A Russian answer to satellite emissions monitoring
Russian private firm Success Rockets is looking to join the growing sector for greenhouse gas emissions monitoring from space, provided it can raise $10mn to launch its first satellite, CEO Oleg Mansurov tells Gas Pathways.
The ambition of Success Rockets is to have as many as 60 small-sized satellites monitoring GHG emissions by 2030, Mansurov says. But for now, the focus is on raising the capital it needs for launch its first unit, called Diana, next year. Mansurov, who as at COP26 in Glasgow to present the satellite and meet potential investors and customers, says the goal is to raise $10mn by the end of 2021.
Russia is among the largest oil and gas producers in the world, and there is growing international scrutiny over how cleanly these hydrocarbons can be produced.
"Without a sovereign climate monitoring system, Russia's damage from fines and sanctions will amount to tens of billions of dollars a year," Mansurov says.
Success Rockets' aim to provide objective and reliable information on the presence and concentration of GHG emissions from oil and gas facilities, both in Russia and elsewhere. And while other methods like drones and aircraft can also work for monitoring emissions from these facilities, the great distances involved in Russia mean that satellites represent a more affordable options.
Success Rockets has already undertaken pilot projects with Russia's Gazprom Neft and Saudi Arabia's Saudi Aramco.
Other sectors emitting methane and CO2 can also benefit from Success Rockets' services, Mansurov says, noting that metallurgy is another key area of focus for the company. Russian iron, for example, will need to be decarbonised in some extent in the coming years as the EU prepares to introduce its carbon border tax.
Russia also has the largest amount of permafrost in the world, the melting of which can lead to huge methane emissions that must be monitored and avoided where possible, likewise to avoid climate penalties.
Success Rockets divides its growth plan into three stages, at an overall cost of 22bn rubles ($300mn). Under stage one, the company wants to have six satellites in orbit, as well as 10 ground centres. It also looking to develop a software product to process and receive data from the units that can be validated at an international level, making it possible for Success Rockets to operate commercially.
In the second stage, running to 2025. Success Rockets will have up to 22 satellites in its constellation, deploy a larger network of ground stations, create an analytical data processing model, create models of the distribution of emissions on the planet's surface and create cloud date storage. In the third stage up to 2030, the number of satellites will grow to 60, and Success Rockets wants to have a comprehensive real-time climate monitoring system in place, to provide services to individuals and organisations around the world.