Oil & Natural Gas Methane Emissions Continue To Fall In Permian and San Juan Basins

Oct 18, 2018

October 18, 2018 

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – Today, newly-released data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency show methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in New Mexico’s two major basins declined from 2016 to 2017.

Industry reduced its emissions by almost 728,000 metric tons CO2e in the San Juan Basin and by 100,000 metric tons CO2e in the Permian Basin. Over the same period, New Mexico oil production climbed 25 million barrels from 2016 to 2017, while natural gas production increased by 42,000 mmcf.

“Absent any new regulation, oil and natural gas producers are leading the way in decreasing methane emissions,” said Ryan Flynn, Executive Director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. “Falling methane emissions prove that we can increase production and protect the environment at the same time – it doesn’t have to be a choice."

The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program provides the public and policymakers with the best available facility level data from large emitters. Across the United States, more than 8,000 facilities report annual emissions to the program. In 2016, the EPA began including facility level data from oil and natural gas gathering and boosting, in addition to production data. 2017 marks the first year the agency released a comparable data set covering emissions from both sources over two consecutive years.

“We want to capture as much methane as possible, and it’s a priority for the oil and gas industry in New Mexico to continue to take the lead in reducing emissions through responsible operations and innovation,” added Flynn. “New and creative technologies developed by oil and natural gas producers are driving these reductions, and helping to reduce the footprint of required for production and operations. This market-driven approach makes New Mexico good for business, and good for our environment.”

New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry is currently in the midst of unprecedented growth, with the state having set annual records in oil production and number of active rigs. At the beginning of 2018, figures from the United States Energy Information Administration showed New Mexico is now the country’s third-largest producer of oil. This growth led to a recovery of New Mexico’s economy and finances, with the state now reporting a whopping $1.4 billion budget surplus largely driven by the oil and gas industry. Most of the state’s revenue goes to funding for public education.

Environmental Protection Agency Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program:


Energy Information Administration Production Data:




The oil and natural gas industry is New Mexico’s top economic driver, responsible for more than 100,000 New Mexico jobs and accounting for $1.742 Billion in tax revenue for schools, health care, and public safety. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) has more than 1,000 members and represents the hard-working men, women, and families of the oil and natural gas industry in New Mexico. NMOGA is dedicated to promoting safe and responsible energy policies, while strengthening New Mexico’s economy and ensuring a bright future for our state’s children.