Diversified expands emissions reduction campaign

By Keefe Borden30 November 2021

Diversified Energy Company has granted Bridger Photonics a three-year, $9 million contract to conduct aerial scans of the company’s natural gas production and distribution assets starting in the Appalachian region.

Bozeman, Montana-based Bridger specializes in the application of precision laser imaging, detection, and ranging (LiDAR) equipment to identify methane emissions from gas and oil facilities.

“We are thrilled to support Diversified Energy’s leadership role and strong commitment to emissions reduction,” said Pete Roos, president and CEO of Bridger Photonics. “Our gas mapping LiDAR technology will efficiently detect, pinpoint, and quantify typically more than 90% of basin emissions to inform and streamline Diversified’s repair and maintenance activities.”

In early 2021, Diversified collaborated with Bridger to aerially detect fugitive natural gas emissions in a large segment of pipeline the company acquired in Appalachia. During the field trial, Diversified confirmed that Bridger’s advanced LiDAR technology detected emissions well below the EPA-defined leak definition of 500 parts per million.

Based on the successful field trial and as part of its $15 million annual initial funding commitment, Diversified said it will expand its investment in aerial emissions scanning activities by spending $3 million per year on this aerial methane emissions detection over the next three years.

Initially, Diversified will focus its scanning efforts on its Appalachian operations, and expects to expand the program to cover its assets in the Central Region.

The aerial emissions detection scans, coupled with newly deployed handheld detection devices, are part of Diversified’s commitment to perform comprehensive fugitive emissions assessments at all Appalachia wells by mid-2023.

Diversified said its investment in aerial emissions detection is an extension of its Smarter Asset Management (“SAM”) program focused on operational excellence, stewardship of existing assets and enhanced asset integrity that serves as a return on this methane emission-reduction investment.

“Today’s commitment to invest $9 million over the next three years into advanced LiDAR technology supports our near-term goal to reduce our 2020-level methane emissions by 30% by 2026 on the way to net-zero by 2040,” Diversified CEO Rusty Hutson Jr. said. “Adding aerial emissions detection to the handheld devices we’ve placed in the hands of our skilled well tenders further enhances our ability to detect and repair fugitive emissions across our asset base. Our partnership with the Bridger team is another important milestone as we continue to evaluate other investments that will support our methane-reduction initiatives.”

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