TCFD: TCFD-S2, TCFD-R2, TCFD-M1, TCFD-M2, TCFD-M3 / IPIECA: CCE-1, CCE-5, CCE-6, ENV-5 / SASB: EM-EP-110a.1, EM-EP-110a.2, EM-EP-110a.3 / GRI: 102-12, 102-44, 103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 201-2, 302-4

Natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels and is playing an important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Abundant and reliable, natural gas is also helping to increase the feasibility of more widespread use of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

Minimizing methane emissions is a key goal for SWN, and doing so isn’t just good environmental stewardship; since methane is ultimately our product, it is good business as well. Accountability for this goal goes all the way to the top of SWN’s organization, as the operating executives’ evaluation scorecard includes methane performance metrics, and our Board of Directors regularly reviews methane emissions performance.

IPIECA: CCE-4, CCE-7 / GRI: 305-1, 305-4

GHG Emissions Leadership

SWN has long been a leader in reducing GHG emissions from our operations and is achieving top-tier GHG emissions performance. In 2020, we assessed our GHG emissions intensity compared to our peers and found we were a top performer, with significantly lower GHG emissions intensity than most of our peers. Specifically, SWN achieved a GHG intensity of 4.95 (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per MBOE).

SWN also leads the industry in reducing methane emissions, an important GHG in our industry. In 2020, we achieved a methane leak/loss rate of 0.075 percent.1

SWN is a founding member of the Our Nation’s Energy (ONE) Future coalition, a group of 42 companies working to reduce methane emissions across the natural gas value chain. Through peer-reviewed scientific analysis, ONE Future determined that – to ensure the climate benefits of natural gas over other fuels – the industry’s methane intensity must not exceed 1 percent across the entire natural gas value chain.2

SWN achieved our ONE Future 2025 target of 0.28% eight years ago and has surpassed this target annually since.

Our ability to continually exceed this aggressive target stems from our early leadership in implementing methane emission-reduction technologies, and from the ways we have integrated environmental stewardship – including a consistent focus on identifying and reducing sources of methane emissions – into our company culture and operations. We are committed to continuous improvement and are always seeking ways to further reduce our emissions, as well as encouraging others in the industry to do so.

We are members of The Environmental Partnership, a group of 87 companies that have committed to implement a range of emission-reduction best practices. Further, we seek to improve and share our knowledge in this area by participating in scientific studies with regulatory agencies, academia and nongovernmental organizations.

100% of SWN Wells to Be Certified as Responsibly Sourced Gas

In 2021, SWN announced an agreement with Project Canary to obtain responsibly sourced gas (RSG) certification through its stringent TrustWell standard and continuous emission monitoring across its Appalachia Basin operations. This makes SWN the largest independent producer to certify and continuously monitor its entire base production. Certification and monitoring began in 2021.

2020 GHG Emissions Performance

We are committed to ongoing reductions in our GHG emissions and to transparently reporting on our progress.

In November 2020, SWN acquired Montage Resources, including its producing wells in Ohio and West Virginia. As a result of this acquisition, some of our GHG emissions metrics increased compared with 2019, including our methane leak/loss rate, which increased 0.02% from 2019 to 2020. In accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas reporting requirements, the properties acquired were included in the calculation for the entire year of 2020. While this acquisition impacted our greenhouse gas emissions profile, it also provides a larger opportunity for us to illustrate emissions leadership by implementing additional controls and improvements on the properties we had acquired. We began implementing these improvements in early 2021.

To improve the transparency of our reporting, we have added additional GHG emissions (below) for flaring intensity, and GHG emissions by gas type and source.

Less than 0.01%

2020 Flaring Intensity3

GHG Emissions by Constituent

Emission (metric tons)659,136.8115,861.882.69

GHG Emissions by Source Category

2020 Source CategoriesTOTAL (metric tons CO2e)
Combustion Equipment612,183
Natural Gas Pneumatic Devices293,365
Atmospheric Storage Tanks28,345
Well Venting for Liquids Unloading28,144
Equipment Leaks15,910
Associated Gas Venting and Flaring7,747
Natural Gas Driven Pneumatic Pumps6,459
Reciprocating Compressors650
Flare Stacks591
Blowdown Vent Stacks28


Emission-Reduction Efforts

SWN has proactively implemented methane mitigation technologies – including reduced emission completions, pneumatic device replacement, liquids unloading mitigation, and leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs – well in advance of U.S. regulatory requirements. Current SWN facilities do not utilize high-bleed controllers, nor do we use them in new facility design or installation.

