Scepter, ExxonMobil and AWS to Develop Innovative Platform for Methane Monitoring


“Methane is the second-largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide, responsible for approximately 30% of the increase in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.”

That statement is from the International Emergency Agency. While exact contributions can vary depending on the timeframe and specific calculations used, methane emissions are undeniably a factor in global warming. Methane has a shorter lifespan in the atmosphere compared to the long-lasting nature of carbon dioxide. Therefore, taking measures to reduce methane emissions can have a more immediate impact on slowing down global warming.

Key sources of methane emissions? Oil and gas production processes. They account for a quarter of the global anthropogenic methane released into the atmosphere. This fact makes the U.S. Permian Basin, which is a large oil-and gas-producing region, an ideal location for the monitoring and mitigation of methane emissions.

Focusing on the Permian Basin are Scepter, ExxonMobil and Amazon Web Services. The three will develop an innovative data analytics platform aimed at characterizing and quantifying methane emissions.

“We will be processing very large amounts of emissions data covering the most prolific oil and gas basin in the U.S. that has made the U.S. the world’s top energy producer,” said Scepter founder and CEO Philip Father.

Scepter, known for utilizing global Earth and space-based data to measure air pollution in real time, has been collaborating with ExxonMobil to optimize sensors that will be integrated into low-earth orbit satellites forming a constellation by 2026. These satellites enable continuous real-time monitoring of methane emissions on a global scale from oil and gas operations. As part of their efforts, the companies are conducting stratospheric balloon missions to test the technology under high-altitude conditions.

But what about AWS? The data fusion platform developed by Scepter is actually complemented by a comprehensive portfolio of AWS cloud services, which aid in the processing and aggregation of large datasets captured by the multi-layered system of methane emission detection technologies.

AWS Lambda, for example, enables efficient and cost-effective serverless processing of large datasets, while Amazon API Gateway allows the ingestion of data from multiple sources. These capabilities empower Scepter to precisely pinpoint emission events and quantify emissions for customers like ExxonMobil, facilitating more rapid and effective mitigation. 

The collaboration with AWS expands Scepter's atmospheric data fusion capabilities, enabling the monitoring of methane emissions for oil and gas companies and assisting other industries, including agriculture, waste management, healthcare, retail and transportation, in monitoring CO2 and air particulates.

“Advanced AWS cloud services make it possible to rapidly synthesize and analyze information from multiple data sources, and are a perfect choice to help Scepter achieve its goal of helping customers reduce methane emissions,” said Clint Crosier, Director of Aerospace and Satellite at AWS. “AWS’s secure, global infrastructure will help Scepter rapidly and reliably deliver high-quality, actionable insights to its customers, when and where they need them the most.”

This partnership has the potential to redefine the detection and mitigation of methane emissions, with future plans for global deployment across various industries such as energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation.

The significance of this endeavor lies in the urgent need to reduce methane emissions rapidly, as it is considered an effective strategy to combat global warming and maintain the goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Edited by Alex Passett
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TechZone360 Editor

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