Market Looks to Certified ‘Responsibly Sourced Gas’ as a Climate Solution
A differentiated market for certified Responsibly Sourced Gas has quickly formed over the past year as natural gas producers and buyers work to deliver a product that meets rigorous environmental standards. In fact, more than 20 percent of daily U.S. natural gas production is independently certified for its low-emissions and high ESG performance.
In certifying assets, producers across the country – including in Appalachia, the Haynesville, DJ and Permian basins – are inviting operational and emissions scrutiny from third party firms. This audit of data, measured emissions, and operational performance create a score that serves as the basis for RSG.
As the market for RSG continues to grow – driven by buyers seeking a cleaner, sustainably produced, low-emission product – interstate pipelines are pursuing similar options both in terms of shipping and their own environmental performance.
Ultimately, RSG is an independent verification of the work natural gas operators are undertaking to proactively tackle methane emissions, reduce environmental footprint and heighten ESG performance.
Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
There are many different ways to reduce emissions and each company and region will ultimately choose the set of methods that best support the local communities they work and live in. It’s imperative the industry take steps to decarbonize, but it’s also necessary to recognize there is not just one way to tackle emissions.
For example, ExxonMobil announced last week its target to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050, which is a significant pledge by a leading oil and gas company. This isn’t the first initiative made by this company. Back in 2020, Project Astra was launched in partnerships with some oil-and-gas companies and other entities to bring online various methane-sensing technologies that can operate autonomously as one of the ways to detect leaks and tackle methane emissions. The proactive efforts to partner with fellow industry leaders to identify sources of emissions and develop and employ new technologies to mitigate these risks is a clear refutation of to claims that the industry isn’t doing enough.
In the Permian Basin, where Texas that leads the nation in oil and natural gas production, we are also seeing leadership in technological innovation. Operators in the basin are building facilities and using carbon capture technology to reduce emissions in the basin.
For example, Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) is designing the world’s largest direct air capture (DAC) facility that is planned to capture up to 1 million metric tons annually of carbon emissions. It’s innovational prowess like this that sets the industry apart in leading the way on decarbonization.
Modernizing And Evolving the Gas Industry
In 2021, companies are committing to do even more to reduce emissions and eliminate processes like routine flaring. As more infrastructure is being added and companies are taking initiative to ensure reliability of every aspect of their supply chain, the application of technologies like RSG further the evolution of a more modernized natural gas industry. The industry has already invested billions of dollars to address climate change through enhanced efficiencies of operations and strategic investments in research and development that ultimately culminate in the United States being the world’s largest exporter of natural gas in 2022.
For example, Apache Corporation last year reached its ESG goal three months early by reducing its routine flaring at its onshore operations.
Yet the goal remains the same: duality. The ability for these companies to both tackle emissions to ensure sustainability efforts are being met, while continuing to evolve to run a more efficient and modernized operation that benefits the company, consumers, and the environment.
This is only the first month of 2022, but it’s already clear it will be a year full of new technologies, best practices, and commitments by leaders in the natural gas industry.