Technology first developed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) which is being used to detect offshore methane emissions is to be showcased at SPE Offshore Europe 2023.
SeekOps, the US-based sensor company, has deployed its drone-agnostic SeekIR solution, which uses technology initially created for the Mars Curiosity Rover, to gauge emissions across the North Sea.
In an energy sector first, by mounting an in-situ tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer (TDLAS) on a drone, high spatiotemporal methane emission measurement surveys have been conducted in an offshore environment. The system allows for cost-effective, safe and accurate methane emissions quantification and overcomes challenges posed by fixed wing crewed and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) which have restrictive flight patterns.
Measuring methane emissions is particularly difficult in offshore environments, with other methods using satellites and aircraft having low success rates due to backscatter from water, clouds being in the field of view and a lack of resolution required to quantify one asset in a region where there are multiple in proximity.
The TLDAS technology was first developed by NASA’s JPL to look for evidence of microbial life and was extremely sensitive to methane enhancements. It has since been adapted for use across the energy sector and has been validated by the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Centre (METEC) in Colorado.