After more than a year of collaborative community and stakeholder meetings, the new rules for NM oil and gas producers are now in effect. To meet the Governor’s ambitious goal of 98% gas capture, representatives of the oil and gas industry worked together with the state Environment Department, the Methane Advisory Panel, and members of the public to find constructive ways to lower methane emissions without putting unfair burden on producers.
The new methane waste rules require 98% of the methane from oil and gas operations to be captured by 2026, although it leaves the companies with the flexibility to use a variety of technology to meet those goals. The methane waste rule applies to both upstream and midstream operations, meaning wells, pipelines and gathering stations are all included. This makes NM the only oil producing state in the nation to regulate emissions from from both up and midstream operations. The rules also prohibit the practice of flaring and venting but make exceptions for emergencies and equipment malfunctions to allow for flexibility in emissions reduction.
Clean air and water is a goal shared by all New Mexicans, but these new rules might be a death blow for the smaller oil and gas producers in the state. While large oil and gas companies have the financial heft to make these operational adjustments right away, many smaller producers do not. The profit margins are slim for smaller oil and gas operators and the result of these rules is yet to be seen for the “little guys” providing employment and opportunity in NM’s oil patch. Click HERE to read more.