NextDecade Relies on Project Canary for the first monitoring, reporting, and independent third-party measurement project in the global LNG industry, opening new opportunities for producers in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale.
With investor proxy season well underway, several companies across sectors face a slew of climate-related shareholder propositions. While the majority won’t succeed, the heightened climate pressure underscores the material importance of verified environmental performance and ESG data.
For natural gas producers, pipeline operators, and buyers, verified, precise emissions measurements, site-level analysis, and financial grade environmental certifications – the components of Responsibly Sourced Gas (RSG) – are winning favor with the world’s most ESG-focused investors, energy buyers, and regulatory bodies.
As a distinctive classification of natural gas independently measured and verified for its low-methane attributes and environmentally responsible production methods, certified RSG is one of many tools necessary to prevent emissions and deliver low-carbon energy.
Occasional top-down emissions estimates won’t cut it. From Brussels to Wall Street, there’s broad consensus that frequent, accurate measurement is needed to tackle the methane challenge and prevent the worsening effects of climate change and supply the world with the dense energy they demand. From leading independents like Southwestern Energy and Chesapeake Energy to integrated oil and gas major Chevron, forward-thinking E&Ps seek Project Canary’s environmental and operational performance certification necessary for Certified next-gen RSG delivery.
Here are five criteria from the EDF that certification programs must incorporate in their design:
- Certification programs should require and verify that best practice work practice standards are met. Certification must never be viewed as an alternative to rigorous work practice regulatory standards, measurement and reporting requirements, or any other comprehensive and stringent measurement-based methane emission policy.
- Measurement-based emissions quantification is essential. Certification must be based on high-integrity monitoring and reporting consistent with the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 Level 5 reporting tier.
- Certification is not complete without verification. Certification must be accompanied by verification from a credible and independent third party.
- The emissions intensity target should ensure reductions. A producer’s methane intensity is defined as the total volume of methane emissions divided by total volume of marketed gas. Certification must be based on an intensity standard that is no greater than the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative’s metric of 0.20% and declines over time.
- Limit cherry-picking. Companies seeking certification must specify which of their assets they are certifying, the share these assets represent relative to their entire portfolio, and the emissions intensity of participating assets. In addition, companies seeking certification must report a company-wide emissions intensity
We’re seeing this increased pressure materialize in deal form with recent utility and LNG export space moves. Recently, a large Chicagoland natural gas utility sought Project Canary certified RSG for its measured, high fidelity ESG performance.
Nicor Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company, committed to reducing methane emissions by purchasing Project Canary Certified RSG. Nicor Gas has been serving Illinois for six decades. As energy demand continues to rise, the company is confident that Certified RSG will be critical in providing cleaner, safer, reliable, and affordable natural gas to its approximately 50K customers throughout 650 communities in the state.
Furthermore, following NextDecade’s decision to source 100 percent Certified RSG for their planned Rio Grande Texas LNG export facility, ENGIE re-engaged and entered a 15-year contract earlier this year. The greenhouse gas intensity of the LNG sold from the Rio Grande facility will be certified by Project Canary to confirm each element in the natural gas value chain – from wellhead to ship – has utilized the highest standards of environmental performance.
The partnership between NextDecade and Project Canary represents the first monitoring, reporting, and independent third-party measurement project in the global LNG industry, enabling RSG development from leading producers in both the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale.
These key deals come on the heels of other utility buyers seeking measurement-based, in-depth emissions verification and performance validation. As the market for certified gas continues to evolve, it’s clear that E&Ps and buyers seeking premium, verifiable environmental and emissions performance data are turning to Responsibly Sourced Gas certified by Project Canary.