Our Takeaways from the Responsibly Produced Gas Conference
Industry experts and visionaries who are paving the way for the certified and differentiated gas movement shared concepts to move the initiative forward. Presentations and a panel discussion sparked conversation about the emerging world of certification, contributing unique and thoughtful perspectives from multiple viewpoints. While there were several important takeaways, we narrowed it down to three of our favorites that were highlighted as key drivers for the initiative by multiple speakers.
1. Measurement and Verification are Necessary for Responsibly Sourced Gas
Within her presentation, Erin Tullos, PhD of GTI, emphasized that to be successful, differentiated programs must be measurement verified to garner credibility on a global scale. While there is still uncertainty surrounding who will set guidelines and provide independent governance, one thing that was amplified by many of the speakers is the need for accurate and verifiable measurements.
Rather than estimating emissions based only on a model, accurate measurement allows for transparency throughout the supply chain and can help improve capacity to meet evolving standards. This measurement requires accurate quantification of emissions that can ultimately guide standards.
Additionally, Highwood Emissions’ Voluntary Emissions Reduction Initiative report outlines 6 levels of disclosure, with only 4 through 6 (the highest levels) including verification with the use of measurements. Currently, few initiatives are using or have committed to use measurements versus modeling or estimates in their certification programs.
Questions remain: who will set and monitor metrics and performance and what technologies will be leveraged across the oil and gas supply chain to enable measurable and verifiable data.
2. There is Demand for Certified Gas Across Stakeholder Groups
The value proposition of “certification” is continuing to be defined. Key drivers for oil and gas companies will have financial, operational, and brand implications as stakeholders – including investors, consumer, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers – increasingly demand verifiable clean energy. Throughout the presentation and discussions, we heard from companies that had gone through the certification process and were able to collect a premium for the certified gas. This helps encourage other companies across the value chain to pursue differentiated gas programs.
This is necessary, and we need to act fast, highlighted Tullos in her presentation, noting that there is a desire at both end user and investor levels.
Patrick Peura of Allianz echoed that investors are expecting portfolio companies to commit and deliver on cleaner alternatives. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments have risen in importance as can be seen through recent movement of oil and gas titans tying executive compensation to ESG results.
3. Transparency and Disclosure in Oil and Gas Emissions is Essential
This was first highlighted by Highwood’s Thomas Fox in his presentation of the Voluntary Initiative report, noting that none of the 20 initiatives reviewed require comprehensive and unaggregated public disclosure of measured emissions data. Independent auditing and verification are the exception, not the norm currently, but must become part of the standard.
Throughout his presentation and the discussions following, there was a call for transparency within the industry and emphasis on how these initiatives can guide and enable this shift. Transparency and disclosure of actual, auditable measurement data can allow for harmonization of data collection and reporting as well. This creates an environment for the industry to work collaboratively to standardize data collection and initiative standards.
Panelist Tisha Schuller, principal of Adamantine Energy, noted the mounting pressure on the industry and called for oil and gas companies to lead and be proactive in decarbonization efforts. It is critical to be transparent when developing aspirational goals, but plans must be concrete and actionable to transform the entire business and move the industry in a new direction.
The Future of Certified Gas
The discussions and talks at this conference were insightful and exciting. There are more questions to be answered as the world of certified and differentiated gas evolves and dialog continues. If you are curious to learn more, you can watch the webcast in its entirety by clicking here.
We are looking forward to participating in efforts that support the oil and gas industry shift toward certification and applying our technology to help define the new standard.