Disclosing the Facts 2019: Transparency and Risk in Water & Chemicals Management for Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (DTF 2019) is an investor report designed to promote improved water and chemical management and reporting practices among oil and gas producers engaged in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the United States and Canada.Download the Executive Summary
Investors are focused on water, because it is a vital resource whose availability has extensive impacts across the economy. Investors’ attention to water reflects their increasing focus on the role this resource has on companies’ ability to operate as well as the impact companies have on water availability and quality in areas where they are located. As climate change affects the scarcity of water in different regions, investors need assurance that companies are responsibly managing the quantity of water used. The process of hydraulic fracturing uses a range of chemicals, raising the risk of unintended releases that could result in water contamination, and increases the risk of induced seismic activity, among others. Given the oil and gas sector has a relatively low response rate to the CDP water questionnaire,1 DTF 2019 seeks to highlight the importance of comprehensive water management.
Disclosing the Facts 2019 ranks companies on disclosures of key elements of their water management processes, seeking not only quantitative information about the impacts of company operations on water but also qualitative information about corporate policies and practices. Sound corporate management of water and chemicals requires thorough, systematic planning — from site development through production and wastewater disposal, advanced equipment design, and practices that efficiently use water and minimize impacts on the surrounding environment and local communities.
Disclosing the Facts 2019 also addresses the very real problem of regulatory inconsistency. Since most regulation of oil and gas production operations is done by states, and state regulation of known risks is uneven, companies must go beyond issuing boiler-plate statements to investors that they comply with regulations. Investors are seeking greater information on risk management practices, especially where they differ from one play 2 to another, and where practices may go beyond compliance requirements or not.
Disclosing the Facts 2019 poses 25 questions reflecting a systematic approach to water management. The actions of 30 top producing companies are assessed against these criteria, which range from design and operating practices to monitoring and reporting.3
Disclosure Leaders and Laggards: Of the 30 companies scored on 25 indicators, the top scorers were: Southwestern Energy (23 points), Apache Corporation (22), Anadarko Petroleum (20), Range Resources (20), and Occidental Petroleum (19). The next five were Antero Resources (17), Royal Dutch Shell (17), ConocoPhillips (16), Hess Corporation (15), and Devon Energy (12). At the bottom of the rankings, Gulfport Energy and Continental Resources tallied zero, Total and EOG Resources scored one (1), and CNX Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources and Concho Resources scored two (2). Of the three largest oil and gas companies, Shell (17) has offered the greatest disclosures while Exxon Mobil (4) and Chevron (5) continue to lag.
Most and Least Disclosed Indicators: 4 Twenty-one of the 30 companies disclosed that they collect reports of “near misses” or close calls that did not result in leaks, spills, injuries, or environmental harms. These companies used such information to proactively identify problems with the goal of preventing or reducing future equipment failures and human errors. Seventeen companies state clearly that their public disclosures of chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing do not include chemicals protected by claims of trade secrecy. Sixteen companies discuss their practices for assuring the operational integrity of their wells. Fifteen companies report, on a play-by-play basis, the percentages of their wastewater recycled and reused for fracturing additional wells. On the other hand, only one company earns credit for disclosing its post-drilling monitoring practices, including chemicals monitored and frequency of monitoring, on a play-by-play basis. A few additional companies disclose such practices but are silent on the frequency of such testing. Three companies earn credit for disclosing their pre-drilling monitoring practices, including the type of chemicals monitored and frequency of monitoring, on a play-by-play basis. As with post-drilling monitoring, a few additional companies disclose that such testing occurs without stating frequency or types of test. Only three companies earn credit for disclosing, in percentage terms (from a base year), quantitative reductions in the toxicity of the chemicals they use for fracturing. Other questions have more evenly dispersed responses.
These tables contain the score breakdown for each company by indicator. A checkmark means the company earned a point for that metric. (Click on any company name multiple times to sort and change the order. Also use your right and left arrows on the keyboard to scroll and see all the companies – or click below)
|Company||Anadarko||Antero||Apache||BP||Cabot||Chesapeake||Chevron||Cimarex||CNX||Concho||ConocoPhillips||Continental||Devon||Encana||EOG||EQT||Equinor||Exxon Mobil||Gulfport||Hess||Marathon Oil||Newfield||Noble||Occidental||Pioneer||Range||Shell||Southwestern||Total||Ultra Petroleum||TOTAL|
|1) Well Evaluation||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||16|
|2) Well Integrity||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||5|
|3) Near Misses||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||1||1||0||1||1||1||*||1||1||1||1||1||1||0||21|
|4) Offset Well Assessment||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||*||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||12|
|5) Avoiding Induced Seismic Activity||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||14|
|6) Pre-drill H2O Monitoring||1||0||0||0||1||*||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||*||0||0||*||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||3|
|7) Post-drill H2O Monitoring||1||0||0||0||0||*||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||*||0||0||*||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|8) Evaluating Water Scarcity||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||12|
|9) Total Water Use||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||*||0||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||10|
|10) Freshwater & Non-freshwater Use||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||9|
|11) Water Source Types||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||*||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||0||0||6|
|12) Wastewater Use||1||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||1||1||1||0||1||15|
|13) Reducing Freshwater||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||9|
|14) Wastewater Volume||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||*||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||10|
|15) Wastewater Storage Methods||0||1||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||16|
|16) Wastewater Storage Safeguards||0||1||1||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||*||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||12|
|17) Drilling Residuals||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||1||0||1||14|
|19) Managing Inactive Wells||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||1||0||1||0||1||14|
|20) Use of Waste Products||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||*||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||9|
|21) Toxicity Reduction||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||3|
|22) Dry Chemical Use||1||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||*||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||10|
|23) Eliminating BTEX||0||0||1||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||*||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||10|
|24) CBI Disclaimer||1||1||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||*||1||1||1||1||1||0||0||17|
|25) Reducing CBI Claims||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||*||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5|
The information in this report has been prepared from sources and data the authors believe to be reliable, but we assume no liability for and make no guarantee as to its adequacy, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. Boston Common Asset Management, LLC may have invested in, and may in the future invest in, some of the companies mentioned in this report. The information in this report is not designed to be investment advice regarding any security, company, or industry and should not be relied upon to make investment decisions. We cannot and do not comment on the suitability or profitability of any particular investment. All investments involve risk, including the risk of losing principal. No information herein is intended as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as a sponsorship of any company, security, or fund. Opinions expressed and facts stated herein are subject to change without notice.