EQT Corporation (EQT) announced its commitment to seek independent certification of a majority of its produced natural gas under certification standards developed by Equitable Origin and MiQ. The certification process is expected to commence this month, and it is anticipated that certification from Equitable Origin and MiQ will be obtained later this year.
Under the proposed project, EQT plans to obtain Equitable Origin and MiQ certification of the natural gas produced from over 200 of its well pads located in Greene and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania, which collectively produce approximately 4.0 Bcf/day from the wellhead (gross volume). These certifications will expand EQT's growing portfolio of certified natural gas, sometimes referred to as responsibly sourced gas, having previously announced in January a separate project with Project Canary to certify gas produced from two of its well pads, also located in southwestern Pennsylvania. When its certification project with Equitable Origin and MiQ is completed, EQT's certified natural gas production will comprise 4.5% of all natural gas produced in the U.S. This means EQT will be producing more certified gas than any other U.S. producer's entire natural gas production (certified or uncertified). EQT is committing to produce certified gas under the Equitable Origin and MiQ certification standards initially for a one-year period in order to further explore the market for these differentiated natural gas products.
"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," said Toby Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer of EQT. Mr. Rice continued, "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."
Equitable Origin and MiQ will oversee an independent, third-party audited assessment of EQT's natural gas production from the selected well pads focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, including methane emissions.
Equitable Origin, has a proven track record of certifying energy companies on ESG indicators in accordance with its EO100™ Standard for Responsible Energy Development, a set of rigorous ESG performance standards for energy development projects. Equitable Origin will certify EQT's produced natural gas against the five principles of the EO100™ Standard, including corporate governance and ethics; social impacts, human rights and community engagement; Indigenous Peoples' rights; occupational health & safety and fair labor standards; and environmental impacts, biodiversity and climate change.
Soledad Mills, CEO, Equitable Origin, said: "Markets for differentiated natural gas are beginning to reward those companies with superior ESG performance. We recognize energy companies that operate in accordance with the highest social and environmental standards based on certification to the EO100™ Standard. EQT has a long-standing commitment to ESG and we are delighted to work with them on this exciting project." Ms. Mills continued, "MiQ brings a wealth of expertise and experience in energy and climate change. Their certification system provides an independent, credible and quantified approach to methane performance evaluation that sits alongside, and enhances, our overall certification process."
MiQ, a non-profit partnership between RMI and SYSTEMIQ, is pioneering a market-based approach to rapidly reduce methane emissions across the natural gas sector. Its quanitiative certification standard - the MiQ Standard - factors in methane intensity, company practices, and methane detection. The MiQ Standard embodies a commitment to transparency, accountability, technology independence, and granularity.
Georges Tijbosch, Senior Adviser, MiQ, said: "Across the energy industry, from producers to consumers, there is a growing awareness of the climate change impact of methane emissions from natural gas production. Methane has 84x the global warming potential of CO2i reducing this harmful greenhouse gas is one of the most important things we can do to reach our global climate goals in the next decade." Mr. Tijbosch continued, "EQT's certification program is an exciting step to differntiating the U.S natural gas market based on ESG criteria. We look forward to collaborating with Equitable Origin to provide quantified certification of the methane component of EQT's production against our independent, third-party audited, and quantitative standard."