Following energy reform in 2013, oil and gas industry expansion in Mexico is moving full steam ahead. The first round of bidding for Mexico-owned deep-water oil leases wrapped last December, ushering in a slew of private companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron for the first time since the 1930s. Additional leases for land that will become hotbeds for oil and gas activity on and offshore are planned later this year.
All of this is happening while Mexico is demonstrating remarkable climate leadership, and while countries and energy companies around the world are beginning to act on controlling methane, a harmful pollutant that routinely escapes from the global oil and gas industry. In other words, the Mexico energy boom couldn’t come at more critical time. Mexico ranks as the world’s fifth largest oil and gas methane emitter. Absent strong rules for future development, these emissions could steadily rise as more oil and gas production comes on line as a result of the energy reform.
A raíz de la reforma energética en 2013, la expansión de la industria del gas y del petróleo ha crecido rápidamente. La primera ronda de licitaciones para el arrendamiento de petróleo en aguas profundas mexicanas terminó en diciembre, marcando el inicio para una serie de compañías privadas como: ExxonMobil y Chevron, por primera vez desde los años treinta. Durante este año se planean arrendamientos adicionales de lugares que se convertirán en nichos para actividades petroleras y de gas, tanto en tierra como mar adentro.
Todo esto sucede mientras México demuestra un notable clima de liderazgo, y mientras los países y las compañías del sector energético alrededor del mundo empiezan a actuar para controlar las emisiones de metano, un contaminante sumamente dañino que en forma rutinaria escapa de la industria mundial del petróleo y el gas. En otras palabras, el auge energético no pudo suceder en un momento más crítico. México está clasificado como el quinto emisor de metano más grande del mundo. Con la ausencia de reglas sólidas para el desarrollo futuro, estas emisiones pueden aumentar a un ritmo constante conforme más producción de petróleo y gas entre en operación como resultado de la reforma energética. Read More
Last week the California Air Resources Board unanimously voted to finalize new regulations to reduce oil and gas methane emissions. This is the first major environmental regulation that has been issued since the new Administration took office, and sends a clear message that states aren’t going to take the new administrations attacks on the environment lying down.
Every signal from the Trump Administration – from pledging to kill the Clean Power Plan, to the recent executive orders that order EPA to begin reversing important climate protections, to the massive proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency– indicate that the United States government is keen to undo some of the fundamental environmental protections that are critical to our health and prosperity. And yet, through these signals, California is moving forward with sensible policies that will hold oil and gas companies accountable for their operations, and their pollution. Read More
Last November, on the same day the Paris climate agreement took effect, 10 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total, announced a billion-dollar investment in climate solutions. Together, the member-companies of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) produce 20 percent of the world’s oil and gas and operate in 55 countries.
Their commitment was the beginning sign of a growing and public recognition by the oil and gas industry that tomorrow’s low carbon energy transformation has become today’s new energy imperative.
Right now, the biggest, most pressing climate item for the oil and gas industry is methane. Importantly, OGCI’s announcement included a global focus on reducing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Far more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timespan, methane is responsible for about a quarter of the warming we feel today. Read More
The engineers and scientists who study the oil and gas industry’s wastewater know the term “beneficial reuse” well. It’s the seldom-used technique of taking wastewater produced from an oil or gas well, treating it, and then using it for other purposes — like watering crops (including organic crops) or feeding livestock. It’s a rare practice that drought-stricken areas like California have used for a number of years, although little is known about associated health or safety risks since, usually, about 98% of wastewater is injected into disposal wells deep underground. However, as demands for water increase, and concerns about disposal wells (which have been linked to earthquakes) rise, beneficial reuse is being considered as a viable option.
But just because we can use wastewater for other purposes – does that mean we should? Read More