EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Characterization of methane emissions from oil and gas production in Mexico: Linking measurements to mitigation

Daniel Zavala-Araiza1,2, Mark Omara1, Ritesh Gautam1, Mackenzie Smith3, Stephen Conley3, Sudhanshu Pandey4, Sander Houweling4,5, and Ilse Aben4
Daniel Zavala-Araiza et al.
  • 1Environmental Defense Fund, Office of the Chief Scientist, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 3Scientific Aviation, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 5Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A wide body of research has characterized methane emissions from the oil and gas supply chain in the US, with recent efforts gaining traction in Canada and Europe. In contrast, empirical data is limited for other significant oil and gas producing regions across the global south. Consequently, measuring and characterizing methane emissions across global oil and gas operations is crucial to the design of effective mitigation strategies.

Several countries have announced pledges to reduce methane emissions from this sector (e.g., North America, Climate and Clean Air Coalition [CCAC] ministers). In the case of Mexico, the federal government recently published regulations supporting a 40-45% reduction of methane emissions from oil and gas. For these regulations to be effective, it is critical to understand the current methane emission patterns.

We present results from multi-scale empirical estimates of methane emissions from Mexico’s major oil and gas production regions (both offshore and onshore), based on a set of airborne-based measurement campaigns, analysis of satellite data (TROPOMI), and development of spatially explicit inventories. Our results provide a revised estimate of total emissions in the sampled regions and highlight the importance of empirically based characterization as a basis for prioritization in terms of emission reduction opportunities.

Finally, we highlight how these measurements –as well as similar policy-relevant studies- connect into action, based on the current needs from relevant stakeholders (e.g., inventory builders, regulators and industry).

How to cite: Zavala-Araiza, D., Omara, M., Gautam, R., Smith, M., Conley, S., Pandey, S., Houweling, S., and Aben, I.: Characterization of methane emissions from oil and gas production in Mexico: Linking measurements to mitigation, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16633,, 2020.


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