Rosario Ochoa Named General Manager of Nikkiso ACD for Nikkiso Clean Energy and Industrial Gases Group

TEMECULA, Calif., Jan. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries' Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group (“Group”), a part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan) group of companies, is pleased to announce that Rosario Ochoa has joined the Group as General Manager of Nikkiso ACD, effective January 16, 2023.

Rosie brings with her over 15 years of experience in production, lean manufacturing, sustaining engineering, new product development, environmental health and safety as well as quality compliance to standards such as ISO 9001, AS9100, ISO/TS1949. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering from Mexicali Institute of Technology, Mexico, and a certified ISO 9001:2008 Lead Auditor from AQS Management Systems, Inc. She has a strong background in manufacturing operations, quality and six sigma, engineering, organizational excellence and cultural transformation.

Nikkiso ACD, Santa Ana, California, along with Nikkiso Cryo (Las Vegas) is part of the Group's Cryogenic Pumps Unit. As General Manager, Rosie will drive operational excellence throughout the Cryogenic Pumps Unit as well as the entire organization leading the cross functional teams to improve speed and efficiency across the business. She will report to Jim Estes, Executive Director Nikkiso ACD.

“Rosie brings a broad range of skills and experience to the position. With her leadership, I am confident ACD will continue to grow and meet our customers demand for the best quality and reliability of cryogenic pumps,” according to Jim Estes, Executive Director Nikkiso ACD. “Rosie's role further supports our mission to provide innovative equipment, technologies and services through our global group of companies to help our customers to make a difference.”

Rosie is also a member of the Vistage organization: the world's largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for business leaders.

Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture, and service engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment (pumps, turboexpanders, heat exchangers, etc.), and process plants for Industrial Gases, Natural gas Liquefaction (LNG), Hydrogen Liquefaction (LH2) and Organic Rankine Cycle for Waste Heat Recovery. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Nikkiso Cryo, Nikkiso Integrated Cryogenic Solutions, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly controlled group of approximately 20 operating entities.

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Anna Quigley

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8735012)

St Kitts and Nevis administration vows to continue advancing economy to provide greater social and economic opportunities at first press conference of 2023

Basseterre, Jan. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Terrance Drew, along with six other cabinet members from his administration participated in their first press conference of the year on 18 January 2023.

The press conference is one of the methods that Prime Minister Drew's administration will use to update citizens and residents on matters of national importance such as the 2022 Budget and the upcoming plans and budget for this year. The St Kitts and Nevis government has reiterated several times how it wants to lead with transparency and integrity "" ensuring that the twin–island Federation is kept abreast of the administration's decision–making process and accomplishments during its tenure.

In his opening address, Prime Minister Drew, noted that the government of St Kitts and Nevis continues to work around the clock to fufill the pledges made during the 2022 election campaign.

"These pledges were based on seven foundational pillars including Food Security, Energy Transition, Economic Diversification, Sustainable Industries, Creative Economy. COVID–19 Recovery and Social Protection.

"We made a pledge to govern with transparency, accountability and integrity and we intend to continue in that vein. We want to improve the quality of life and health of our people as these are the founding principles and remain the bedrock of our administration."

The Prime Minister continued and said, "We are committed to serve with the sole purpose that every policy, every plan and every project is undertaken for the betterment of all, our mission is to transform the lives of people by advancing our economy in a way that will provide greater social and economic opportunities."

As the Minister of Health and Social Security, Prime Minister Drew unveiled three major developments to strengthen the quality of healthcare in St Kitts and Nevis. These are Universal Health Care, Corporatization of the Joseph N. France General Hospital and strengthening the relations with third–party organizations.

Minister Drew asserted that Universal Health Care remains a priority for the government of St Kitts and Nevis and added that the government is geared to start their Universal Health Care, which will go a long way in opening up access to quality healthcare for all Kittians and Nevisians.

The World Health Organisation has described Universal health coverage as a means for all people to have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

The second major development, the corporatization of the Joseph N. France General Hospital "" a premier health institution in the country, is aimed to increase the hospital's efficiency and allow for the proper management of the hospital's affairs.

