Colorado Springs Utilities enters pilot program to source responsibly sourced natural gas

April 6, 2021

by Peter Maloney
APPA News
April 6, 2021

Colorado Springs Utilities has entered into a pilot project to provide responsibly sourced gas (RSG) to its customers.

Responsibly sourced gas is natural gas produced from sites that have undergone third-party certification to verify that the operator has used the highest standards and practices in all phases of operations, according to Project Canary, a subsidiary of International Environmental Standards Co.

RSG certification is similar to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating for buildings and is designed to certify that harmful environmental effects of natural gas, such as methane leaks in production and transportation, are mitigated.

International Environmental Standards says its Project Canary’s TrustWell certification process reviews, verifies and scores over 300 engineering and operational aspects of natural gas production and delivery categories including air, water, land and community, in awarding its RSG certification.

In the pilot program, Colorado Springs Utilities will purchase certified RSG produced by Bayswater Exploration & Production, a Colorado oil and natural gas development company. The certified RSG will be gathered and processed by Rimrock Energy Partners and then delivered to Colorado Interstate Gas Co., a Kinder Morgan subsidiary, which will transport the RSG to Colorado Springs Utilities.

“This partnership will allow us to further diversify our energy portfolio and expand our commitment to environmental stewardship,” Aram Benyamin, CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities, said in a statement.

The pilot program calls for continuous emissions monitoring across the energy value chain, from wellhead to burner-tip, which includes the production, transportation and marketing of the gas.

“This is the first of its kind pilot project in the nation and I’m proud to say we are at the forefront of exploring this newly-evolving Responsibly Sourced Gas market,” Benyamin said.

UP Energy recently said it would use Project Canary to certify that gas from some of its natural gas wells in Wyoming would be RSG certified. UP Energy said it is seeking to produce RSG on 68% of its production in its initial efforts and eventually certify 100 percent of its production by year-end 2022.

In January, natural gas producer EQT Corp., which has operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, committed to a pilot project to demonstrate the production of RSG for use in domestic and international energy markets.

Under the pilot project calls for EQT to produce RSG through certification by Project Canary of two of its well pads, accompanied by continuous methane emissions monitoring of the pads.

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