Santa Fe – Today, the Methane Advisory Panel (MAP), convened by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), released for public review and input a draft technical report describing methane emitting equipment and processes in the oil and gas industry and potential mechanisms for reducing those sources.  

The MAP was convened by the agencies to develop the draft technical report and was comprised of 27 members with expertise in various parts of the oil and gas industry. Additional expertise was provided by individuals from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Colorado State University and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. 

The MAP met every other week over a four-month period and covered technical topics related to controlling methane emissions, including pneumatic controllers and pumps, compressors and engines, dehydration units, completions and stimulations, workovers and liquids unloading, venting and flaring, infrastructure planning and separators, heaters, and storage vessels. Draft topic reports and all meeting presentations were posted and are available online on the New Mexico Methane Strategy webpage.

The work of the MAP is complete and the draft technical report is now open for public comment through Feb. 20, 2020. EMNRD and NMED encourage New Mexicans who read the report and want to offer technical comments to do so. Following public comment, the agencies and MAP members will host public meetings to discuss options for reducing methane identified in the technical report.

“The effort put into this report by MAP members is unparalleled in its thoroughness,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “This is exactly the baseline information we need to effectively tackle methane emissions in our state.”  

“The technical report produced by MAP members is a thorough document that goes a long way in informing our options on reducing methane waste,” said EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst. “With the MAP meetings following our initial public engagement over the summer, EMNRD and NMED have a great technical foundation moving forward. We encourage the public’s input on this next step in our process.”

“Our experience shows that methane emissions can be mitigated in a cost-effective manner,” said Staale Gjervik, president, XTO Energy, which was represented on the MAP. “While voluntary efforts by individual companies are important, full industry participation with the collaboration of the environmental community and the state are required to maximize the benefits to society and assist the state in the development of regulatory requirements associated with methane management.”

“The state’s process in developing this analysis has been broad and inclusive, representing countless hours of research and input from a diverse cross-section of stakeholders including community groups, industry and environmental advocates,” said Hillary Hull, Senior Manager of Research and Analytics at the Environmental Defense Fund, which also participated in the MAP. “Next year will be the critical time for moving forward on enforceable, nationally-leading methane rules that protect our air, address the climate crisis and improve education funding for New Mexico families and future generations.”

EMNRD and NMED continue to strive for a transparent process and look forward to the public’s continued engagement on New Mexico’s developing methane strategy.

Comments may be submitted to nm.methanestrategy@state.nm.us or sent by mail to: 1190 St. Francis Dr., Santa Fe, NM 87505, Attention: Sandra Ely.