Best Wishes to J. Bocanegra, O&G Subcommittee Co-Chair

javier-photoWith both sadness and pride, GMI’s Administrative Support Group announces that Javier Bocanegra Reyes, GMI’s long-standing Oil & Gas Subcommittee Co-Chair, has retired from Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) as of 15 July 2016, after nearly 33 years of service. Mr. Bocanegra has also stepped down from his role as Co-Chair of the Oil & Gas Subcommittee, a position he had held since the chartering of the Global Methane Initiative as well as since the inception of the program as the Methane to Markets Partnership in 2004.

Alongside Elias Freig of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) and GMI’s Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee, Mr. Bocanegra spearheaded Mexico’s active participation in GMI. A stalwart fixture of the Initiative for more than a dozen years, Mr. Bocanegra attended and facilitated countless informal meetings, formal subcommittee meetings, and both the 2013 Global Methane Expo and 2015 Global Methane Forum. He was often quick to volunteer as a speaker or panel member, and presented on Mexico’s active engagement in methane management and GMI at numerous meetings. Mr. Bocanegra also participated in other international organizations and associations such as the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) and the Regional Association of Oil, Gas, and Biofuels Sector Companies in Latin American and the Caribbean (ARPEL).pemex logo

Over his many years of service, Mr. Bocanegra represented and promoted both PEMEX and the GMI across Mexico, Latin America and the world. In a message to the ASG, Mr. Bocanegra expressed his gratitude to GMI for the “great support provided to PEMEX to help to understand the importance of reducing methane emissions in its operations” and his pleasure at our collaborations over the years. GMI thanks and congratulates Mr. Bocanegra on the outstanding contributions he has made to the Oil & Gas Subcommittee and to GMI overall.

GMI Calendar – Exciting Upcoming Events

August is a slow month here in hot, sticky Washington, D.C., where your GMI Administrative Support Group (ASG) is based, but more exciting months are ahead. Here’s what’s coming up in September/October:

16th International Symposium and Exhibition on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China
12-14 September 2016: Jincheng, China
nios-logoHeld by the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOS) and the China Coal Information Institute (CCII), the International Symposium on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China is an international communication platform which brings together stakeholders to share experiences and project-oriented solutions to the problem of CBM/CMM development. The Symposium will also consider shale gas policies and development and commercialization strategies.

International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) World Congress
19-21 September 2016Novi Sad, Serbia
How will Southeast Europe reach the standards and goals of waste management set out in the EU directive? We know that countries such as Austria, Sweden, Netherlands and Japan took more than 30 years to reach their current high levels of effective waste management. Can Southeast Europe meets its deadline in a decade? How and at what cost? How will this be financed? Which technologies will be used? What types of laws and regulations are needed to achieve this? How will authorities communicate to citizens the choices before them? What kind of lessons can be learned from the successful or failed attempts of other countries? Which sciences and studies can be applied in the region? These are the topics, challenges and debates expected at ISWA World Congress in Novi Sad in 2016.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition Working Group Meeting
20-21 September 2016: Paris, France
CCAC_logoThe Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) will hold its biannual Working Group Meeting in Paris, following the last Working Group Meeting at the Global Methane Forum. The focus of this Working Group Meeting will be learning more about the progress and impact of CCAC initiatives through interactive sessions. It will also involve discussion and agreement on changes to the CCAC partnership and governance following the work of the Task Team, including changes to streamline the funding process, and preparations for the High Level Assembly (HLA) in Marrakesh on the margins of COP22. A member of the GMI ASG will attend to represent GMI in its new role as non-state Partner. As this meeting is not open to the public, stay tuned for our report on the meeting.

24th World Mining Congress: Mining in a World of Innovation
18-21 October 2016: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
world-mining-congress-logoThe World Mining Congress is a world mining event that takes place every 3 years. The event aims to promote and support, both technically and scientifically, the cooperation for the national and international development of mineral areas and resources, and implement a global information network concerning mineral science, technology, economy, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

11th Session Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane / GMI Coal Subcommittee Meeting
24-25 October 2016: Geneva, Switzerland
The UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane (CMM) undertakes and promotes activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. Apart from its focus on reduction of the carbon footprint of the mining industry, the Group of Experts also works toward the improvement of underground mine safety conditions. Through its activities in the field of methane recovery and use, the Group of Experts helps to reduce the risk of coal mine explosions, and thus helps to save lives and avoid large-scale economic losses.

 

 

GMI Steering Committee Announces Canada as New Co-Chair

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Mike Beale, speaking at the Global Methane Forum in March 2016.

