Liberty ESG report

A screenshot from Liberty's ESG report.

Oil and gas operators across the nation are racing to announce carbon reduction goals and ESG plans. Bakken operators are no different. Most of them have or are in the process of having formalized ESG plans.

ONEOK is the most recent Bakken company to announce an ambitious ESG goal. It will reduce both Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as compared to 2019 levels.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions include direct emissions from company-operated sources and indirect emissions from purchased power. In 2019, those totaled 7.2 MMT of carbon dioxide equivalents. A 30 percent reduction would eliminate 2.2 MMT from its greenhouse gas stream, leaving it at 5.0 MMT.

To achieve this goal, ONEOK will electrify natural gas compression assets across its operations, as well as pursue methane mitigation through a combination of best management practices and system optimization including monitoring technologies.

ONEOK is also planning to collaborate with utilities and power generators to accelerate low-carbon power options for its operations.

This is not the first time ONEOK has taken steps to reduce emissions. Since 2014, the company has used internal environmental metrics as an element of its short-term incentive program for all employees to promote continued reduction of releases and emissions events across ONEOK operations.

“ONEOK has a long history of responsible operations and this announcement signifies the continued commitment to our core operating principles,” said Pierce H. Norton II, ONEOK president and chief executive officer. “Setting this emission reduction target marks another major environmental milestone for our company.”

Norton also indicated the company is looking at diversification to strengthen its game plan for the future.

“Our dedicated sustainability and renewables team are actively researching opportunities that will complement our extensive midstream assets and expertise, strengthening the vital role we expect to play in a lower carbon economy,” he said. “We’ll remain intentional in our focus and maintain capital discipline while developing these opportunities.”

Oasis Petroleum, meanwhile, has released the first of what it plans to make an annual sustainability report, which outlines the company’s ESG measures.

In the report, Oasis touts a 51 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity during 2020 as compared to 2019 levels and the fact that it transported 100 percent of its oil and water via pipeline, which reduced the number of trucks it has on the road. It also mentions a 60 percent reduction in reportable spills in 2020.

On the social aspect, the company points to a 27 percent increase in the proportion of women in its workforce since 2017 and to the fact that two-thirds of its committees are chaired by women. The company has also contributed $4.5 million to charities and community initiatives since 2010.

Liberty Oilfield Services ESG statement, meanwhile, turns things around to look at energy through the lens of making human lives better, in a world where fully one-third of the world’s population lacks access to modern energy.

The report doesn’t ignore climate change, however. The company said it expects to drive emissions of its electric frac fleet at least 20 percent below the best competitors on the market.

“It is simply not possible to discuss the environmental and social impacts of our industry without considering the environmental and human impacts of the absence of our industry,” commented CEO Chris Wright. “The progress in the human condition leading to the modern world was enabled by the surge in plentiful, affordable energy. Today, unfortunately, many people still lack access to life-enhancing modern energy. This presents the most pressing global energy challenge and gaining a broader understanding of climate change science and the upsides and downsides of the impacts of mitigation is a responsibility that Liberty takes seriously.”

Mr. Wright continued, “We chose our name, Liberty, because we believe in human liberty: everyone should have the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams. This ethos pervades our culture, allowing us to be a force for disruptive change in the service industry since our founding a decade ago. Investment in our employees, innovation in an ever-changing environment, and a robust governance system has allowed us to grow into one of the largest North American completions companies by sustaining these competitive advantages through cycles. The market’s current focus on ESG aligns with the principles that have been a part of our DNA since day one. Our ESG report is the next step in our sustainability leadership journey of providing an informative view of how ESG principles are foundational to our strategy.”

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