Jonah, PureWest both reach natural-gas milestones


SUBLETTE COUNTY – Separately, Jonah Energy and PureWest (formerly Ultra) are announcing milestones in the privately held companies’ quests to market responsibly sourced natural gas.

Together, both operators highlight their efforts each take to reach sustainability goals, reporting standards and lower emissions. Both operators, based in Denver, focus these efforts on Sublette County production in the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field. Both say they are reaching the top tiers to verify and confirm “responsibly sourced gas” in their extensive holdings here.

Setting new, higher responsible environmental standards to produce clean natural gas shows which producers are willing to reach the highest tiers of marketability on a new global scale, they say.

Jonah Energy’s Gold Standard

This week, Jonah Energy announced its sole status of Gold Standard ranking in the United Nations-sponsored Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 – “a climate and clean air coalition initiative led by the UN Environment Programme” partnering with government, conservation and industry.

The achievement of “companies that develop and implement and implement robust plans to integrate verified emissions measurement ” was published in “An Eye on Methane,” the UNEP’s first annual report of the International Methane Emissions Observatory.

“Jonah Energy is the first and currently the only U.S.-based company to achieve the gold standard rating,” said spokesman Doug Hock on Nov. 16. “Jonah Energy is one of the leading sustainable natural gas producers in the U.S. Jonah Energy’s work and similar efforts by other producers who take this challenge seriously will result in a differentiated gas marketplace for consumers concerned about emissions. Additionally, a market for differentiated, low-emission American natural gas will support global climate goals through global export as liquified natural gas.”

Jonah Energy President and CEO Tom Hart said, “We signed on to OGMP 2.0 because it is the leading independent, verifiable and measured performance standard and it creates the credibility and transparency necessary for natural gas to achieve its full potential and take its rightful place in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the global energy value chain.”

To see the IMEO report about Jonah Energy’s Gold Standard, go to https://www.unep.org/resources/report/eye-methane-international-methane-emissions-observatory-2021-report.

PureWest’s carbon-neutral sale

Also on Nov. 16, PureWest released its second annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, outlining 2020 progress “toward PureWest’s goal of becoming the most responsible and profitable natural gas company in North America.”

One milestone is the recent sales agreement to provide Pierce Transit in Washington – a longtime user of compressed natural gas, battery and battery-hybrid alternative fuels – with PureWest’s “first-ever Scope 1 and 2 carbon-neutral, certified responsibly sourced gas (RSG) in the country.”

“RSG” is a designation from independent evaluator Project Canary to verify a producer meets high standards and practices to minimize or neutralize its greenhouse gas footprint with monitoring and carbon offsets.

Project Canary gave PureWest a “platinum” for 90 wells on two pads and will certify another 779 wells on 38 pads in the Anticline by the end of this year.

PureWest’s Kelly Bott explained Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and the carbon offsets.

“Scope 1 emissions are greenhouse gases (methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide) that we emit directly – emissions from field equipment, engines, work trucks, etc. Methane and nitrous oxide have higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide, so multipliers are used to convert those emissions to carbon dioxide equivalents, so we can talk about a single greenhouse gas number,” she said.

Scope 2 emissions come from power it purchases for gathering and injection facilities and offices – “basically what the power plant emits as a result of PureWest operations.”

Carbon offsets purchased through the Climate Action Reserve include a forestry project in South Carolina and a cookstove change-out project in sub-Saharan Africa, Bott said. “We wanted to find the most robust and defensible credits available to ensure a meaningful reduction in carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.”

PureWest is analyzing its Scope 3 emissions of equipment purchased, commuting and “anything else we might influence that is not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2.”

“To be clear, we are still very much focused on reducing our infield emissions and creating as much local benefit as possible,” Bott said. “Carbon offsets are a way to demonstrate our commitment to climate change mitigation while we continue to drive down our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

ESG report

Part of its “social” responsibility in 2020 was ensuring employees’ and contractors’ health against COVID-19 with “zero workplace transmissions,” according to PureWest’s 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.

“At PureWest, we hold ourselves to an incredibly high standard when it comes to our operations,” said CEO Chris Valdez. “That includes our commitment to environmental stewardship, the safety and wellbeing of our people and the communities in which we live and operate.”

Several 2020 highlights were a methane intensity rate of 0.04 percent, 100-percent use of recycled water for the past decade’s completions, zero vehicle accidents as employees and contractors logged 2.6 million miles, charitable donations and employee-initiated resource groups on key issues.

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