The Prime Minister noted that while Joseph N France General Hospital has its strengths and weaknesses, there is always room for improvement, and it is for this reason that the government has been working towards developing its tertiary and secondary healthcare.

He thanked healthcare workers who continue to work tirelessly to serve those in need and hailed the dedication and commitment of medical professionals who served day and night during the unprecedented times of the COVID–19 pandemic "" an honorarium has been dedicated to them.

Talking about the challenges these workers face while performing their duties, including oppression and verbal abuse, the Prime Minister suggested hosting an open forum to communicate these issues.

The government of St Kitts and Nevis is also looking to recruit new doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists and technologists. Along with this, a principal nursing officer will be appointed, a position that has been vacant for the last seven years.

"Two lines of action are now ongoing; stabilization and transformation," stated Prime Minister Drew as he expressed the requirements of new staff, new systems, a new culture of empathy and adequate resources.

The country's eye clinic will receive new state–of–the–art equipment to the value of EC$700,000.00.

On the matter of strengthening relationships with third party stakeholders, the Prime Minister added that St Kitts and Nevis is looking to revitalize relationships with the likes of CARPHA (the Caribbean Public Health Agency), PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), and several NGOs such as PALS (Pediatric Assistance League of St Kitts).

A deep dive into the country's evolving Citizenship by Investment Programme

The Prime Minister hailed the efficient leadership of the new Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit of St Kitts and Nevis, Michael Martin. The Prime Minister asked the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Garth Wilkin to update on changes recently made to the Citizenship by Investment Programme's legislation on 23 of December, 2022 which changes were made to remove any loopholes used by developers.

Attorney General Garth Wilkin said, "What developers are required to do now, is that they have to place money received from the sale of real estate units into an escrow account and the administration of the citizenship by investment programme will monitor the progress of the projects such that a developer does not sell 20 units for example and not build anything.

New regulations allow developers to prove that developments are indeed on track, and only then will the money be released from the escrow account. This release of funds will be done in phases as certain phases of the building are completed. The new regulations have also been set up to monitor the distribution of units processed.

Minister Wilkin added, "If you were a developer and you believe that you can sell 1000 units or 1000 buildings in your real estate project, you will not be given access to sell those 1000 units at the beginning of your project like it was done in the past, what you will do is you will be given a certain amount of units, for example, 50, you will be able to put those on the market and until you complete a certain phase of your selling, you will not get the next 50, so there will be a staggered approach to the actual issuance of the units that you can sell on the market."

He said that all of this was done to prevent what previously occurred in the past where real estate developers were selling off plans and building one part of the project and not completing it in its entirety resulting in what he termed "white elephants".

The Government is focused on ensuring that the citizenship by investment offering provides value to both the investors and the citizens of the country.

The country's Citizenship by Investment Programme has been undergoing an evolution, setting a bold and new tone for the industry as a whole. St Kitts and Nevis is once again leading the way for the investment immigration industry "" adding a new layer of integrity to truly accelerate the country's economic diversification, and empower and prosper local citizens while creating an enriching base for intelligent investors.

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8734548)

Leading Singapore Law Enforcement Agency Awards Cellebrite with $14 Million Agreement for Cellebrite’s advanced extraction solution

PETAH TIKVA, Israel and TYSONS CORNER, Va., Jan. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellebrite (Nasdaq: CLBT), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, today announced a five–year agreement with a national police agency in Singapore, which will use Cellebrite's collect & review solution, Premium, to help lawfully expedite collection of digital evidence.

The 5–year contract creates a strong partnership between the customer and Cellebrite, enabling us to be a closely integrated partner, both in the areas of knowledge and competencies development, and in the technology space associated with top–tiered digital investigations and intelligence.

This engagement is also notable due to Cellebrite equipping the agency with the most advanced extraction solution and direct and immediate access to Cellebrite's Advanced Services team

"We are thrilled to partner with this large law enforcement agency and progress our joint mission to enhance public safety and build safer communities,” said Arthur Veinstein, President, Cellebrite International. "This contract is a true testament to Cellebrite being an industry leader. I am confident that our DI solutions will help our customer in its digital transformation journey."

