Environment

Protecting natural resources is not only the right thing to do, it is good business. SWN operates responsibly and strives to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. Our vision is for the safe and responsible development of America’s abundant supply of natural gas to remain an essential part of the mix in a lower-carbon energy future. We take a science-based approach to achieving this vision, actively participating in academic and industry research to develop innovative environmental solutions. We maintain positive and productive relationships with federal and state regulatory agencies, and it is our practice to conform our operations to the spirit – not just the letter – of environmental regulations.

Environmental Data

Tier 1 and 2 Unplanned Discharges (Spills)1

total volume in barrels

250
500
751
1001
1251
2014
229
2015
1,251
2016
5
2017
337
Year Value - total volume in barrels
2014 229
2015 1,251
2016 5
2017 337

Water Use and Recycling Data2

Fresh Water Withdrawal by Source3

millions of barrels

8.644
17
26
35
43.22
2014
43.22
2015
30.35
2016
11.63
2017
30.18
Surface Water
Groundwater
Water Utilities
Year Group Value - millions of barrels
2014 Surface Water 41.28
Groundwater 0.00
Water Utilities 1.94
Total 43.2
2015 Surface Water 29.68
Groundwater 0.12
Water Utilities 0.55
Total 30.4
2016 Surface Water 11.46
Groundwater 0.05
Water Utilities 0.12
Total 11.6
2017 Surface Water 29.82
Groundwater 0.15
Water Utilities 0.21
Total 30.2

Total Water Sourced

millions of barrels

14
28
42
56
69.38
2014
69.38
2015
50.68
2016
17.27
2017
35.02
Year Value - millions of barrels
2014 69.38
2015 50.68
2016 17.27
2017 35.02

Total Volume that Is Recycled or Reused Downhole4

millions of barrels

5.288
11
16
21
26.44
2014
26.44
2015
20.51
2016
5.64
2017
4.85
Year Value - millions of barrels
2014 26.44
2015 20.51
2016 5.64
2017 4.85

Total Water Sourced that Is Recycled Water

%

20
40
60
80
100
2014
38.2%
2015
40.6%
2016
36.74%
2017
16.3%
Year Value - %
2014 38.2%
2015 40.6%
2016 36.74%
2017 16.3%

Flowback and Produced Water that We Recycled5

%

20
40
60
80
100
2014
99.40%
2015
92.40%
2016
43.40%
2017
39.30%
Year Value - %
2014 99.40%
2015 92.40%
2016 43.40%
2017 39.30%

Cumulative Conservation and Operational Offsets

millions of barrels

13
27
40
53
66.49
2014
3.00
2015
21.70
2016
53.30
2017
66.49
Year Value - millions of barrels
2014 3.00
2015 21.70
2016 53.30
2017 66.49

Air Data6

Absolute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

thousand metric tons CO2e

685
1370
2055
2740
3425
2014
3170
2015
3425
2016
2969
2017
3191
Midstream services
Drilling / Completion / Production
Year Group Value - thousand metric tons CO2e
2014 Midstream services 2,038
Drilling / Completion / Production 1,132
Total 3,170
2015 Midstream services 1,962
Drilling / Completion / Production 1,463
Total 3,425
2016 Midstream services 1,826
Drilling / Completion / Production 1,143
Total 2,969
2017 Midstream services 1,858
Drilling / Completion / Production 1,333
Total 3,191

GHG Emissions Intensity7

kg CO2e/MMBTU gas produced

0.662
1.324
1.986
2.648
3.31
2014
1.06
2.12
2.96
2015
1.14
2.62
2.68
2016
1.01
3.31
2.64
2017
0.93
3.17
2.31
Production only
Midstream only
Overall
Year Group Value - kg CO2e/MMBTU gas produced
2014 Production only 1.06
Midstream only 2.12
Overall 2.96
2015 Production only 1.14
Midstream only 2.62
Overall 2.68
2016 Production only 1.01
Midstream only 3.31
Overall 2.64
2017 Production only 0.93
Midstream only 3.17
Overall 2.31

