New Mexico company to monitor oil field pollution from the sky

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The state aims to put an eye in the sky to monitor oil field emissions.

As New Mexico boosts oversight of methane and other pollutants wafting from the state’s oil and gas wells, officials are looking for the most efficient ways to detect and measure emissions to keep them within bounds.

Sceye Inc., based in Moriarty, will take on this lofty task.

The company will operate a helium airship — known as a high altitude platform station or HAPS — that can hover in the stratosphere some 65,000 feet above Earth, equipped with spectral imagers and laser sensors that can scan emissions within a meter of their source.

And because the ship can remain geostationary, rather than passing over a site as conventional aircraft do, it can stay focused on a pollution source — such as a well leak — collecting data and generating images for as long as necessary.

The high-altitude precision and the ability to sustain tight surveillance set this platform apart, Sceye CEO Mikkel Frandsen said.

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