Our voluntary LDAR program, through which we find and fix methane leaks across our operations, is overseen at the highest levels of our company. The Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Responsibility Committee of our Board of Directors reviews LDAR performance quarterly, and senior executives are accountable for LDAR performance as part of their balanced scorecard evaluations. SWN’s Air Program Manager oversees day-to-day implementation of the program across the company, providing a single point of accountability and maintaining consistent implementation in all our operating regions.

Our LDAR program goes beyond current regulatory requirements by including certain nonfugitive equipment sources – such as pneumatic controllers – and by addressing all potential sources, not just new ones. This program exceeds the standards of many SWN peers by covering all operational facilities, equipment and components. SWN LDAR personnel participate in both equipment start-up and maintenance activities to address potential leaks across the facility’s lifecycle.

The elements of our LDAR program are as follows:

  • Ongoing remote monitoring of pressure, temperature and flow rate, to identify any changes that may indicate methane leaks.
  • Frequent audio, visual and olfactory inspections are conducted by field personnel to identify leaks.
  • Leak detection surveys using optical gas imaging cameras are completed at least annually. New wells and new compressor stations are assessed within 60 to 180 days of commencing operation.
  • Immediate repairs of leaking components are made if practical and safe. Once repairs are completed, the component or equipment is resurveyed to confirm the leak has been fixed.
  • Tracking and reporting data on leak detection surveys to help ensure repairs are made effectively and to drive improvements in maintenance and repair practices.


of our operational production facilities surveyed for potential methane leaks in 2020


of our compressor stations surveyed for potential methane leaks in 2020


of identified methane leaks were repaired4

Other things we do to reduce emissions include:

  • Use preventative practices and design standards to eliminate otherwise high-emitting events
  • Prevent and/or minimize emissions from venting, including during planned events such as liquid unloading and blowdowns
  • Use the applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Natural Gas STAR recommended technologies for minimizing methane venting
  • Minimize flaring to the maximum extent feasible to do so (in our core operating areas, flare use is limited to stand-by for upsets in the early stages of the drilling process, emergency conditions or as otherwise required by federal or state regulations)

Technologies/Practices SWN Uses to Minimize Emissions, by Operational Phase

Well Drilling

  • Catalytic converters
  • Low-sulfur diesel fuel
  • Engines that run on a mixture of diesel and natural gas
  • Engines that run on natural gas where available

Well Completions/Workovers

  • Catalytic converters
  • Low-sulfur diesel fuel
  • Green (i.e., low-emission) completions and recompletions

Production Activities

  • Tankless facilities
  • Instrument air driven pneumatic devices and pumps
  • Maintenance practices
  • Low NOx burners
  • Vapor recovery
  • Leak detection, including use of infrared cameras to identify leaks
  • Artificial lift systems
  • Monitored manual liquids unloading
  • Solar-powered instruments
  • Flash tank vessels on glycol dehydration units
  • 100 percent natural gas-fired and electric compressor drivers

Gas Gathering/Treatment

  • Lean burn engines
  • Catalytic converters
  • Leak detection, including use of infrared cameras to identify leaks
  • Flash tank vessels on glycol dehydration units
  • Electric glycol pump
  • Air/fuel ratio controllers
  1. Methane intensity or methane leak/loss rate (mass percentage) is calculated by dividing the mass of methane emissions by the oil and gas gross production (cubic feet converted to mass). In accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas reporting requirements, assets that were acquired in 2020 are reported. Reporting these acquired assets in accordance with the requirements has resulted in an increase of 0.02% from 2019 to 2020. The methane leak/loss rate for 2020 for Montage Resources was 0.141%, while SWN had a methane leak/loss rate without Montage of 0.059%.
  2. For more information on ONE Future and the target-setting process, please see:
  3. Flaring percentage shown for 2020 is associated with non-core assets.
  4. All leaks are ultimately repaired. However, less than 1 percent of leaks in 2020 were identified for delayed repair, in accordance with regulation to prevent excess emissions as a result of immediate repair.