About Cellebrite

Cellebrite's (NASDAQ: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite's Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at,, or follow us on Twitter at


Victor Cooper
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director
+1 404 804 5910


Investor Relations

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Ukraine: No Peace Without a Military Victory

Destroyed Residential Building in Dnipro, Ukraine. Credit: WFP/Viktor Pesenti

By Jana Puglierin
BERLIN, Jan 23 2023 – Russia has been at war with Ukraine for more than 10 months, with no end in sight and with just as little prospect for direct negotiations between the warring parties. These were last broken off mutually on 17 May 2022.

Since then, there have been repeated calls in Germany, whether in opinion articles or open letters, for more diplomatic efforts to end the hostilities. Such calls were often combined with demands for the federal government to cease arms deliveries to Ukraine: when all is said and done, peace is achieved not with arms, but with a truce, the argument goes.

And continuing the war with the already unrealistic goal of a Ukrainian victory and the recapture of all the territory occupied by Russia would only mean useless bloodshed. These calls are all too understandable given the horrific images of suffering and destruction that reach us daily from Ukraine.

Even so, it would be wrong right now to urge Ukraine to negotiate – or even give up parts of its territory and the people living there.

Jana Puglierin

Surely, no one wants the guns to go silent more than the Ukrainians themselves. They are the victims of this war. It is their hospitals, kindergartens and schools that have been destroyed by Russian missiles and drone attacks. Many have lost their homes.

When the air raid sirens sound, it is they who sit in the shelters and who go without heating, electricity or running water, often for hours or days on end. The exact number of soldiers who have died at the front is unknown; US estimates put the count at up to 100,000.

And yet, the Ukrainian government wants to continue the fight against the Russian aggressor – and only negotiate directly with Russia if and when the Kremlin first answers for its war crimes before an international tribunal and withdraws all troops from Ukraine, including from the illegally annexed areas. In this, the government is supported by the vast majority of the Ukrainian population.

Putin wants total control of Ukraine

It is clear to the Ukrainians that the Russian President Vladimir Putin is not interested in finding a way for a secure coexistence with a sovereign and independent Ukraine that can determine its own future. He wants it gone.

In his view, today’s Ukraine is nothing more than a ‘colony with a puppet regime’, an externally controlled and hostile ‘anti-Russia’, set up against the ‘real cultural, economic and social interests of the people and the true sovereignty of Ukraine’. For Putin, Ukraine and Russia are ‘one people’.

A Ukraine that is independent of Russia and wants to open up to Europe along the lines of its central European neighbours is unacceptable because it calls into question the very foundations of the Russian imperium, which Putin is determined to prevent from falling apart.

The repeatedly expressed assumptions that Russia is ultimately only concerned with preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, or only has geographic interests in the Donbas, are wrong. In truth, Moscow wants Ukraine to relinquish much more: its freedom, its identity, its self-determination, its culture.

The destruction of Ukrainian life, Ukrainian art and Ukrainian statehood, together with repressions – from murder to rape to abduction – in the occupied territories are clear demonstrations of this.

So far, there is no reason to believe that Putin’s thinking has changed in recent months. On the contrary, with every further step, Putin makes clear that he is not ready to make concessions. Although he and other members of the Russian government regularly mention the word ‘negotiations’, they have so far not presented a concrete option.

As recently as the end of December 2022, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeated the call for the ‘demilitarisation and denazification’ of Ukraine and described the illegally annexed areas of Ukraine as Russia’s ’new territories’.

Clearly, Putin has not abandoned his goal of complete political control over the country but has merely adjusted his approach and timeline. Because Russia was not militarily successful, the devastating airstrikes on the Ukrainian civilian population and the energy infrastructure are now intended to break the population’s will to resist and to wear down the country – until Russia is able to launch a new offensive in the spring.

Putin is also counting on the fact that the western supporter states – also under pressure from their populations – will soon tire and run out of weapons, ammunition and money for Kyiv.

