By KELIN DILLON
According to new estimates from the the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Tracker 2022 Monitoring Report, Mexico has burned and effectively wasted approximately $2 billion worth of natural gas over the past three years, as state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos’ (Pemex) lack of functional storage infrastructure has made it impossible to save and store the natural gas in question into the country’s reserves.
Between 2019 and 2021, Mexico burned 16.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas during the oil-production process, details the World Bank report – more than eight times the value of the recent budget slashes proposed by the Mexican government toward its autonomous electoral organization, the National Electoral Institute (INE).
While Mexico was unable to profit off these billions of dollars worth of wasted natural gas, the product’s burning has more than just fiscal ramifications; burning natural gas is known for releasing high levels of pollutants into the atmosphere, adding to Mexico’s continued pollution problem without any positive financial trade-off for the country.
The World Bank data went on to reveal that the quantitative consequences of this natural gas burning has been the release of 44.7 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, with 2021 being the highest year on record in nine years in quantity of pollutants emitted and the respective financial value of said gas – 17.36 million tons of CO2 and 747 million dollars worth of natural gas, respectively.
Though most of the natural gas emissions in the World Bank’s data set come from Pemex fields, it was supplemented by natural gas operations from private providers like Lifting de México, Wintershall Dea, Cheiron and Diavaz, which purportedly accounted for 1.6 percent of the total natural gas burned in Mexico between 2019 and 2021.
Based on these figures, Mexico was the country with the eighth highest rate of natural gas burning during the oil-production process in the world, concluded the World Bank’s Gas Flaring Tracker 2022 Monitoring Report.