Ohio methane leak may have been one of largest in U.S.

A little-known gas well accident in Ohio appears to have led to one of the largest methane leaks in U.S. history, according to a recent study.

Using data from a satellite that monitors the entire planet for methane leaks and emissions, the study estimated that a gas well in Powhatan Point, damaged during a drilling operation in February 2018, leaked methane at a rate of 120 metric tons an hour for nearly 20 days. The emission rate of the Ohio leak was twice that of a widely reported 2015 gas leak at Aliso Canyon in California, and the amount of methane released was estimated to be more than some European countries emit in a typical year, according to the study.

Drew Michanowicz, a research associate at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, who was not involved in the study, said in a December 21, 2019 article in the Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that he was alarmed by the size of the leak, because methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas—up to 84 times more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Read the Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register article: Study: 2018 Powhatan Methane Leak One of the Largest in U.S.