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.
EOG has a history of innovation in developing technologies to improve our operations, generate healthy rates of return and minimize emissions. To further enhance our efforts to be a leader in returns-focused GHG reduction, we recently formed the Sustainable Power Group as a new strategic initiative within EOG to identify and implement low-emissions power generation.
The Sustainable Power Group is operations focused and aligned with our decentralized business model and we believe it will provide leadership and support for our innovative culture, working across the company to bring forward returns-focused, low-emissions technology and projects quickly.
For example, in 2019, we initiated a pilot project in Red Hills, New Mexico, to combine solar and natural gas to power electric motor-driven compressors. Compressors, which are used to compress natural gas with enough pressure to move it through pipeline infrastructure, typically rely on natural gas engines to operate and are our primary source of stationary combustion emissions.
For safe and efficient operations, compression is needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since solar power is only available during the day, we designed a hybrid power plant to supplement day time solar power generation with reliable natural gas generation at night. During the day, more than 24,000 single axis tracking solar panels on 70 acres of land are expected to produce 8 megawatts of power with no combustion emissions. Compared to traditional natural gas-powered compression, we believe our hybrid-power compression will result in lower operating expenses and a meaningful reduction in emissions. The facility became operational in the third quarter 2020.
Looking forward, our Sustainable Power Group will continue to focus on reducing our emissions by making sound economic decisions to continually improve our operations.
A wellhead is an assembly of steel valves and pipe that sits on top of the well to safely control well pressure. The wellhead also connects the well with surface pipelines and facilities so that oil and natural gas can be produced.
Every oil and gas reservoir will typically have a mix of both oil and natural gas at different ratios. When drilling for oil, it is common to also produce “associated” natural gas that is often called wellhead gas.
We view wellhead gas from our oil wells as a valuable commodity rather than a byproduct of oil production. Our focus is to maximize our economic return through responsible management of wellhead gas.
In the early stages of development of an oil field, it may not be feasible to attach gas gathering and processing infrastructure to an initial or exploratory well. The productivity, economic feasibility and gas quality of the well must first be determined. Without infrastructure to gather and process the wellhead gas, it is commonly flared. Other conditions that result in wellhead gas flaring include undersized pipelines to natural gas processing facilities, downstream market interruptions and lack of natural gas capture during completions operations for new wells.
EOG minimizes wellhead gas flaring by effective planning and infrastructure investment early in the lifecycle of our oil fields. When new wells are completed, we utilize green completions to capture natural gas rather than flaring the natural gas.
We also install company-owned and operated natural gas gathering infrastructure early in the exploration and development process so our gas can be gathered and sent to market. Further, investment in gas processing and compression stations allows our marketing team to establish multiple gas takeaway options to minimize impacts from downstream market interruptions due to shutdowns of facilities and pipelines for maintenance and repair. We also have control centers in our busiest divisions that are designed to manage the flow of our natural gas in real time so we can avoid flaring.
We increased our company-wide wellhead gas capture rate from 98.4 percent in 2018 to 98.8 percent in 2019, including a wellhead gas capture rate of over 99 percent in the Permian Basin. As indicated by a recent report from the Texas Railroad Commission, our wellhead gas capture rate is among the best in the industry.
Beginning in 2018, members of our information systems and strategic water resources teams partnered to develop Trident, a proprietary application built in-house, to manage the full life cycle of our water resources in real-time.
Trident is an interactive tool that brings to life data through map-based visualization of our infrastructure. We capture data in the field using our SCADA systems and existing proprietary software. With Trident, users can track water resources in real-time to manage everything from costs to the amount of water stored in our reuse pits to the chemistry of our produced water.
The software provides scenario planning by integrating historical data and trends with existing production and forecasting applications. Scenario planning along with real-time operational control allows the strategic water resources team to prevent bottlenecks, anticipate takeaway needs and minimize trucking of water.
Trident enables evaluation of the unique water-related risks and opportunities of each operating area. Using data-driven, location-specific analysis and insight, Trident provides a more direct and efficient path to reduce fresh water use and increase reuse across the company by anticipating the amount and location of our water needs and modeling cost-effective investments in new infrastructure.
We are committed to environmental stewardship throughout the life cycle of our operations. Once all production activities are complete on a location, reclamation and restoration begin. Beyond our legal, regulatory and contractual obligations, we partner with land owners and state and federal regulators to restore land in a manner that is responsive to the specific interests of the local communities.
In 2019, EOG collaborated with Wyoming regulators and local community members to reclaim land previously used as water reservoirs for drilling and production activities.
