Ongoing Efforts and Future Strategy

We are committed to advancing several implementation changes and new technology adoptions, which will further improve our performance.

  • LDAR Surveys. 2020 marked the start of our increased LDAR (Leak Detection And Repair) survey frequency. In previous years, surveys were conducted twice per year (semi-annual). 2020’s data reflects the results of the doubled survey effort. This increase to a quarterly frequency reduced fugitive emissions reported in 2020 by roughly two-thirds as compared to 2019 levels. Also a direct result of the increased survey frequency, we observed a decrease in the component leak ratio as compared to the normalized leak ratio seen in 2019 (Figure 8.16). The total components surveyed has been utilized in the metric to more accurately reflect the results of the LDAR surveys and the resultant leak ratio. Surveys are conducted by trained Range Environmental Compliance staff in cooperation with Range Operations staff to ensure that any observed leaks are remediated quickly and effectively.

* Derived from PA PGRE report
** Component Leak Ratio is the product of Total Leaks Identified divided by Total Components Surveyed

 In 2020, Range Resources completed the sales of our North Louisiana and conventional assets. For consistency purposes and to enable benchmarking of data in the future, the 2020 environmental data reported in this section and throughout the report excludes data from these assets.

  • Software Investments in Environmental Compliance. As a result of our ongoing investments in user-friendly software, our EC Department has increasingly used app-driven forms to allow for simplified data entry, reduced time spent on paper documentation, and the creation of on-demand reports through our environmental software. A dashboard has been developed to incorporate environmental statistics for easy access to real time data.
  • Technology Investments. Annually, we incorporate planned investments in technologies into our capital budgeting process, which will help us further reduce our direct emissions, including the following:
    • Electric fracturing equipment;
    • High-efficiency burners on heated flash separator and dehydration reboiler;
    • Dehydration electric glycol pump;
    • Diesel fuel additives to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.
  • Carbon Offsets. Carbon offsets are a key part of our net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 2025 goal. Our carbon offset strategy has several components focused on reforestation projects on Range-owned lands and developing forest management plans to increase the growth and diversity of native trees and removal of invasive species. Range is also working on expanding our opportunities for additional carbon offsets and we look forward to communicating our efforts in this area once further developed.
  • Expanded Emissions Measurement. One of our longer-term emission reduction strategies focuses on improved emissions measurement methods. We recently entered into a pilot program with Project Canary, where we are utilizing the Canary X continuous monitoring technology. In 2021, we also committed to participate in the TrustWellTM certification process, which will aim to change to certify our production as responsibly sourced natural gas (RSG).

Minimizing Flaring

Range is committed to minimizing flaring. Minimal operational flaring is necessary under certain conditions in almost all oil and gas development to maintain a safe work environment. The emissions from this activity must be reported under regulatory requirements. When flaring is required, we deploy efficient combustion technologies to ensure minimal flaring.

In 2020. Range Resources completed the sales of our North Louisiana and conventional assets. To enable benchmarking of data in the future, the 2020 environmental data throught the report excludes data from this asset. Prior year data has ot been restated and reflects ownership of the asset.

Range is proud to have endorsed the World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative, becoming one of the first natural gas producers to join. This initiative closely aligns with our own commitment to environmental stewardship of continuing to reduce GHG emissions intensity.

Range continues to report emissions from flaring in accordance with federal regulatory definitions, as seen in figure 8.17, which has been our approach since we launched our first Corporate Sustainability Report. The AXPC definition of flaring (flaring of wellhead gas from the primary separator at assets) has been used for alternative calculations by our industry. Under those circumstances, Range has zero emissions flared from hydrocarbons. For more information see page 82 in the Appendix.

Range uses zero emission flowback turn-on procedures. This is achieved through a closed-loop system that utilizes existing permanent production facilities and temporary flowback equipment. This process allows us to flow volumes directly to an existing pipeline, eliminating the need for flaring during this critical phase.  While drilling a typical oil or gas well, a minimal amount of hydrocarbons from geologic formations may need to be safely combusted on site. Range utilizes high-efficiency flaring technology which functions as a safety and control device and is used to combust unrecovered hydrocarbon emissions.

We continue to make progress on reducing emissions from flaring. Several of the initiatives discussed previously specifically contribute to the reductions of flaring activity, including the following initiatives:

  • Zero emissions flowback turn-on procedure eliminates the need to vent hydrocarbons to flowback tanks early in the flowback process and reduced associated emissions by 97 percent by the end of 2020.
  • Vapor recovery units capture vapors within production facilities and reroute them to sales lines, greatly reducing the volumes needed to be combusted on site.
  • The use of electric pumps on glycol dehydrators as part of our standard design, to reduce emissions that would be required to be combusted (flared).
  • Heated flash separators coupled with vapor recovery equipment are used on condensate-producing sites during flowback operations to reduce the need for flaring.

Figure 8.17 shows the total quantity of hydrocarbons flared and their associated emissions from 2017 to 2020. The emissions from flaring increased with higher production until the initiatives were implemented in 2019. 11 percent of our GHG emissions are due to flaring, a slight increase compared to 9 percent last year. This is a result of a slight increase in the volume of hydrocarbon flared in Pennsylvania (a 9 percent increase), but primarily due to the significant reductions we saw this year from our other sources of GHG emissions. This reflects many of the emission reduction initiatives previously mentioned. Both numbers used in these calculations are also impacted by the sale of Range’s North Louisiana-based assets.

Washington County Reforestation Project

In the Spring of 2020, Range initiated a 22.2-acre reforestation project in Washington County, Pennsylvania. We developed a Forest Management Plan, which was prepared by our professional forestry partner and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). After fencing off the area with an eight-foot agricultural style fence to protect the seedlings from deer, 5,000 seedlings of more than a dozen tree species were planted. A small tube was also staked around each seedling to protect it from rodent damage and herbicide overspray.
We view these types of projects as mutually beneficial. Not only do reforestation projects help us achieve our target of net-zero in the years to come, but they also enable us to maintain positive relationships with our communities and preserve the ecosystems around us.