Innovative processes. Leading technology. Efficient operations. We reduce our environmental footprint using the same tools we use to find and produce low-cost oil and gas.
Engagement with our communities. Diversity of our workforce. Safety of our employees. Our unique culture is more than a competitive advantage, it’s fundamental to our social sustainability.
Ethics. Respect. Fairness. Governance at EOG is more than just complying with the law, it’s about ethically conducting our business to build trust among all our stakeholders.
Temporary downstream market interruptions, such as the shutdown of facilities and pipelines for maintenance and repair, can affect the ability to transport gas to processing facilities and result in the need to shut in producing oil wells or flare associated gas. To minimize impacts from downstream market interruptions, EOG has invested in gas gathering and multi-outlet compression stations to allow for multiple takeaway options to provide redundancy in the event of downstream interruptions. We also have control centers in our most active areas designed to manage the flow of our natural gas in real time so that we can avoid flaring.
In 2020, a multi-disciplinary team of EOG employees developed a closed-loop gas capture (CLGC) process to provide an additional alternative to dealing with temporary downstream market interruptions. CLGC is an automated process that re-routes natural gas back into existing wells when a down-stream interruption occurs. After the interruption clears, the well is produced using existing production and measurement equipment.
We conducted a pilot test of CLGC in the Permian Basin in 2020. Results of this pilot test were successful and we are working on expanding our pilot project to additional wells and operating areas. By engaging with regulators and other industry stakeholders, we have also worked to make CLGC a solution that is available for others to use.
By further reducing the dependency on market runtime and using existing infrastructure, we believe CLGC will provide multiple benefits, including:
The CLGC Process
EOG utilizes proprietary information technology system applications built in-house to capture leak detection and repair (LDAR) data electronically, including a mobile application to capture data directly in the field, real-time. These applications improve the accuracy of our data, identify trends, eliminate paper processes and allow timely repairs throughout our LDAR program.SURVEY
A focus area for the strategic water resources team in 2020 was the continued build out of the water management system and infrastructure for our Powder River Basin operations, which are in early development. Supported by the sourcing, scenario planning and cost analysis tools in TridentSM, the team evaluated how to best apply the practices and technology from our operations in other basins to the unique conditions in the Powder River Basin.
Based on the team’s analysis, EOG implemented water distribution infrastructure utilizing a single reuse collection pond with dual-purpose lines for both sourcing and gathering. This structure allows for produced water to be cycled to and from well pads when needed for drilling or completion operations. In addition, we installed bidirectional pipelines connected to third-party operated commercial evaporation ponds to enhance our reuse capabilities.
Early infrastructure planning and installation of targeted water reuse infrastructure, combined with our Trident technology, has allowed us to source nearly all of our water for our Powder River Basin operations during 2020 from reuse water and minimize truck traffic.
To support our efforts to prevent and minimize oil and produced water spills in our operations, EOG has developed a proprietary leak detection software that we call iDetectSM. We began implementing iDetect in our operations in 2019 and continue to roll it out where technically feasible. iDetect uses sensors to detect leaks in real time on flow lines, gathering systems and lay flat lines for temporary water transfers, including reuse water systems.
If a potential leak is detected, iDetect sends a notification through an alarm system linked directly to the mobile devices of our field personnel, which includes a full description and quantification of the potential leak. We have integrated iDetect with our automation systems in our control rooms allowing for remote interventions in our most active areas and shut downs if a leak is detected. Data provided by iDetect also helps with spill prevention by allowing us to evaluate the origins of leaks and better plan our operations, including facility and pipeline designs.
By building iDetect in-house, we are able to regularly deploy new features and data enhancements. We are also able to integrate iDetect with our other applications, including our water management application TridentSM and our automated control systems, providing an efficient and comprehensive system for water and spill management that is adaptable to the unique conditions of our operating areas.
In 2020, we began using drones and fixed wing aircraft to collect aerial imagery and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDar) remote sensing as part of our pre-development planning in the Permian Basin in New Mexico. By combining this high-resolution aerial information with environmental data from national and state government sources, we are able to create three-dimensional elevation maps that enhance our ability to visualize and adjust well pad and infrastructure locations and identify areas for targeted on-site surveys.
Our community giving and volunteer philosophy reflects our decentralized structure. Our operating area offices and employees are empowered to focus on issues and causes that are relevant to their local communities.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in demand for food banks. In response, EOG and its employees donated to more than 40 different food banks across our U.S. operating areas, raising a total of approximately $780,000 in the U.S. In addition, we donated over 2,000 meals to homeless families through the Star of Hope Mission as part of our Houston United Way campaign.
We also donated more than 3,400 masks, other personal protective equipment and meals to health care workers across our operating areas, and contributed financially to a local brewery to make hand sanitizer for first responders in North Dakota.
Our ability to respond to immediate needs across our operating areas at a local level reflects not only the strength of our decentralized culture, but also the collective spirit of giving at EOG.
EOG relies on information technology systems to run our business, including managing data from creation in the field to delivery to end users with proprietary applications built in-house. EOG’s supply chain of data helps enable us to operate as a real-time, mobile and transparent company and to empower employees to make well-informed decisions and to identify and develop opportunities for improvement, including the company’s ESG performance.
As our reliance on data and our information technology systems has increased, we have continued to evolve and modify our business continuity plans as well as our cyber threat detection and mitigation systems. We have implemented and invested in controls, procedures and protections designed to protect our systems, identify and remediate vulnerabilities in our systems and related infrastructure, and monitor and mitigate the risk of data loss and other cybersecurity threats and intrusions.
Our internal audit team, in conjunction with third-party experts, plays an important role in reviewing and assessing our cybersecurity controls, procedures and protections, including conducting penetration testing and vulnerability assessments of the external devices utilized by our employees and contractors.
Our Codes of Business Conduct and Ethics communicate our expectations of employees and contractors related to cybersecurity matters:
Our Information Systems team is responsible for cybersecurity strategy and planning. The team reports to our Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer who, in turn, reports to our Chief Executive Officer. Our executive management team, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of cybersecurity risk, regularly reports to the Audit Committee regarding cybersecurity matters. As part of its risk oversight responsibility, our Audit Committee oversees our policies, strategies and initiatives for mitigating cybersecurity and information technology risks.
EOG’s supply chain of data helps enable us to operate as a real-time, mobile and transparent company and to empower employees to make well-informed decisions and to identify and develop opportunities for improvement, including the company’s ESG performance.
While we have experienced limited cybersecurity incidents in the past, we believe potential threats and intrusions to EOG’s systems have been effectively managed and contained by EOG’s intrusion technology systems and staff and we have not had, to date, any business interruptions or material losses from breaches of cybersecurity. As technology and potential cybersecurity threats evolve, we will look to adapt and enhance our security measures as necessary.