EQT announced recently that it plans a pilot project using technology that will continuously monitor methane emissions at two well pads in real time and will sell part of the “responsibly sourced natural gas” produced to an unnamed global energy company.
The project was announced in a joint news release with Project Canary, a Denver, Colo.-based company that uses Canary X technology to constantly monitor methane concentrations at a gas well site and communicate the results to a cloud database every minute. “The TrustWell certification scores more than 300 points related to production practices, including air, land, water, and waste management, as well as drilling and completion processes,” the release states. The pilot project will also evaluate social impacts on the community.
Methane is a key component of natural gas and a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. According to the International Energy Agency, 40% of the world's methane emissions and 70 million tons of the greenhouse gas came from the oil and gas sector last year. Methane release from U.S. oil and gas production in 2021 accounted for 16% of the world's total, which ranked second behind only Russia.
“The intent of the pilot is to show that natural gas can be, and is, produced with high environmental social standards, and that global energy market demand exists and is growing for these differentiated RSG (responsibly sourced gas) products,” the release continues.
“This third-party validation from Project Canary will allow EQT to achieve the highest possible industry standards for RSG and add additional trusted data to ESG ratings.”
ESG is an acronym for environmental, social and governance standards, which natural gas companies are increasingly embracing to allow them to operate responsibly as the nation moves toward clean energy and net zero-emissions, in order to combat climate change. The Center for Energy Policy and Management recently hosted a webinar on the subject, in which an EQT representative participated. It can be viewed here.
“This project aligns with commitment to ESG leadership and to meeting the evolving needs and expectations of our stakeholders. Further, it confirms the emerging domestic and international markets for this differentiated commodity and the important role that United States LNG will play in the future energy mix," said Toby Z. Rice, President and CEO of EQT.
Chris Romer, CEO of Project Canary said, "Stakeholders and investors continue to expect and demand more transparency, more verifiable trusted data, and more overall ESG-related performance progress across the energy sector. This pilot project, which will utilize our differentiated technology to provide trusted and independent data, demonstrates continued responsiveness toward meeting and exceeding those growing stakeholder demands.”
Project Canary is what is known as a certified B corporation, which is “a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.” The B Corproration website said that by using independent, real-time data, natural gas operators can ensure that they are operating using the highest standards and practices.
While the well sites for the pilot project have been chosen, but the location and details are confidential. “The goal here is to prove the sustainability of RSG production, with third-party validation, and end-user demand,” explained Andrew Breese, EQT director of investor relations, in an email. “The objective would be to expand this in the future if all goes well, which we believe is just a matter of process.”