If the West were now to press for a ceasefire or peace negotiations, perhaps with the threat that it would otherwise end support for Ukraine, that would signal to the Kremlin that its method is working and that all it has to do is wait until we lose patience.

So far, none of the advocates of an imminent ceasefire have been able to convincingly explain how Putin can be persuaded to make concessions without exerting further military pressure on him.

Preventing Russia from dictating peace

We Germans, in particular, have for years been repeating the mantra that ‘there is no military solution’ to this or that conflict. Unlike Vladimir Putin: in Georgia, the Crimea and Syria, he has learned that he can very successfully use military force to achieve his political goals.

In the current conflict, therefore, only Ukraine’s military successes prevent such a dictated peace from happening. In other words, Russia must first be stopped and pushed back militarily before there can be any chance of real diplomacy. It’s about enabling Ukraine to hold its own against the Russian invasion and showing Putin that even a new military offensive in the spring has no chance of succeeding – and that this won’t change over time.

The West itself has a paramount interest in Putin not making any gain from his war of aggression. His ambitions are a danger to all of Europe. If he gets away again with using force and nuclear blackmail to bring parts of another state under his control, this invites repetition elsewhere, be it by Russia or another state.

The goal of an overall revision of the European security order, which is essential for peace and prosperity also here in Germany, was announced by Russia in the treaty texts of December 2021.

The decision by Germany, the US and France to now also supply Ukraine with armoured personnel carriers and reconnaissance vehicles is therefore logical. It emphasises that the major military powers of the West will not force Ukraine into an unacceptable deal with Russia.

Of course, the danger of escalation must always be kept in mind when providing military support. However, the reactions after missiles fell on the Polish-Ukrainian border in particular has shown that the West is aware of this and is reacting prudently and is capable of risk management.

Real negotiations will only begin again when both Russia and Ukraine come to the conclusion that there is more to be gained from a truce than from fighting on. Perhaps the cards will be reshuffled after spring — if the ’hot autumn’ and the ’winter of fury’ in Europe fail to materialise, if the western democracies continue to stand firmly on the side of Ukraine and if a new Russian offensive proves unsuccessful.

What is certain is that any negotiations and compromises will reflect the resulting balance of power between the parties. Our goal must therefore be to get Ukraine ready as well as possible for this point in time and to prepare together with Kyiv for the moment when the window for diplomacy indeed opens.

Dr. Jana Puglierin heads the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies. Prior to this, she was a program officer at the German Council on Foreign Relations’ (DGAP) Future Forum Berlin and an advisor on disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation at the German Bundestag.

Source: International Politics and Society (IPS)-Journal published by the International Political Analysis Unit of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastrasse 28, D-10785 Berlin

IPS UN Bureau


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We Want to Be Legal; We’re Not ‘Zama Zama’ Criminals Say South African Artisanal Miners

Artisanal miners at work. Credit: Supplied

Artisanal miners at work. Credit: Supplied

By Fawzia Moodley
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 23 2023 – Mining towns across South Africa have become hostage to a booming but bloody illegal mining economy.

Wealthy kingpins, mainly from neighbouring Lesotho, run criminal syndicates and recruit poverty-stricken workers to go into disused underground shafts to dig for the country’s mineral wealth. Dubbed ‘Zama Zama’, many of them are former mine workers retrenched by the big legal mines and who know the ins and outs of the dangerous but lucrative mining operations.

Paps Lethoko, the chairperson of the National Association of Artisanal Miners (NAAM), says these the Zama Zama spend months in the underground shafts. Their criminal bosses run tuck shops in the dark belly of the earth.

“The tuck shops sell bread for R200 (normal price around R20), tinned fish for R300 (normally about R25). After months of living in the claustrophobic catacombs under hazardous conditions, the miners end up with about R30,000 (about 1800 USD) and paying more than double the normal amount for food and other necessities to the very bosses who employ them,” he told IPS.

Zama Zama miners seen in an informal settlement in Johannesburg, South Africa. Credit: Fawzia Moodley/IPS

Zama Zama miners are seen in an informal settlement in Johannesburg, South Africa. Credit: Fawzia Moodley/IPS

Lethoko says most disused underground shafts in Klerksdorp, a mining town in the North West province, are run by a wealthy politician from Lesotho.

