable data on the production and flaring volumes of APG. This, in our opinion, is a very important system problem. Even the official data in the country vary depending on the sources, let alone the fact that there is evidence from other countries that differs severalfold from those of the Russian Federation. For example, according to our official data, 17 billion cubic meters of associated gas were flared in 2012 in Russia. According to the World Bank, relying on the space monitoring data, the volumes are twice as high, – he said.

Interpretation of satellite monitoring data to be carried out by WWF and ScanEx RDC will give more accurate information, and will allow refusing to use official statistics of the oil companies.

According to A. Knizhnikov, the project will be implemented within the year and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area was chosen as a pilot region. Currently, negotiations are under way in search for funds for this project, in particular with the World Bank.

Earlier, within the framework of the pilot project of WWF in cooperation with ScanEx RDC the monitoring of APG flare stacks was performed at Kharyaga oil field (2009-2011).

– The applied technology of satellite images processing allowed us to monitor the volumes of flared APG and to distinguish flares from other sources of heat and light radiation. Analysis of the images obtained in the infrared band from SPOT series satellites, will allow with high probability to detect APG flares and to evaluate their burning rates, – reads the research report of WWF.

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