(Bloomberg) — Shale producer Southwestern Energy Co. has agreed to seek environmental certification for all of its natural gas production, the latest sign that the industry is bowing to investor demands to tackle climate change.
Southwestern said in a statement that it will seek to certify its output as “responsibly sourced gas” using independent analysis from Project Canary, a startup that measures greenhouse-gas emissions in real time. Project Canary will analyze the explorer’s wells to verify that they meet certain environmental standards, and it will install emissions monitoring devices at all of the company’s production sites.
The move by Southwestern comes as the energy industry faces unprecedented pressure from shareholders urging companies to meet environmental, social and corporate governance criteria. Investors are pushing oil and gas producers to curb their emissions, and U.S. gas exporters are offering more transparency about each cargo’s carbon footprint.
Project Canary has partnered with companies including pipeline giant Kinder Morgan Inc. and gas driller EQT Corp. But Southwestern is going a step further by seeking to certify its entire production base, Project Canary Chief Executive Officer Chris Romer said in an interview. The certification process includes continuous monitoring of existing and future well sites and a historical view of the well pad’s condition and management.
In April, private equity firms including Quantum Energy Partners agreed to invest $10 million in Denver-based Project Canary.
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