Friday, January 3, 2014

Fire (?) in Campos Basin Off Coast of Brazil

MODIS/Aqua satellite imagery of the coast of Brazil taken on December 31 shows what appears to be a long plume of smoke in the Atlantic Ocean about 70 miles from shore in the Campos Basin. The plume appears to emanate from a point about 2.7 miles north-northeast of Petrobras Platform 51, a big semisubmersible rig in the Marlim Sul field. VIIRS data indicate the presence of a combustion source at the north end of the smoke plume, and estimate it's temperature is 1800 degrees Kelvin -- hot enough to soften steel. The plume visibly extends to the south for at least 146 miles.

MODIS/Aqua satellite image taken December 31, 2013, showing apparent smoke plume emanating from Campos Basin off Brazil. Red markers indicate sources of combustion detected by nighttime satellite imagery; orange dots are locations of oil platforms (2011 data).

It's possible this is just an unusually vigorous gas-flaring event, but we don't see comparable plumes of smoke from the many other flares detected in the area.  We haven't heard anything but are concerned there may be a fire at a platform or drill rig working at this location.  Please let us know if you have any information!


[[Location:-22.600214, -40.068569]]

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