In November 2018, ASEA (Agencia de Seguridad, Energía y Ambiente) of Mexico published the "Guidelines for the Prevention and Comprehensive Control of Methane Emissions from the Hydrocarbons Sector” (Methane Guidelines). After 2 years of study and development, the Agency published these regulations that will help curb methane emissions in the country’s oil and gas sector. ASEA received inputs from several environmental organizations as well as industry groups and the final result is a regulatory framework that will contribute to accomplishing the North American goal of reducing 40-45% of methane emissions by 2030.
This regulation applies to regulated entities that have projects in:
- Exploration and Extraction
- Oil treatment, refining and storage
- Processing, compression, liquefaction, decompression and regasification, transport by pipeline, storage and natural gas distribution.
To comply with these provisions, ASEA´s regulated entities will have to:
- Develop an emission assessment of their facilities, including the quantification and classification of emissions per equipment and components.
- Establish a program to prevent and control methane emissions, including leak detection and repair, the installation of vapor recovery systems, among other identified best practices.
- Submit an annual compliance report.
On March 7th 2019, ASEA held the first industry workshop, to clarify questions regarding the implementation of these Methane Guidelines. Experts and non-governmental organizations that advised the Agency in the development of this regulation were also present and the following implementation needs were jointly identified:
- Formalization of an implementation task force within ASEA
- Capacity Building Program for the implementation of the task force
- Industry survey to address particular questions on guidelines implementation and the organization of more industry oriented workshops.
- Third Party Call dissemination
Given the timeframe provided by the published Methane Guidelines, in which regulated entities will have to submit their information by February 2020, it is of utmost importance to start with a Capacity Building Program for ASEA´s implementation task force.
In May 2019, ASEA formalized the aforementioned implementation task force and identified the following specific training topics:
- Best practices for Third Party Verification
- Best available practices, programs and/or software for Data Management
- Quantification methods and reduction best practices used by industry across the value chain (Upstream – Midstream - Downstream)
- Inspection: Leak detection and repair - available technology for the industry across the value chain, as well as equipment operation and calibration.