New Mexico Should Look to Natural Gas for State’s Energy Needs

May 7, 2019

In a Natural Gas Intelligence article last week, statistics were cited from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) touting a 57% decline of methane emissions in the Permian Basin, over the last six years.

Concurrently, oil and natural gas production in this same time frame increased by 125%. The statistics come from EPA’s national greenhouse gas reporting program, which drew data from 8,000 oil and gas facilities nationwide. Production data and ranking came from EIA.

NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn said the data shows Permian producers are “clearly making demonstrable progress” in managing methane emissions. “Advanced technology and new infrastructure have allowed the environmental footprint-per-unit of production to shrink even as production has dramatically expanded.”

Flynn said capturing methane from operations is a priority for New Mexico producers. ” Producers are proving that it is possible to increase production and reduce emissions at the same time,” he said.

New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has made it known that one of her goals in office is to reduce methane emissions and for the state to become a model for clean energy advancement. Lujan Grisham would like to have the state’s utilities switch to 100% carbon-free energy use in the coming decades.

The policy comes at a time when the Permian’s resurgence has pushed it ahead of California and Alaska as the leading oil producer.

While I certainly encourage a variety of methane reduction tactics, I would also reiterate the success that ONE Future member companies have had using their own capital where it will be maximally effective in reducing emissions. For one company that may be deploying an innovative technology, for another modifying a work practice, or another retiring an asset. ONE Future has already reported a methane intensity level of 0.552% – below its initial goal of a 1% reduction.

Natural gas is a viable, clean and abundant source of energy – and one that can well meet our citizen’s energy needs in an environmentally friendly manner in a low-carbon economy, just by following basic protocols.

If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to visit our website to learn how our members are reducing methane emissions.