NM releases draft methane reduction rules - Albuquerque Journal

NM releases draft methane reduction rules

Natural gas, which contains methane, is burned off at a site south of Carlsbad in September. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Environment Department and the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department have released draft rules aimed at reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.

Methane is a greenhouse gas and the main ingredient in natural gas.

The draft rule proposed by EMNRD sets a goal of a 98% gas capture rate in the industry by the end of 2026.

Adrienne Sandoval, director of the agency’s Oil Conservation Division, said current reporting doesn’t give a “holistic look” at how much natural gas is lost to flaring and venting.

“That’s why we designed a really robust, upfront reporting structure, so we can understand where gas is being lost throughout the value chain,” Sandoval said.

Under the proposed rule, monthly emissions data reported by companies beginning in 2021 would inform how much each company must increase their gas capture to meet the 98% requirement.

The rule would also set design standards for pipelines and monitoring equipment.

If companies don’t meet yearly gas capture requirements, the state could limit production, withhold drilling permits or assess fines.

Companies could have some leeway on those requirements if they find and fix leaks before state regulators step in.

The draft rule aims to reduce emissions but is “less prescriptive about how you get there,” Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said.

“That’s important for industry,” she said. “They made the point to us over and over again that technologies change, and they want to be able to incorporate the latest and greatest, most efficient, cost-effective technologies.”

The draft rules were guided by technical reports from the state’s Methane Advisory Panel.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association Executive Director Ryan Flynn said new rules should build on industry solutions.

“New Mexico relies heavily upon the oil and gas industry for our state budget and funding for public schools, and it is critical that these rules allow our industry to continue to create jobs and revenue amid unprecedented economic challenges,” Flynn said.

The Environment Department’s draft rule focuses on improving equipment to reduce air pollutants, including methane.

Environment Secretary James Kenney said the rules consider that San Juan Basin sites may merit different requirements from Permian Basin sites.

Environmental groups said the draft rules put New Mexico on the right track to reducing harmful emissions.

“We appreciate the leadership in our (state) government for doing the right thing in mitigating waste and pollution in regards to methane emissions, and for including all parties in coming up with good and reasonable goals that could and should become worldwide standards,” said the Rev. Nick King, a Carlsbad pastor and member of Citizens Caring for Our Future.

Home » News » New Mexico News » NM releases draft methane reduction rules

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Alec Baldwin and armorer charged with involuntary manslaughter in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Movie star Alec Baldwin and armorer ... Movie star Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were each charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 shooting on the  set of the film ...
2
14-year-old dies days after double shooting on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
A 14-year-old was taken off life ... A 14-year-old was taken off life support after being shot and critically injured Friday night in Southwest Albuquerque. The shooting also claimed the life ...
3
Rebel rebound: Albuquerque donut shop adapts after fire
ABQnews Seeker
Rebel Donuts switches to selling sweets ... Rebel Donuts switches to selling sweets from their van
4
Yep. The Intel crane in Rio Rancho has an ...
ABQnews Seeker
Celebrity spotting! The largest crane at ... Celebrity spotting! The largest crane at Rio Rancho’s Intel plant, a 450-foot giant with a load capacity of 800 tons, has its own Instagram ...
5
Rio Rancho police shoot, kill person after confrontation at ...
ABQnews Seeker
Rio Rancho Police officers shot and ... Rio Rancho Police officers shot and killed somebody during a confrontation at an apartment complex shortly after midnight Tuesday.
6
Medicaid provider procurement process canceled
ABQnews Seeker
HSD says decision made after departures ... HSD says decision made after departures of Secretary Scrase and Medicaid Director Nicole Comeaux
7
'It's been a great ride': Longtime Balloon Fiesta executive ...
ABQnews Seeker
Longtime Balloon Fiesta executive director is ... Longtime Balloon Fiesta executive director is retiring
8
California is lone holdout in Colorado River cuts proposal
ABQnews Seeker
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Six Western ... FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Six Western states that rely on water from the Colorado River have agreed on a model to dramatically cut water ...
9
New Mexico faces a budget abyss if oil and ...
ABQnews Seeker
Report predicts $36 billion revenue deficit ... Report predicts $36 billion revenue deficit in 15 years possible