Methane Leak/Loss Rate8

% (SWN production operations only)

0.0384
0.0768
0.1152
0.1536
0.192
2014
0.176%
2015
0.192%
2016
0.175%
2017
0.171%
Year Value - % (SWN production operations only)
2014 0.176%
2015 0.192%
2016 0.175%
2017 0.171%

Total Methane Emitted9

gigagrams (SWN production operations only)

9.68
19
29
39
48.40
2014
35.05
2015
45.10
2016
35.10
2017
48.40
Year Value - gigagrams (SWN production operations only)
2014 35.05
2015 45.10
2016 35.10
2017 48.40
  1. A Tier 1 spill is an unintentional release of a regulated or prohibited substance impacting a state/federal jurisdictional water body, an unintentional release of a regulated substance at or above its federal reportable quantity, or an unintentional air impact at or above a state/federal reporting threshold. A Tier 2 spill is an unintentional release of a regulated or prohibited substance impacting land off location or an unintentional air impact below a state/federal reporting threshold, to include only natural gas releases of 235 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) or more. See the Land page for further discussion.
  2. The water use, water recycling and water disposal data in this section cover our drilling, completions, production and midstream services. The 2014 data include water used at the assets we purchased in Pennsylvania and West Virginia in late 2014, for the short period at the end of the year when we owned them. The 2015 data include those assets as well as additional Pennsylvania and West Virginia assets we purchased in early 2015. None of the data include our sand plant. All water used at our sand plant (except for drinking water) is sourced on location, from the facility’s lake and four groundwater wells. This water is recirculated for reuse or, for a small portion, returned to the environment via evaporation. Finally, numbers in the tables may not sum, due to rounding.
  3. Water data collection depends on records maintained for internal benchmarking or reporting to regulatory agencies. Volumes purchased from commercial, third-party water suppliers are included under “water utilities” unless greater water source granularity is available. “Surface water” can include natural ponds, lakes, rivers and freshwater impoundments. No water was pulled from isolated wetlands or oceans for the years in scope.
  4. These volumes include flowback and produced water, encountered water during drilling, and rainwater naturally captured in facility containments. Reuse water can include volumes generated during drilling that have been treated off-site and returned for additional use. Excluding recycled flowback and produced water which is supplied to Other Operators for their downhole hydraulic fracturing operations.
  5. In 2017, our recycling percentage reflects increased operations in Southwest Appalachia and reduced operations in Fayetteville. Surface topography and produced water rates in Southwest Appalachia make recycling produced water a logistical and economic challenge.
  6. The emissions intensity and leak/loss rate data are based on gross operated production. The GHG calculations – reported in carbon dioxide equivalents, or CO2e – include CO2, CH4 (methane) and N2O (nitrous oxide). Certain GHG emissions are based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions factors. The production CO2e emissions reflect emissions reported to the EPA under Subpart W of the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHGMRR). Approximately 99 percent of our production and midstream operations are subject to reporting under Subpart W. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 we have also included GHG emissions for our Sandwash (Colorado) operations (which are not subject to the GHGMRR) based on Subpart W emissions factors. The Midstream CO2e emissions data are for combustion sources. They include emissions from SWN’s Midstream operations reported to the EPA under Subpart C of the GHGMRR, as well as those not meeting threshold levels and thus not reported to the EPA.
  7. The metric used to calculate the intensity ratio is millions of standard cubic feet (MMscf) of gas. We assumed a 1,000 BTU/scf heating value of natural gas for emissions intensity. The GHG emissions included in the intensity ratio are all direct (Scope 1).
  8. The methane leak/loss rate (mass percentage) is calculated by dividing the gigagrams of methane emissions by the oil and gas gross production (cubic feet converted to gigagrams).
  9. The gigagrams of methane emitted reflect the Subpart W reported emissions revised (reduced) to reflect actual fugitive equipment leaks observed as a result of our leak detection and repair program. A gigagram is equivalent to a thousand metric tons.