ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco Back Emission Monitoring Startup

Satellites Play Role in Combating Climate Change

ExxonMobil (XOM) and Saudi Aramco are among the multinational companies using satellites to track emissions. In the last three years, satellite imagery has exposed methane leaks across the world including in Russia and Texas.

Private companies, environmental agencies, and activists are using satellite data to put a spotlight on greenhouse emissions leaks. Meanwhile, governments and startups are launching their own satellites to spot greenhouse gases. ExxonMobil and Aramco are using satellites to prove they are meeting new emissions standards. Both hold a stake in GHGSat, a global emissions monitoring company which relies on satellites.

Satellites on the Agenda

Using satellites to measure companies and countries’ greenhouse gases will be the topic of an international climate summit being held in Glasgow in November. The US, the United Nations, the European Space Agency, and private companies are expected to call for wider use of satellites during the meeting.

GHGSat’s Plans

The emissions monitoring company GHGSat, which the oil industry owns roughly one-third of, counts Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and Chevron (CVX) as customers. GHGSat has launched two satellites this year which have powerful cameras that can zoom in on all the pipelines and wellheads across the globe. GHGSat raised $45 million in a second round of venture funding in July and plans to use the money to build 10 more satellites.

Climate change is heating up and companies and governments are working to meet ambitious emissions goals. Satellites are emerging as a powerful tool in the fight, given their ability to help track greenhouse gases. It will be interesting to watch as the new industry progresses.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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