This week, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) launched an interactive online map focused on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. NMED reports that nearly one-third of potent methane emissions come from oil production and the production, transmission, and distribution of natural gas.
“NMED is offering this innovative mapping tool for the public and stakeholders to better understand the impacts of oil and natural gas on New Mexico’s air quality,” said ECOS Shale Gas Caucus Co-Chair and NMED Secretary James Kenney. “As we add data to the map, it will also become apparent which oil and gas producers are going above and beyond to reduce methane emissions and which are falling behind.”
Over time, NMED inspection data and concluded enforcement actions will be added to the tool, as will other sources such as pipelines, compressor stations, and gas plants. Represented on the map are the 4,000 oil and gas facilities regulated by NMED’s Air Quality Bureau. Methane emission estimates were calculated using reported volatile organic compound (VOC) emission rates.
NMED’s methane map will assist in tracking progress toward meeting the objectives of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order on climate change and energy waste prevention. The order calls for the development of a statewide, enforceable regulatory framework to ensure methane reductions from the oil and natural gas industry.
Kenney will discuss the map and other methane issues at the April 8 Shale Gas Caucus session of the ECOS Spring Meeting.