MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos oil company acknowledged Thursday it released a huge plume of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in the Gulf of Mexico late last year.
A report published in June by Spanish university researchers in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters estimated that the leak contained about 40,000 tons of methane.
The article estimated that would be equivalent to releasing about 3.3 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The gas release came in December when one of the company’s oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico stopped flaring, or burning off oil well gases. The company, known as Pemex, claimed the gases escaped unburned for a few hours. Researchers said it happened over a period of over two weeks.