“The Basotho miners are forced to pay the security guards up to R20,000 (about 1700 USD) to enter the mines they are employed at. They are treated worse than slaves, just as they were by mining companies under apartheid.”

Violence is inevitable. Local communities and artisanal miners, who until recently could not become legal, often get caught in the crossfire of territorial battles between rival Zama Zama gangs.

In July 2022, all hell broke loose after the horrific gang rape of film crew members at a mine dump close to West Village in Krugersdorp on the West Rand. Police arrested 80 Zama Zama, 14 of whom were directly linked to the rape incident but were later acquitted.

Artisanal miners, who are already struggling with bureaucracy and lack of a proper legal regime to get licenses to operate legally, say the rape incident has damaged their cause even further.

Lethoko says: “We have been trying to form cooperatives and get permits to operate legally, but the mining companies, the media, and even the police lump us with the criminal Zama Zama.”

An advocate who was assisting them at the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) agrees: “People and even the police don’t understand that the artisanal miners, essentially local people who have for centuries been mining in survival mode, want to be law-abiding citizens but are hampered by a broken system every step of the way.”

The LRC published a report in 2016 on the conditions under which artisanal miners operate, and little has changed since then.

In the North West province, NAAM tried negotiating with mining giant Harmony Gold to allow artisanal miners to continue mining on the perimeters of the mine. “The local people know where to find the gold in the abandoned mine dumps. This is indigenous knowledge because they have been doing it for a long time, but we want to be legal, so we formed a cooperative and had a meeting with the company.

“The next thing, Harmony’s security prevented them from mining on the land even though it had long been abandoned, and the company applied for an interdict against me and the miners for trespassing,” says Lethoko.

Worse still, a gold rush followed as news of the abundance of gold in the area spread.

“The Basotho Zama Zama arrived en masse; they have a lot of money, so they bribed the mine security and took over the area from where local artisanal miners had been barred by the mine.”

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) now recognises artisanal mining but getting permits is expensive and onerous.

“Artisanal miners live a hand-to-mouth existence; most of us don’t have data or even money for permits, and DMRE officers at the local level don’t seem to know that artisanal mining cooperatives can now be legally recognised.”

Lethoko says the other problem is a lack of a regulatory framework. “The regional DMRE and most local government officials are unaware that we have the right to be recognised, so they and the police continue to treat us as criminals instead of assisting us to obtain permits.”

Getting permits is literally a “minefield”. So far, only one co-op in Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province has received legal recognition since the law changed in 2017.

Toto Nzamo, a member of the Tujaliano Community Organisation, says xenophobic tension erupts regularly as Zama Zama violence spills into local communities.

It doesn’t help that the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Policy which recognises the potential of artisanal mining as a livelihood strategy, reserves the permit system for South Africans.

Nzamo works with artisanal miners and Zama Zama in the Makause informal settlement in Germiston near Johannesburg, who are involved in surface gold mining at a disused mine and are struggling to get licenses.

“They have to form co-ops, identify the land they wish to mine on, and have environmental assessments done. These people have neither the skills nor the access to the kind of money required. A geologist’s report costs at least R82000; where are these poor people supposed to get that kind of money?” asks Nzamo.

He says the only way to end the Zama Zama violence and criminality is for the Department of Home Affairs and the DMRE to work together to ensure that foreign nationals who qualify get their papers quickly.

“The tragedy is that between the criminal syndicates, the big mining houses that are returning to mines they once abandoned because now there is technology available to mine profitably again, and the inept DMRE, decent law-abiding people are being prevented from earning a living lawfully,” the advocate said.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Unstoppable Gas Leaks in Mexico

A gas flare at installations of the state-owned Pemex oil company in the town of Reforma Escolín, Papantla municipality in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, on Jan. 11, 2023. More than 100 gas wells operate in the area, several of which release gas without controls and put the local population and their property at risk. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

A gas flare at installations of the state-owned Pemex oil company in the town of Reforma Escolín, Papantla municipality in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, on Jan. 11, 2023. More than 100 gas wells operate in the area, several of which release gas without controls and put the local population and their property at risk. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

By Emilio Godoy
PAPANTLA, Mexico, Jan 23 2023 – A dark mole dots the brown earth, among the green scrub at this spot in southeastern Mexico. A repetitive “glug, glug,” a noise sounding like a thirsty animal, and an intense stench lead to this site, hidden in the undergrowth, where a broken pipe has created a pool of dense oil.

