First-Ever Freshwater Stewardship Certification Developed for Oil and Gas Producers

Partnership between the Center for Energy Water Sustainability at Colorado State (CEWS) and Project Canary

Aug 26, 2021 08:30 MDT

Project Canary, the leading natural gas certification firm, and The Center for Energy Water Sustainability (CEWS) at Colorado State University have established the oil and gas industry’s first standardized freshwater reporting framework and metrics. Freshwater acquisition and management are a critical part of the well completion process, and this framework enables and encourages producer efforts towards freshwater stewardship, an important component of a responsibly sourced gas (RSG) certification program.

  • Water use plays a central role in oil and gas production, developing freshwater acquisition and use standards creates an accurate assessment of their use in oil and natural gas operations.
  • Producers can now differentiate their performance relative to water use and responsible stewardship as those who minimize or eliminate freshwater usage.
  • Companies reusing or recycling water in their operations will be considered more responsive to ESG objectives.
  • Accurate and independent ESG certification for the oil and gas water space is transformative.

The new reporting framework centers around responsible freshwater use and mitigation efforts and allows producers to differentiate their performance relative to water use. Companies reusing or recycling water in their operations will be considered more responsive to ESG objectives, thereby encouraging sustainable water practices.

“Project Canary’s vision to bring accurate and independent ESG certification to the oil and gas water space is transformative. Working to bring elevated water stewardship to oil and gas operations has been very rewarding for our team, and we are excited to roll out the program to more regions of the country,” said Dr. Ken Carlson, director of the CEWS.

“The CSU team’s dedication to sustainable operations aligns perfectly with the mission of Project Canary. The framework our teams developed exhibits the same engineering rigor contained within the TrustWell certification,” said Josh Zier, Lead Certification Engineer at Project Canary. “Applying this freshwater-verified attribute to our TrustWell process allows leading operators to differentiate their ESG leadership.”

As drought conditions worsen and water becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, particularly in areas of heightened water stress, operators must strive to reduce their impacts on groundwater and freshwater resources. The new program accounts for regions facing increased water stress through a localized methodology that provides for competitive water use, population, and drought severity.

The Freshwater Friendly Verified Attribute joins the Low Methane Verified Attribute to supplement the broader TrustWell by Project Canary Certification.

The white paper can be viewed here.

About the Center for Energy Water Sustainability: CEWS, located within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Colorado State University, has been working to increase the sustainability of water use in the oil and gas industry for over 10 years. Major initiatives have included optimizing water transportation systems, reuse, and recycling technologies, and the Colorado Water Watch, the first real-time groundwater monitoring system that was public-facing. The CEWS believes that as long as oil and gas are being extracted, they should employ the best water technology and management practices to assure that the industry has a minimal environmental and social footprint and has made this its mission.

About Project Canary

Project Canary is a SaaS-based data analytics company focused on accurate corporate climate ESG data for emission-intensive industrial companies. We are the leaders in holistic environmental assessments (air, water, land, and community). Project Canary scores responsible operations, delivering independent emission profiles via high-fidelity continuous monitoring technology to provide actionable environmental performance data. Our sensor portfolio includes high-fidelity spectroscopy-based methane detection and emissions quantification for the oil and gas sectors, plus Aeris Technologies’ laser-based gas analyzers covering other emissions, including ethane, nitrous oxide, formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, benzene, and more. Formed as a Public Benefit Corporation, Project Canary’s Denver-based team of scientists, engineers, and seasoned industry operators identify and quantify areas to reduce emissions.

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