Penn Virginia is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations and complying with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations in regard to its operations. Our efforts to minimize our operational impact are multi-faceted, including reducing air emissions, minimizing the use of freshwater, preventing spills, and safeguarding local water supplies; in addition to decreasing our operational impact, these efforts also improve efficiency, lower costs, and reduce risk. The end result is a more stable and sustainable business that benefits all of the Company’s stakeholders. Below are some of the steps we take to safeguard the environment:
- GHG Monitoring. We actively monitor our Green House Gas (“GHG”), such as methane emissions, with a view towards reducing emissions by utilizing some of the techniques discussed below.
- Daily Well Checks. We have 25 lease operators who inspect each Penn Virginia well location daily as the first line of defense to detect and prevent leaks and emission events.
- Leak Detection and Prevention. Penn Virginia uses optical gas imaging (“OGI”) cameras to scan production facilities for leaks as part of our leak detection and repair program, including conducting voluntary surveys beyond regulatory requirements. We inspect our facilities at least once a year using OGI cameras to identify and repair fugitive emissions leaks from equipment and associated piping and fittings.
Use of Pipelines; Local Vendor Relationships
- Transportation via Pipeline. Currently, about 40-60% of our crude oil production and approximately 10-40% of our produced water is transported via pipeline, meaningfully reducing vehicle emissions; it also significantly decreases our environmental exposure and safety incident exposure, decreasing the possibility of physical harm to our employees, vendors, and the citizens of the communities where we operate.
- Transportation / Sourcing of Sand and Water. Similar to the above, we transport water required for drilling and completion operations via temporary pipeline, thus reducing vehicle emissions and safety incident exposure. Regional sand is used in our operations to the extent practicable, eliminating the need for supplies to be railed and trucked in from other locations and thereby reducing emissions potentially generated from interstate transport.
- Minimizing Flaring. We strive to connect our wells to natural gas pipelines in advance of production, minimizing the need for flaring.
Drilling & Completion Techniques; Well Design
- Multi-Well Pads. We minimize our surface impact through the use of multi-well pads where multiple wells are drilled from the same well pad and by drilling, where practical, additional wells from existing pad locations.
- Longer Laterals. Much of our development program has focused on extended reach laterals, which further limits our surface footprint.
- Minimizing Chemical Usage in Fracking. The mixture utilized in our completions operations generally consists of at least 99% water and sand with less than 1% utilization of chemical additives. We publicly disclose our chemical usage through FracFocus, ensuring ongoing transparency in our chemical usage.
- High Quality Equipment. Penn Virginia designs and builds our facilities to reduce vented emissions with emission control equipment that captures natural gas, such as vapor recovery towers (“VRT”), combustors, and low-pressure flares.
- Usage of Robust Casing Design. Penn Virginia protects groundwater sources by adopting best practices for drilling, well design, and well casing selection. All of our well designs are reviewed and approved by the Texas Railroad Commission.