The smell of fuel overpowers the usual aroma of the surrounding vegetation.

The oil and natural gas leak runs freely in a well belonging to the state-run oil giant Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in Reforma Escolín, part of Papantla, a municipality in the southeastern state of Veracruz, in the vicinity of a natural gas flare that illuminates the semi-cloudy environment and warms the already high temperature.“The infrastructure is old, they do not maintain it. When there are leaks, you hear a ‘ssssss’ and the smell is unbearable, you can’t stay in your house.” — Omar Lázaro

Far from the gaze of Mexico’s Agency for Security, Energy and Environment (ASEA), responsible for monitoring the fossil fuel industry in the country, and Pemex, the gas flares in an area dotted with oil and gas wells.

“The infrastructure is old, they don’t maintain it. When there are leaks, you hear a ‘ssssss’ and the smell is unbearable, you can’t stay in your house,” Omar Lázaro, a delegate to the municipality of the non-governmental National Indigenous Congress, which brings together native peoples and organizations, told IPS.

The local community all too vividly recalls the Jun. 4, 2022 explosion of a Pemex gas pipeline that put residents on edge and confirmed, for the umpteenth time, the potentially catastrophic impacts of fossil fuels.

Lázaro, a local musician, recalled that the leak flowed for two days, there were four fires in the affected area and the fire lasted two weeks, some 300 kilometers from Mexico City, in Papantla, (which means “place of abundant papán” – a local bird – in the Nahuatl language), home to just under 160,000 inhabitants in its extensive rural and semi-urban territory.

“In some places there was a smell of gas before the explosion. The problem was that the scrubland began to burn and there was no water to put it out. Pemex threatened that it would not take responsibility if people went in to put out the fire and something happened to them,” said Lázaro, who is also a member of the Assembly for the Defense of the Territory, which represents some 20 communities and five municipal organizations.

In essence, the gas is methane, 86 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide (CO2) over 20 years, even though it spends less time in the atmosphere.

That means it is important to control it to curb the rise in the planet’s temperature to no more than 1.5 degrees C, according to the commitments made by the international community.

In the municipality of Papantla, in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, oil and gas wells abound, which emit polluting gases, such as methane, a major contributor to global warming. The photo shows the "Escolín 238" well in operation. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

In the municipality of Papantla, in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, oil and gas wells abound, emiting polluting gases, such as methane, a major contributor to global warming. The photo shows the “Escolín 238” well in operation. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS



The incident in the town of Reforma Escolín is part of a pattern of gas leaks from the extraction and transportation of oil and gas by Pemex and private companies in Mexico, without enforcement by the environmental authorities of the existing regulations.

IPS reviewed Pemex databases on leaks and its prevention plans, obtained through public information requests, which point to underreporting of gas emissions – composed mainly of methane – and confirmed the evidence that leaks devastate an area where gas wells abound.

Historically, Pemex has been the biggest culprit in the gas leaks, due to the size of its infrastructure in Mexico.

After a drop between 2017 and 2019, gas explosions have been on the rise since 2020. Most of the incidents occur at hydrocarbon facilities in the states of Campeche, Tabasco and Veracruz in southeastern Mexico.

In 2020, 78 gas leaks by Pemex and its subsidiaries were registered, 85 by private companies, and 32 by the National Center for Natural Gas Control (CENAGAS), which manages the gas pipelines that belonged to the state oil company, without estimates of the resulting methane emissions, according to ASEA figures.

A year later, Pemex reported 91 leaks, private companies 74, and CENAGAS 28.

