"I use gas", announces a minibus driving along a street in Mexico City. Natural gas is becoming increasingly widely used as fuel for public transportation in Mexico, coming mainly from the United States where it is extracted through hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a technique that requires high volumes of water and toxic chemicals. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS
“i take advantage of gas”, pronounces a minibus using alongside a street in Mexico city. herbal fuel is becoming more and more commonplace as fuel for public transportation in Mexico, coming exceptionally from the united states the place it is extracted via hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a strategy that requires high volumes of water and toxic chemical compounds. credit score: Emilio Godoy/IPS
  • by way of Emilio Godoy (mexico metropolis)
  • Inter Press service

“They leave us nothing,” the farmer told IPS over the telephone. “They tell us it be for growth, but it’s their progress. We always lose out. once they drilled fuel wells, they did not fence within the areas, they did not give preservation, the wells are not smartly cared for. there’s loads of underground water here that can also be contaminated.”

Benavides lives 500 metres from the Los Ramones II Norte fuel pipeline, which runs through 5 states and was offered in 2017 through the state oil business Pemex to 2 inner most entities: Infraestructura Energética Nova, a subsidiary of the U.S.-primarily based Sempra energy, and BlackRock, a U.S. funding fund.

The community of Benavides Grande and Benavides Olivares, with a local of sixty five,000 hectares and some 6,000 inhabitants, covers 5 municipalities in the state of Nuevo León, about 750 km northeast of Mexico metropolis.

The individuals of the group, whose spokesman is Benavides, had been fighting for years in opposition t what they trust harassment and invasion of their jointly owned land by using the oil and fuel trade, and have executed some victories in the courts.

in the vicinity of their land, Pemex drilled two fuel wells in 2013 using hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a drilling approach that requires giant volumes of chemical compounds and water to extract herbal fuel embedded in deep shale.

academics and environmental companies adverse to fracking argue that it pollutes water tables, induces earthquakes and emits greenhouse gases liable for world warming.

In 2019, both wells experienced gasoline leaks, and the community demanded that Pemex seal them. “We talked to them several times, it took them per week to fix the leaks. and that they haven’t come back to determine them. anyway, americans steal gasoline from the pipeline, and a tragic accident may take place,” Benavides said.

despite the social conflicts and environmental consequences, Mexico has stepped up the tempo of the gasification of the nation, laying pipelines and building vigor flora, supported with the aid of low-priced imports from the U.S. and encouraged with the aid of the power reform of 2013 that opened the trade to private countrywide and international capital.

in the northern state of Sonora, the Yaqui people, probably the most sixty seven indigenous companies dwelling in Mexico, managed to dam the development of the inner most El Oro-Guaymas fuel pipeline since 2017, in a campaign that generated friction among native communities and left americans wounded and dead, in addition to causing cloth hurt.

The building assignment “became analyzed, a consultation for public enter was held, the harm became assessed and work turned into accomplished to fix and mitigate the consequences,” Tomás Rojo, a Yaqui spokesman, told IPS with the aid of cellphone from the group of Vícam. “Seven cities gave their approval, however one didn’t. They felt it was a chance, and that i don’t consider the company wants to commit violence towards the people.”

In 2017, residents of the village of Loma de Bácum dug up pipes and averted the completion of the 330-km-lengthy mega-mission, 18 of which run via that community.

In August, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed an contract with the Yaquis to divert the route of the pipeline to skirt that area, making it possible to conclude laying the pipeline.

nonetheless an oil-producing country, but on the decline

Mexico is the realm’s 12th biggest oil producer and 17th largest herbal fuel producer. It ranks 20th in terms of proven oil reserves and thirty seventh in proven herbal gasoline deposits. but its position in the oil business is declining because of the scarcity of comfortably extractable hydrocarbons.

due to the fact that he took office in December 2018, left-leaning President López Obrador has been merchandising fossil fuels. however home gas creation is on the decline, from 6,401 million cubic feet per day (mpcd) in 2015 to 4,853 in September, because the emphasis has been on crude oil.

Exports fell from 2,seven-hundred mpcd in 2015 to 1,000 in September, and imports from 1,415 mpcd in 2015 to 843 in September, because the state-owned Federal electrical energy fee (CFE) is burning gasoline oil once again.

A network of gas pipelines, with 27 state-owned and private strains covering 18,889 km, has been deployed for distribution all through the big territory of this country of a hundred thirty million individuals.

in addition, the CFE is constructing a piece within the southeastern state of Yucatan, and three others are planned to raise the gasoline to the south and southeast, while an extra three had been blocked with the aid of opposition from native communities.

The fuel is received by means of 48 thermoelectric, combined-cycle vegetation – which burn gas to generate steam for electricity – and turbogas devices, both state-owned and personal. And another 10 mixed-cycle flowers are beneath development.

an additional indication of the emphasis on natural gasoline is the variety of enables for transporting gasoline granted via the executive’s power Regulatory commission. There are 276 gasoline transport allows for, of which 230 are already operational, 263 for transfer by pipeline (218 energetic) and 13 for semi-trailers (12 in operation).

All here’s mirrored in the public funds for the sphere. In 2020, the CFE allocated greater than 2.0 billion bucks to transport gas, and for 2021 it initiatives a total of 2.65 billion.

herbal fuel consists primarily of methane, which is 86 times extra potent as an agent of world warming over a 20-year length than carbon dioxide (CO2). The countrywide Institute of Ecology and local weather alternate calculated a natural fuel emission aspect for six areas of Mexico of two.27 kg of CO2/m3, even though it is lower than the emission elements for coal and gasoline oil.

Atmospheric issue

With greater gas being sourced and flared, the nation faces a starting to be problem with methane. In 2019, the nation vented four.forty eight billion m3, the ninth greatest quantity on this planet.

in terms of depth, the proportion reached 7.21 m3 per barrel of oil produced, larger than the outdated list of 5.39 set in 2014, according to figures from the international fuel Flaring discount Partnership, promoted by means of the realm financial institution with the goal of eradicating activities flaring with the aid of 2030 and made up of 17 countries, 12 oil agencies, the ecu Union and two fiscal institutions.

Fossil fuels are in the back of methane emissions. The overseas power company, an intergovernmental business enterprise of the area’s largest consumers, estimated a complete of 724,000 a whole lot methane from hydrocarbons – including 155,000 tons from gasoline – in 2019.

additionally, the López Obrador administration has kept fracking on its agenda, despite steady claims that it isn’t using the approach.

Sergio Sañudo, a professor in the biological and earth sciences departments at the inner most school of Southern California, instructed IPS that “there was a setback below this government. Mexico continues to do the identical historic issue. It generates finished dependence on the united states, and when the U.S. closes the valve, what’s going to Mexico do? Mexico ties itself to hydrocarbons and that serves as an outlet for the gas.”

The answer, he persevered, lies within the u.s. forsaking fracking in order that Mexico would now not import more fuel and would promote renewable energy sources.

Benavides says his community is very aware about the climate crisis, since it has seen the changes. “There had been hailstorms, temperature alterations, there is little rain,” he said. “These are things we haven’t considered earlier than. For everything that happens, the earth will get again at us. for how many months did that gasoline go into the ambiance, on account of the leaks?”

Sañudo advised Mexico to distance itself from natural gas. “It isn’t a gas for the power transition to cleaner sources. It isn’t the panacea it become thought to be. it could possibly not compete with renewables,” he argued.

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