U.S. Natural Gas Companies launch Appalachian Methane Initiative

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A coalition of U.S. natural gas operators announced Wednesday they were launching the Appalachian Methane Initiative (AMI) to further enhance methane monitoring and facilitate methane emissions reductions throughout the Appalachian Basin.

The group, whose founding members include Chesapeake Energy Corporation, EQT Corporation, and Equitrans Midstream Corporation, said enhancing methane emissions monitoring in the natural gas sector will help position companies for continued greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It will position Appalachian natural gas as a sustainable option in the global energy system.

“As an industry, we have an important role to play in both meeting global energy needs and reducing climate change risks,” said Chesapeake President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Dell’Osso. “The AMI coalition offers an opportunity to better measure and understand our emissions profiles as we work to reduce the environmental impact of natural gas production and answer the call for affordable, reliable, and lower carbon energy.”

AMI’s efforts, which bring together two of the top five natural gas producers in the United States, are hoped to promote greater efficiency in the identification and remedy of potential fugitive methane emissions from Appalachian Basin-based operations through satellite and aerial surveys. The coalition said it hopes to coordinate and share best practices in regard to mitigating methane emissions from natural gas operations and to collaborate on activities and monitor results through transparent, publicly available reporting.

“Appalachia is home to the United States’ richest natural gas basins, which also boast some of the lowest methane emissions intensities in the world,” said Toby Z. Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer of EQT Corporation. “Applying a basin-wide, sector-agnostic approach to methane monitoring will not only allow accountability for methane emissions from all emitters… At a time when international coal and associated GHG and methane have reached all-time highs, it is imperative that we recognize Appalachian natural gas for what it is, namely a means of meaningfully reducing global emissions.”

The coalition is proof that the industry is committed to sustainability, officials said.

“Sustainability performance is about knowing we, as an industry, are collectively doing the right thing for future generations – serving Americans’ current and increasing needs for reliable, clean-burning energy and supporting our national security and energy independence,” said Diana M. Charletta, Equitrans president and chief operating officer. “Natural gas is and will continue to be an integral component of the global energy portfolio, and we must continue to responsibly develop, produce, and transport our domestic resources to effectively and efficiently transition to a lower carbon future.”

The coalition said it expects to develop and implement a pilot monitoring program in select areas of the Appalachian Basin in 2023, with a full-Basin monitoring plan in place in 2024.