The logo of Mexican oil company Pemex is seen at a petrol station in Mexico City August 28, 2014. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

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MEXICO CITY, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex said on Wednesday night that a study by scientists that found significant methane emissions on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico was incorrect and included mistakenly included nitrogen and other gases in his calculations.

Scientists, in a research paper published by Environmental Science & Technology Letters in June, calculated from satellite data that Pemex emitted around 40,000 tonnes of methane from the Ku-Maloob-Zaap oilfield cluster over 17 days in December last year. Read more

Their work is part of a larger study funded by the European Space Agency, in which scientists are working to detect and quantify man-made emissions from space.

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The alleged methane leak has brought renewed scrutiny from Pemex, the world’s most indebted oil company which is coming under increasing pressure on its environmental record.

In the statement released Wednesday evening, Pemex said only 2,224 tonnes of methane were released from the Zaap-C platform in an “extraordinary” event, and the rest was nitrogen and other gases not harmful to the environment.

“There are no significant methane emissions,” Pemex said, adding that the scientific study was “incorrect” and “unprofessional.”

Contacted by Reuters, the scientists behind the study rejected Pemex’s statement and said they would explain their findings in more detail in due course.

“At this time, we can say that Pemex’s claims make no sense for a number of reasons, and it should be no problem to show it,” they said in a written response sent to Reuters.

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Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher Editing by Marguerita Choy

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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