PEMEX increased flaring at the Ixachi field, contradicting its previous commitments to reduce such practices. Scientific data indicates that PEMEX has ramped up flaring activities at the top field, as revealed through satellite imagery, according to Reuters.
The most substantial surge in flaring was observed at the Papan plant, according to satellite data. Findings showed a notable spike in flaring in January, with two of the largest flares recorded. Initial assessments of the latest satellite images indicate that these flares remained active as of February 2023.
This development follows a report from the same source in 2022, which revealed that PEMEX flared US$275 million worth of resources over three years at the Ixachi field. Additionally, another US$67 million was wasted at the Quesqui field over a two-year period.
In response to mounting criticism, PEMEX announced in December 2022 its intention to cease flaring at the Ixachi field by 2023. The company outlined plans for the Papan Measurement and Control Station (EMC) to process 150MMcf by December 15, 2022, with a subsequent capacity increase to 300MMcf by January 15, 2023, effectively eliminating flaring altogether. However, there is currently no available information on the progress made toward achieving this goal.
PEMEX has faced significant backlash for its excessive flaring practices and the resulting environmental damage. As the international community prepares for the upcoming COP27, the state oil company made a series of announcements in the latter part of 2022, pledging to enhance its environmental practices and adopt a more sustainable operational strategy.
Towards the end of 2022, PEMEX unveiled its 2023-2027 Business Plan, which includes the company's latest environmental commitments and strategies to optimize the utilization of oil and gas resources. Notably, PEMEX stated its intention to invest US$3.78 billion to increase gas capture to 98% by 2024.
Despite these announcements, PEMEX's recent increase in flaring and the lack of progress in curbing this practice have fueled ongoing concerns regarding the company's environmental impact. The implementation of more environmentally friendly measures remains a pressing priority for PEMEX as it navigates the challenges posed by the oil and gas industry.