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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Introducing the Oil Climate Index: Applying NASA’s Satellite Data to Fill Gaps in Resource Decision-making

Thursday, Sept 6

Recording >>
Slides [PDF]

Deborah Gordon

About the Speaker

Deborah Gordon is the director of the Energy and Climate Program and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs at Brown University.  Gordon holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and an MPP in public policy.  Her research focuses on the oil and gas sector and its impact on climate change, both in North America and globally.  Gordon has worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors for Chevron, Union of Concerned Scientists, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She managed her own energy policy consulting practice for over a decade before joining the Carnegie Endowment in 2010.  Gordon has authored two books, Two Billion Cars (Oxford University Press, 2008, co-authored with Daniel Sperling) and Steering a New Course (Island Press, 1991).  She is currently working on a new book about the Oil-Climate Index, a first-of-its-kind tool that compares the lifecycle climate impacts of the global oil and gas supply chain.


About the Talk

The Oil Climate Index (OCI) is an open-source assessment tool that compares lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of global oil and gas resources, from production through consumption. The OCI was developed in collaboration with researchers from Stanford University and the University of Calgary. To date, 75 global oil resources are modeled (one-third of current production) and 35 global gases (one-half of current production) are being added to the OCI analysis. The OCI finds that emissions vary significantly depending on the type of resource extracted, processes used, and petroleum products delivered. The OCI also pinpoints where in the supply chain emissions occur and identifies innovative approaches to address emissions. The OCI currently utilizes VIIRS flaring data and there are opportunities to use other satellite data as well as CMS products in our analysis. We are currently examining the availability of methane satellite data to be used in a future update to the OCI. In the long run, we are planning to increase the use of real time operating and satellite data to better estimate and compare highly variable oil and gas GHG lifecycle emissions. During the talk we hope to discuss potential collaboration opportunities in which the NASA carbon science community could contribute data and support for future updates to the OCI. 


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