This reclamation project involved EOG employees partnering with University of Wyoming students to plant nearly 2,000 sagebrush seedlings to reestablish vegetation and accelerate the restoration of native grasslands and scrublands. EOG intends to continue this collaboration by restoring unused access roads and drilling pads in other locations.
In 2019, EOG began working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to restore land from a reclaimed well site in New Mexico for use as a public campsite.
Due to the area’s flat topography and easy road access to both Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the former well site accommodates campers interested in visiting either of these two parks. EOG partnered with the BLM to convert the land into a campsite, and also provided funding to purchase picnic tables, fire rings, sun shelters, and solar-powered lights to be used by campers. The campsite opened in September 2020.
EOG is committed to conserving biodiversity by integrating habitat and wildlife conservation in the planning and management of our exploration and production activities.
We proactively work with stakeholders in our communities to collaborate on conservation initiatives and focus on the unique biodiversity features specific to each operating area. In addition, by downsizing and centralizing our drilling and production facilities, and using directional and horizontal drilling technology with longer laterals, we are able to reduce our overall surface footprint.
In the Powder River Basin, EOG goes beyond the environmental impact statements and environmental assessments that are part of our pre-development planning process by studying Ferruginous Hawks. Since 2014, we have led a study to better understand the territory and nesting patterns of these birds. Through a proposal approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, EOG fitted 16 Ferruginous Hawks with GPS transmitters to provide year-round GPS locations and specific details on their breeding locations. The data EOG has gathered has allowed us to better manage our operations to support the breeding of Ferruginous Hawks and has provided the BLM with better data with which to study this species and protect its population.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EOG committed numerous resources to help meet the sudden needs of the local communities where we live and work.
We donated more than 3,400 masks, as well as shoe coverings, sanitizer and safety glasses to health care workers across our operating areas. We also contributed financially to a local brewery to make hand sanitizer for first responders in North Dakota.
In addition, EOG and our employees have committed more than $820,000 to local food banks as part of a 2-for-1 company-matching program.
Recipients of donations included the Houston Food Bank, San Antonio Food Bank, West Texas Food Bank, Food Bank of the Rockies, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Tarrant Area Food Bank (TX), Roadrunner Food Bank (NM), Coastal Bend Food Bank (TX), among others.
"This generous donation will allow us to provide much-needed food for children, senior citizens, and the most vulnerable as the COVID-19 situation continues to create uncertainty in our communities," said Brian Greene, President and CEO, Houston Food Bank. “We thank EOG Resources for their ongoing partnership, especially during this difficult period."
Throughout the year, we will continue to evaluate the needs of our communities and provide support wherever possible.
One of EOG’s newest offices is in Artesia, New Mexico, which became part of EOG in 2016 after our merger with Yates Petroleum. As active members of the Artesia community, local employees wanted to continue supporting the community’s quality of life. After hearing from local employees and community members, EOG donated $1 million to the construction of a new, state-of-the-art community aquatic center, the city’s only public pool. The city’s previous pool was demolished in 2013.
The Artesia Aquatic Center held its groundbreaking in May 2019, and has since provided a much-enjoyed source of recreation, safety training and community well-being for Artesia residents. The Artesia Aquatic Center is just one example of how EOG’s strong culture emboldens employees to take action and help our local communities build strong futures.
ESG management is integrated into EOG’s culture throughout our organization. Our employees improve the company’s ESG performance in the same way and at the same time they create value across all our operations – from the bottom up, across our decentralized organization, in which multi-disciplinary teams use data to innovate new and creative technology solutions to ESG risks and opportunities.
EOG’s Information Systems team has developed over 100 desktop and mobile applications in-house. These applications provide real-time data capture, including real-time reporting of water reuse and flaring metrics, and mobility of data access, which drives transparency throughout the organization and allows for better, faster, well-informed decisions.
The majority of EOG’s Safety and Environmental (S&E) staff are based in our operating area offices and are integrated with EOG’s operations in order to effectively manage day-to-day safety and environmental matters. Our S&E professionals collaborate with our engineers, technicians and geologists to develop and implement ESG-related approaches that take into account the unique operating conditions of each region.
While our S&E team supports our operations, they report directly to our company-wide Vice President, Safety and Environmental. In addition, each operating area office reports to our executive management on environmental and safety matters and performance throughout the year. This enables us to develop both local and overall company focus areas and initiatives that are developed and communicated by both our operations and S&E teams.
The combination of real-time data and multi-disciplinary team collaboration drives innovation and creative solutions. An example of this is the development of our sophisticated water management infrastructure system, which resulted from our strategic water resources team working with our production, drilling and completions engineers. Our Information Systems team was also central in this success by developing our Trident℠ application to help manage our water resources in real time across our complex infrastructure system.