Observations and trends of emissions from gas flaring in the Persian Gulf region using OMI

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:45 AM
Hao He, University of Maryland College Park, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, College Park, MD, United States, Mohammad Soltanieh, Sharif University of Technology, Department of Environment, Tehran, Iran and Russell R Dickerson, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States
Gas flaring associated with oil production is common where there is no local market for natural gas (mostly methane) and emits large amount of air pollutants and greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. OMI NO2, SO2 and Aerosol Index (AI) observations from 2005 to 2013 were analyzed, and successfully characterize emissions from major flaring sources in the Persian Gulf region. The SO2/NO2 ratio can distinguish flaring regions with relatively high SO2 component, from urban and industrial areas, where domestic heating, internal combustion of motor vehicles and power generation with a relatively high NO2 component dominate. Concentrations of these gases over facilities for production and export of oil reflect the economic recession of 2008/9 and reduced oil exports due to sanctions imposed in 2012. A nearby site involved primarily in copper smelting show no such trend. These temporal trends are being analyzed to improve emissions estimates.