Top New Mexico Oil and Natural Gas Producers Partner to Slash Methane Emissions

Dec 05, 2017 2:04 PM

SANTA FE, NM – Today, 26 of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers launched The Environmental Partnership, an industry-based coalition collaborating to reduce methane emissions and to improve environmental impacts resulting from the production of oil and natural gas. Top New Mexico producers: Anadarko Petroleum, Apache Corporation, BP America, Chevron, Cimarex Energy, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Encana, EOG Resources, XTO Energy, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, and Occidental Petroleum, are among the 26 producers initially joining the partnership.

“Responsibly producing oil and natural gas is a top priority for all operators in New Mexico, and this partnership underscores our commitment to protecting the environment,” said NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn. “Oil and natural gas producers are leading the way in developing and implementing innovative technologies to reduce the footprint of operations and increase gas capture. Market-based solutions like these are key to helping producers continue emission reductions.”

The program launches as national and state methane emissions from oil and natural gas production are plummeting. According to EPA data, oil and natural gas methane emissions nationally have fallen 16.3% from 1990-2015, while oil production is up 28% and natural gas production has increased by 52%. In New Mexico, methane emissions in the San Juan Basin have dropped an astonishing 47% and fallen 6% in the Permian Basin, as state oil production in has climbed 104% and natural gas production has increased by 1%.

“The Environmental Partnership will target the greatest sources of emissions, as identified by research and collected data from the EPA and industry sources,” said Erik Milito, director of Upstream and Industry Operations for the American Petroleum Institute. “To that end, the Partnership’s first initiative is focused on further reducing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds associated with natural gas and oil production.”

The methane reduction initiative will be comprised of environmental performance programs: Leak Program for Natural Gas and Oil Production Sources; Program to Replace, Remove or Retrofit High-Bleed Pneumatic Controllers; and Program for Manual Liquids Unloading for Natural Gas Production Sources. The program will be implemented beginning January 1, 2018. 

Last month, the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department reported to legislative committees that venting and flaring of methane has dropped by 52%, from June 2016 to July 2017, even as the number of drilling rigs operating in New Mexico has more than quadrupled. EMNRD also reported that vented or flared gas only represents 1% of all natural gas produced in New Mexico. 

To learn more about the environmental partnership or today’s announcement, please visit API.org and www.TheEnvironmentalPartnership.org.

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 $1.6 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) 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.