Carpe Diem

New NASA satellite photos show America’s oil fields at night

NASA has released some new photos and animations of the Earth at Night constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite – the Suomi NPP.  At the “Now It’s All This” blog, the top photo above from NASA is featured in a post titled “Bright Lights, No City.”  Amazingly, you can see the bright lights at night spread out all over the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota, eastern Montana and southern Saskatchewan.

The second photo shows Texas at night, and I’ve highlighted the major cities, along with the bright night lights spread across the oil fields in the Eagle Ford Shale region of Texas (the area between the two red lines).

Bonus: The bottom photo was taken from the “Earth at Night” video on the NASA website, and shows the dramatic difference at night between North and South Korea.

HT: Richard

14 thoughts on “New NASA satellite photos show America’s oil fields at night

  1. Wow, that’s alot of methane flaring in the Bakken and Eagle Ford. The Bakken lights up the sky more than Minnie-St. Paul.

    Everyone should clap their hands for more GHG emissions.

    • A terrible waste of energy, but not catastrophic. it’s burnt methane, far less than methane GHG.
      Wasted due tomlackmof pipelines, a temporary issue. The methane should be burnt, and will, in plants replacing coal and 50% less CO2 and 100% less NoX and SoX, both in the US and exported. Also should be burnt replacing oil in trucks for 30% less GHG

      • Don’t confuse marmico, he’s got an axe to grind, and idiots get confused SOOOOooooo easily, y’know?

    • Every day, they burn off enough gas to heat half a million homes“…

      Well now there’s a situation that some clever person might be able to make use of and make money off of…

      • i understand there’s no pipelines through the bakken, but you would think texas would be laced with them…

        so what’s the reason for burning off the gas in the eagle ford?

        • Texas has all sorts of pipeline laid rjs

          so what’s the reason for burning off the gas in the eagle ford?“…

          What I was always told was that the amout of flare gas wasn’t enough to make it economically viable to capture, pump it and store it for either further processing or forwarding to customers…

          That always struck me as odd because sometimes the volume of gas being flared off is enough to make it sound like a jet engine…

          I think that’s were the, ‘clever‘ comes in, trying to figure out an economical way of using it…

  2. Bonus for the smear of lights offshore of South Korea…..

    Squid boats. That’s a lot of squid.

    And that’s not natural gas flares. That’s the lights on the rigs and other facilities.

    • You are correct in that there are rig lights and they are bright. The flares are also quite bright and likely contribute to the overall illumination. The oil industry should be capturing these flare offs. I belive they are only allow to flare off for one year in ND. Not sure.

  3. Virtually all of those lights in the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale are not due to flaring. Rather they are the lights associated with the drilling rigs, camps, offices and related facilities that operate 24/7 in order to allow the hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly involved in developing this resource to work and live. There’s a city that doesn’t sleep out there in the Bakken and that’s what you see on the satellite photographs.

  4. We need to cap off all those gas fields and find other means of transportation ….have we forgotten about bicycles, buses,carpooling and cabs…we are burning the atmosphere and all the hot days and recent hurricanes and tornados is due to global warming. We should also use the resources in our own backyard as a last case scenario …we have excellent relationship

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