BY MAIRE O’NELL
A draft technical report issued by the New Mexico Environment Department’s Methane Advisory Panel is open for review and comment through Feb. 20.
The 300-page report is analytical but does not make any recommendations. Although environmentalists are pushing for more regulation of the Permian Basin, which is now the fourth largest oil and gas producing area in the world, the analysis by the oil and gas business indicates that in the past seven years, methane emissons intensity has been reducted by nearly 64 percent while oil and gas production has increased by 211 percent.
The panel was established following a directive by Gov. Michelle Grisham to jointly develop a statewide, enforceable regulatory framework to secure reductions in oil and
gas sector methane emissions and to prevent waste from new and existing sources and enact rules as soon as practicable.
NMED and Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department sought nominations for the panel from environmental organizatons, tribes and pueblos, small and large independent operators, and the major oil and gas companies with interests in the San Juan and Permian Basins. Additional technical support was sought from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Colorado State University and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
The draft report provdes in information foundation on the technical side of how the oil and gas industry emits methane and what methods can curb methane emissions
and prevent waste of this resource. The report is expected to be used by state legislators as they attempt to move forward with an enforceable methane regulatory strategy.
Comments may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: 1190 St. Francis Dr., Santa Fe, NM 87505, Attn: Sandra Ely.