These leaks come from gas pipelines, compressor stations and other facilities that transport, store and distribute gas, infrastructure that adds up to some 30,000 facilities and 50,000 kilometers of gas pipelines.

The face of Pastora García, one of the 11 members of the Municipal Council of Papantla, reflects concern about the leaks.

“Things are bad here, there are a lot of risks. This is how Pemex works and we’re screwed. It is worrisome, because people live here,” she told IPS while she was working in Reforma Escolín, a town of some 1,000 people.

García was a municipal councillor in the small town and submitted three requests for pipeline repairs in 2011 and 2020, obtaining no response, and the leaks continued.

In and around the town, local residents grow citrus fruit, beans and corn, and raise cattle, and the pollution harms their activities. In the area, the ground looks like Swiss cheese from which gas frequently emanates, as during the great leak of 2013.

Although ASEA does not record the volumes of leaks, Mexico ranked tenth in the world in methane emissions in 2021, a list led by China, India and the United States, and which also includes Brazil, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental grouping of large oil consumers.

In addition, since 2019 oil and gas infrastructure has released methane into the atmosphere in Mexico, according to satellite images.

In June 2022, a group of European scientists revealed that Pemex released 40,000 tons of methane in December 2021 from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

In the case of Pemex, one of the aggravating factors is the deliberate venting or release and flaring of gas, which has been on the rise since 2017 due to the lack of capture technology and economic incentives for its use, since it is more convenient for the oil company to simply release and burn it off.

This practice grew from 3,800 cubic meters (m3) of gas in 2017 to 6,600 in 2021, according to the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Initiative (GGFR), made up of 20 governments, 12 oil companies and three multilateral organizations. Mexico forms part of the alliance, but Pemex does not.

The IEA measured Mexico’s emissions at 6.33 million tons of methane in 2021, equivalent to 1.8 percent of the world total, to which agriculture contributed 2.53 million, waste 2.28 million, and production and energy consumption 1.47 million. In this segment, venting and flaring represent the main factors, and in gas pipelines, leaks.

Itziar Irakulis, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, told IPS from that Spanish city that “from the satellite we see that every time the gas flaring stops (the torch goes out), about 100 tons of methane per hour are vented. This turns the oil platform into what in the literature we call an ultra-emitter.”

The expert, co-author of a study on the release of gas from Pemex platforms, stressed that, in the face of the climate crisis, “the last thing we need is more ultra-emission events of this type.”

In November 2022, Pemex, which ranks 20th in the world in proven crude oil reserves and 41st in gas, produced 1.7 million barrels of oil per day and 4.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day (Bcf/d). Because domestic production is insufficient, it imported 555 million Bcf/d, mainly from the United States.


Pemex resorts to the practice of flaring gas due to the lack of technology for its retention and economic incentives for its use. The photo shows a pipeline in Reforma Escolín, Papantla municipality in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, on Jan. 11, 2023. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

Pemex resorts to the practice of flaring gas due to the lack of technology for its retention and economic incentives for its use. The photo shows a pipeline in Reforma Escolín, Papantla municipality in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, on Jan. 11, 2023. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS


Anaid Velasco, research coordinator at the non-governmental Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), described the “important challenges” in accounting for and curbing methane emissions.

“There is more talk about methane, but there is still no public policy. This disconnect between what is said and what is done has to do with not creating more responsibilities that could be binding, in order to apply an energy policy based on fossil fuel sources. They don’t want to generate a greater regulatory burden” for the oil industry, especially Pemex, she told IPS.

ASEA partially applies the regulation to control methane emissions, which is why Mexico faces hurdles to meet its Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The regulation was supposed to enter into force in December 2019, after it was drafted in 2018. But in July 2020, under the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEA postponed its application for 19 months, until the end of January 2022.

As of August 2022, 18 companies, including the subsidiaries Pemex Exploración y Producción (PEP) and Pemex Logística, had presented to ASEA their program for the prevention and comprehensive control of methane emissions from the hydrocarbons sector, the fundamental component of the regulation.

The state Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) had not delivered its plan.

