EQT, Chesapeake Energy advance responsible gas
EQT, North America’s largest natural gas producer, said April 15 it would commit to have the majority of its production in the Marcellus shale basin certified as responsibly-sourced gas (RSG) by the end of this year.
That announcement came two days after Chesapeake Energy said it would work with Project Canary to pilot RSG production at select well pads in the Marcellus and Haynesville shale basins.
Working with certification standards developed by Equitable Origin and MiQ, EQT will begin this month certifying gas produced from more than 200 of its Marcellus well pads in Pennsylvania, which collectively produce about 4bn ft3/day of natural gas. It builds on a separate project announced in January under which Project Canary will certify gas from two other EQT pads in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Chesapeake Energy will produce RSG using Project Canary’s continuous on-site emissions monitoring technology and TrustWell™ certification process, which provides third party verification that the operator has utilised the highest standards and practices in all phases of its operations.
When the joint Equitable Origin/MiQ certification is complete, EQT’s certified responsible natural gas production will account for about 4.5% of all US natural gas production, more than any other US producer’s entire output, whether certified or not, the company said.
“We received a tremendous amount of market interest following our announcement in January that we would be seeking certification of a portion of our natural gas production,” EQT CEO Toby Rice said. “We are committed to the highest standards of performance for our production operations, and we believe that obtaining certification from Equitable Origin and MiQ will enable us to further demonstrate our commitment to producing our natural gas in accordance with high environmental and social standards, and differentiate our gas in the market.”
The initial agreement between Chesapeake and Project Canary includes select well pads in northeast Pennsylvania and northwest Louisiana, though the partnership may be expanded based on initial findings and market conditions. Using real-time, continuous emissions monitoring at well pads, the pilot project aims to validate the high environmental standards by which natural gas is produced and that a market exists for differentiated RSG products.
“Through this two-basin partnership, we will be able to further demonstrate our commitment to generating shareholder value and ESG excellence,” Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler said.
EQT, meanwhile, will commit to the certified gas protocol initially for one year while it explores the market for a differentiated gas product, which is usually sold at a small premium to non-certified natural gas. In Canada, Seven Generations Energy sells a portion of its output, certified under Equitable Origin’s EO100™ standard, at a small premium to Quebec distributor Energir and Vermont Natural Gas in the US.
The EO100™ standard measures production against five key principles: corporate governance and ethics; social impacts, human rights and community engagement; indigenous peoples’ rights; occupational health & safety and fair labour standards; and environmental impacts, biodiversity and climate change.
MiQ’s standard, meanwhile, factors in methane detection and intensity and company practices around mitigating methane emissions.