As part of GMI’s charter extension announced at the Global Methane Forum, the Steering Committee will transition to a Co-Chair model. The Steering Committee governs the overall framework, policies and procedures of GMI and provides guidance to the Administrative Support Group (ASG) and subcommittees. We are pleased to officially announce Canada as the newest Co-Chair for the next two years. The ASG wishes to thank Canada for stepping forward and welcomes its willingness to take on this new leadership role.

Mike Beale, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Stewardship Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada, will take the reins on Canada’s behalf. Mr. Beale is excited to take on the Co-Chair role at this important juncture as we all work to implement the Paris Agreement. He believes methane mitigation is critical in support of this effort, and as a short-lived climate pollutant, in support of our goal of limiting global warming to less than 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. You may remember Mr. Beale’s presentation during the Policy Roundtable of the Global Methane Forum. His bio:

Mike Beale is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Stewardship Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada. His responsibilities include greenhouse gas and air pollution regulations, management of chemicals, implementation of the Species at Risk Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, and the Pollution Prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, as well as providing advice on environmental assessment.

Mr. Beale is an economist by training. Prior to joining Environment Canada in 1989, he spent 8 years working in energy policy at what was then Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.

The United States will continue to serve as Co-Chair until another volunteer is confirmed. We are looking forward to Canada’s leadership over the next two years!

GAIL (India) Limited Co-Hosts GMI Oil & Gas Sector Workshop

The GMI Oil & Gas technical team visited GAIL (India) Limited’s (GAIL’s) headquarters in Noida, India, just outside of New Delhi for the 3rd All-India GMI Oil & Gas Sector Workshop, held on 11 March 2016. The event was well-attended, with representatives from two GMI Project Network members: GAIL and the Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC). Additional attendees represented oil and gas production, processing, and distribution companies, as well as the public sector, including Cairn India Limited, and Petronet LNG, the Directorate General – Hydrocarbons, FLIR Systems, United Nations Environmental Programme, and the US Embassy in Delhi.

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Participants in the 3rd Annual All-India GMI Oil & Gas Sector Workshop, held 11 March 2016 in Noida, India.

The meeting convened all the major players dedicated to methane mitigation in the oil & gas sector through policy development and technology demonstration and deployment. GAIL generously shared preliminary results from its testing of an innovative retrofit technology designed to cost-effectively capture methane emissions from wet seal centrifugal compressors. Additionally, some of the participating oil and gas production companies expressed interest in joining CCAC’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.

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Mr. Scott Bartos, U.S. EPA, (left) and Mr. S.P. Garg, GAIL (right).

All in all, GMI’s Oil & Gas technical team remains impressed by India’s sustained commitment to methane reductions in the oil & gas sector, and looks forward to future collaborations with GMI stakeholders. Special thanks goes to Mr. S.P. Garg, GAIL’s General Manager, and Mr. Arvind Namdeo, GAIL’s Deputy General Manager for Health Safety, and Environment, for their leadership in organizing and convening the very successful event!

 

#GMF2016 Day 2: Methane Policies and Re-charter Ceremony

Hello again from the Global Methane Forum conference site at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.! We had an incredibly successful concluding day of the Global Methane Initiative portion of this week’s proceedings.

The morning session on country-level methane policies featured the approach of five countries toward methane policy, with representatives:

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Breakout of SCLP policy measures and best practices.
  • Canada: Mike Beale, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Stewardship Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada;
  • Colombia: Eduardo Sanchez, Climate Change Advisor, Ministry of Mines and Energy;
  • Mexico: Maria Amparo Martínez, Institute of Ecology and Climate Change;
  • Philippines: Emmanuel de Guzman, Secretary of Climate Change, Climate Change Commission; and
  • United States: Rick Duke, Deputy Director for Climate Policy, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.

The key take-away from the policy session was that policies to mitigate methane are not one-size-fits-all, and depend upon the key methane sources in each country and the various levels of government’s willingness and capacity to address these sources.

Following the policy roundtable, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched its latest methane-focused voluntary effort in the oil & gas sector, the Methane Challenge. The Methane Challenge will provide partner companies with a platform to make company-wide commitments to cut emissions from sources within their operations by implementing a suite of best management practices within 5 years. Representatives from 41 companies from across the value chain participated in the ceremony with EPA Acting Assistant Administrator in the Office of Air, Janet McCabe.

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U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy delivering a keynote presentation at the Global Methane Forum. 