Between 2017 and October 2022, ASEA imposed 26 fines on state-run and private companies totaling 3.83 million dollars, of which they have paid 3.29 million, without specifying the reason, which means it is not clear if the fines targeted methane emissions.

From 2017 to 2021, it fined Pemex Transformación Industrial three times for undisclosed reasons, which the company appealed.

But ASEA did not investigate the two fires on the surface of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by methane leaks in July and August 2021, according to its own records. After the explosion in Reforma Escolín, a group of residents filed a complaint with ASEA, to no avail.

Pemex abandoned its plan to reduce gas flaring in its fields and the ministry of energy blocked the application of regulations in this regard, as reported by the British news agency Reuters throughout 2022.

In August, the state-run National Hydrocarbons Commission, the regulator of the oil industry, fined Pemex about two million dollars for excessive gas flaring at the Ixachi oil and gas field in Veracruz.


Gas deals

In 2021 Mexico signed the Global Methane Pledge, aimed at cutting emissions by 30 percent in 2030, from 2020 levels. But the country has not yet set a specific goal.

Along these lines, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who supports fossil fuel energy over renewables and promotes Pemex, announced in June 2022 that the oil giant would invest two billion dollars, with international aid, to cut methane emissions by 98 percent.

But there is no detailed plan to reach that target, beyond Pemex’s previous program to curb them.

In its methane control plan, obtained by IPS through Mexico’s freedom of information act, the oil company set an annual reduction goal in the Cantarell field, the country’s biggest, in the Gulf of Mexico, of four percent between 2017 and 2022. and calculated that emissions totaled 27,175 tons per year. But it is not known how much progress has been made towards this target.

However, the oil company uses an emission factor – the average amount of a pollutant coming from a specific process, fuel, equipment or source – instead of a measurement at the source site.

For the Ku Maloob Zaap field, the country’s second-largest, there are no measurements. The highest estimate comes from the Macuspana-Muspac deposit, located between the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, which emit 199,222 tons, followed by the Poza Rica Altamira Reynosa deposit – between Veracruz and Tamaulipas – with 73,352 tons; the Nejo Olmos field in Tamaulipas (53,395 tons); and Samaria-Luna in Tabasco (52,669 tons).

These emissions come from equipment, gas pipelines, compressors, leaks and venting. Pemex, which did not include infrastructure in other areas of the country, estimates decreases between four percent and 25 percent over a period of six years.

Throughout 2023, public and private companies must submit their annual reports to ASEA.

For the Cantarell deposit, the oil company ordered a halt to the flaring of 80 million Bcf/d, equivalent to 72.74 tons of methane. In addition, PEP applied measures to reduce flaring by 291 billion Bcf/d.

As natural gas for consumption in Mexico continues to be imported via pipelines and burned in combined-cycle power plants that also use steam, methane emissions will also continue, as occurred in the United States.

In places like Reforma Escolín, people have not gotten used to living among time bombs and are only asking that the leaks be repaired, although opposition by the local community is waning.

Lázaro lamented that “After the accident, some community assemblies were held, but the social mobilization dwindled, undermined by the local authorities.”

Without fighting methane emissions, Mexico will have a hard time reaching its Nationally determined contributions, presented to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change, signed in 2015.

Velasco the environmentalist doubts that Mexico will meet its commitments. “They set goals because there is a lot of international interest. It is good that they make commitments, because it gives us tools to monitor the situation and demand compliance. If Pemex receives financing, we don’t know how it will execute it. Transparency and traceability are needed,” she said.

Spanish researcher Irakulis said maintenance and continuous flaring prevent ultra-emissions.

“It is true that the flares already have other types of emissions associated with them, and there are more environmentally friendly ways than flaring to treat the excess gas obtained from oil extraction. A significant reduction in emissions can be realistic as long as they invest in improving the maintenance of the facilities,” she stated.

In Reforma Escolín, the only option seems to be the dismantling of the gas infrastructure, which is impossible. “Pemex says there is no money. We have not seen machinery to replace the pipeline, they are not doing anything. Where are we going to go? We live here, and we’re staying here,” said García the town councillor.