Pemex plans to put an end to gas flaring in Ixachi, Veracruz

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TIERRA BLANCA, VERACRUZ.- Mexican state oil company Pemex plans to put an end to gas flaring in one of its strategic fields under development by mid-January, its chief executive, Octavio Romero, said on Friday.

Ixachi, located in Veracruz state, is one of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador flagship projects, but violations that have led to excessive gas flaring prompted hydrocarbon regulator CNH to fine the oil company around $2 million dollars, Reuters revealed in August.

Pemex has also been fined for failing to meet gas flaring targets at another priority field, Quesqui, in Tabasco state.

The two most recent fines could each reach 120 million Mexican pesos ($6.2 million), Reuters revealed this week, in what would be the highest fines ever imposed by the CNH. However, all have been appealed, according to sources at the regulator.

The high and rising levels of gas flaring in Mexico have been an issue that Lopez Obrador has discussed with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry. He has vowed to curb emissions.

Flaring burns off natural gas emitted during oil production when there is no infrastructure to capture it, and is blamed for releasing greenhouse gases.

Pemex recently said it would work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet international commitments.