After the Methane Challenge launch, participants were treated to a keynote by the passionate, feisty EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. Administrator McCarthy spoke about the value of methane mitigation in terms of environmental, health, and economic benefits, and how voluntary partnerships like GMI play an integral role.

 

“So much of our success to date has been possible because of the leadership and cooperation of the international community. When it comes to global challenges like climate change, partnerships and collaborations that can bridge national interests and bring us together are really the core, essential, ingredient for success,” she said.

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Finally – the event we here at GMI had been awaiting – GMI’s Re-charter ceremony that officially extends GMI’s charter by a further 5 years, and formalizes new alliances with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The ceremony featured speeches from GMI, CCAC, and UNECE by Joe Goffman, Associate Administrator and Senior Counsel, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA; Rita Cerutti, Director, Multilateral Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Co-chair, CCAC Working Group; and Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE, respectively.

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Following another afternoon of intense sector-focused technical and policy sessions in the biogas, coal mines, and oil & gas sectors, participants finally got to indulge in some socializing and networking at the official reception hosted by the U.S. State Department. We would like to thank supporters FLSmidth and GHGSat for their assistance in providing libations to all Forum participants at this reception.

Thank you to our 500+ participants of the Global Methane Forum! Presentations from the sessions will be available in a few weeks on our website. Stay posted to our Twitter account for the latest happenings during the rest of the week. Moving on to the CCAC Science & Policy Dialogue today…

GMI Outreach in China

In October 2015, MSW Subcommittee Co-Chair, Tom Frankiewicz, traveled to China to participate in an international waste conference and conduct a training workshop.

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Tom presented GMI’s new Urban Municipal Waste and Wastewater Program at the International Solid Waste Management Conference, held in Suzhou by the China Association of Urban Environmental Sanitation (CAUES) and International Solid Waste Association.

Heinz-Peter Mang, University of Science and Technology - Beijing, (left) and Mark Hudgins, GeoCost (right)

Heinz-Peter Mang, University of Science and Technology – Beijing, (left) and Mark Hudgins, GeoCost (right) presenting at GMI’s training seminar in Ningbo, China.

GMI conducted a 2-day training seminar for municipal officials and other stakeholders to develop best practices for the handling and treatment of food waste in Ningbo, China. Representatives from the World Bank and the Ningbo Environment and Sanitation Management Office made opening remarks at the training seminar. Once operational, Ningbo will be the first residential food waste separation, collection and treatment project in China. The summary of the training workshop is available in both English and Chinese.

Zhang Yue, MOHURD (left) and Tan Hau, CAUES (right)

Tom met with Zhang Yue, Director-General, with Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development (MOHURD) and Tau Hau with CAUES to discuss MOHURD’s interest in collaborating with GMI to advance organics and sludge treatment best practices.

Colombia Hosts Coal Subcommittee Meeting and Technical Workshop in Bogotá

The GMI Coal Subcommittee held its 21st session on 3 June 2015 in Bogotá, Colombia. The meetings were organized and sponsored by the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) of Colombia, the National Mining Agency of Colombia and GMI. Co-chairs presided over the Subcommittee meeting, welcoming 35 participants, including Partner Country delegates representing five countries. Monica Shimamura of the Administrative Support Group provided an update, and the Subcommittee discussed the new task force developed to propose a plan for GMI’s future post-2015. Delegates from China, Colombia, India, Poland and the United States provided updates on recent and future CMM activities in their respective countries. Several Project Network members provided updates on both CMM and CBM activities in Colombia and abroad. The Subcommittee discussed its work products and plans for the GMI Global Methane Forum in 2016.

Coal Subcommittee Delegates at the Subcommittee meeting in Bogotá, Colombia
Delegates at the Coal Subcommittee meeting in Bogotá, Colombia

The next day, delegates attended a technical workshop featuring discussions on coalbed methane (CBM) and coal mine methane (CMM) policy and ownership issues and project development. Host country Colombia presented on the path forward for in-country CBM/CMM development and hosted a roundtable discussion with public- and private-sector stakeholders involved in the Colombian CBM/CMM markets.

Presentations and minutes from the subcommittee meeting and technical workshop are now available online.

In addition, the Coal Subcommittee has also welcomed two new delegates from Kazakhstan, Mr. Ruslan Koblanuly with the Ministry of Energy and Mr. Chengiz Cherniyazdanov with KazTransGaz.

The next Coal Subcommittee meeting will be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 27 October 2015, in conjunction with the 10th session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane. Register for the meeting on the UNECE website.