A satellite-based analysis of the Val d'Agri Oil Center (southern Italy) gas flaring emissions
Abstract. In this paper, the robust satellite techniques (RST), a multi-temporal scheme of satellite data analysis, was implemented to analyze the flaring activity of the Val d'Agri Oil Center (COVA), the largest Italian gas and oil pre-treatment plant, owned by Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI). For this site, located in an anthropized area characterized by a large environmental complexity, flaring emissions are mainly related to emergency conditions (i.e., waste flaring), as industrial processes are regulated by strict regional laws. While regarding the peculiar characteristics of COVA flaring, the main aim of this work was to assess the performances of RST in terms of sensitivity and reliability in providing independent estimations of gas flaring volumes in such conditions. In detail, RST was implemented for 13 years of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) medium and thermal infrared data in order to identify the highly radiant records associated with the COVA flare emergency discharges. Then, using data provided by ENI about gas flaring volumes in the period 2003–2009, a MODIS-based regression model was developed and tested. The results achieved indicate that the such a model is able to estimate, with a good level of accuracy (R2 of 0.83), emitted gas flaring volumes at COVA.