Equitable Origin’s EO100™ Standard for responsible oil and gas development will be a touchstone for discussions on energy development practices between Mexican and Canadian trade representatives this year, according to an official document.
The two nations’ shared energy interests was an area of focus at the September 2014 meeting of the Canada-Mexico Partnership’s Trade Investment and Innovation (TII) Working Group in Calgary, Canada. One particular shared interest identified at the meeting was the need for clear benchmarks for social and environmental performance in energy development. In that context, the two delegations discussed the EO100™ Standard and the first EO-certified site in Colombia, operated by the Canadian firm Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE). The outcome of the discussion was a resolution to invite PRE representatives to the 2015 TII meeting in Mexico so the company could share its experiences with EO100™ certification and its strategies for meeting the rigorous requirements of the Standard.
“The Mexican delegation was familiar with Equitable Origin’s work and we were eager to discuss it with our Canadian colleagues,” said Mario Rodriguez Montero, Chief Representative of the Ministry of Economy of Mexico in Canada, who was present at the meeting in Calgary. “We believe the certification of the first site under the EO100™ Standard could be a model for site certifications in Mexico, and thought inviting the site’s operator to our next official meetieng would be the best way to explore that possibility,” he explained. Many of the topics covered at the Calgary meeting were also discussed at an October meeting of trade representatives and other energy stakeholders in Ottawa, which EO’s VP of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills attended.
Interest in promoting best social and environmental practice in the oil and gas industry is particularly high in Mexico at the moment, where reform legislation has ended the state-controlled oil monopoly and set the stage for a flood of foreign investment and development activity. Wide dissemination of the EO100™ Standard could provide valuable guidance on social and environmental practices to international operators new to the Mexican scene. Ideally, the EO100™ certification of oil and gas sites begins at the earliest stages of development (exploring for resources), and ensures social and environmental responsibility through every step of the process.
TII’s recognition of the EO100™ Standard as a framework for responsible development is an example of the value of the Standard to government stakeholders. While the invitation extended to PRE is just a preliminary step, it could be the beginning of a process that introduces EO100™ guidelines to Mexico and helps additional site certifications in the near future.