Greenhouse gas emissions are released at various stages in the fracking process including drilling, fracking operations and transportation. 

While greenhouse gases are often the primary focus, air pollutants like volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants can also be emitted simultaneously and have a detrimental effect on local air quality.

Particular attention is being paid to methane as a greenhouse gas because of its potential to exacerbate climate change if released into the atmosphere directly. Methane leaks can occur during the entire natural gas supply chain and, in some cases, is a lost revenue source if not captured. Where gas is flared, this generates carbon dioxide and contributes to the company’s emissions. Poor management of methane can lead to reputational risk given its potential role as a transition fuel to a low-carbon economy. With many governments implementing climate policies, companies can be exposed to regulatory changes and need to demonstrate through transparent reporting how they adapt.

Engagement questions

1. Is the company monitoring air emissions from fracking?

Basic expectation

The company publicly reports on air emissions including greenhouse gases emissions and volatile organic compounds.

Follow up questions

  • How is the company measuring, reporting and reducing methane emissions?
  • Does the company have a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programme to control fugitive emissions?
  • Has the company set emission reduction goals and is it monitoring and disclosing the progress to achieve this?

2. Does the company use energy alternatives?

Basic expectation

The company has a strategy to find alternative, less-polluting fuel sources for drilling and completion operations and lists the alternative fuel sources they use.

Follow up question

  • Does the company disclose the reduced air emissions from the use of alternative fuels?

3. Has the company implemented green completion policies?

Basic expectation

The company has a stated policy on green completions or acknowledges compliance with the US EPA regulation.

Follow up question

  • Does the company disclose the reduced air emissions from the use of alternative fuels?

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