I'm Jordan Blum, editorial director for Hart Energy, and I'm joined by Bill Way, the president and CEO of Southwestern Energy, for this OGI Interview.

JB: Thank you so much for joining us, first off, really appreciate it.

Bill Way: Thank you for having us.

JB: In the last five years or so, Southwestern, or SWN, has completely transformed. You've moved out of the home base in Arkansas and Fayetteville, you've expanded in Appalachia and bought big into the Haynesville, becoming the top producer there. Can I get you to just elaborate on this transformation in becoming this leading dual basin producer?

BW: Back in 2017, when we decided to explore possibilities with the Fayetteville, it was born out of the fact that we had superior economics and superior well inventory in the Appalachia. We prioritize all of our drilling inventory and drilling plans on economics, which meant we would not be investing in any more wells in the ... Fayetteville. And I believed that if we are not going to invest in an asset, let's look to see if we can monetize it and move on. At the same time, we established ourselves as a leading natural gas company in the country. It's only natural to have a leading natural gas company in the U.S. in the two leading basins in North America, which are the Haynesville and Appalachian Basin, where we have a large position there as well.

And so it became a quest to figure out what do we want to do in that space? The case for change and that case for exiting Fayetteville was clear and we took care of that. And then it was, okay, 'where do we want to invest in the Haynesville?' So we set out with a team of people to walk through every part of the Haynesville, look at acreage, look at positions, look at companies and we shortlisted Indigo and GeoSouthern the two companies back to back that we wanted to pursue. We had already high-graded a number of options and decided those weren't right. We tuned our process tightly so that we could work through all the technical and economic, et cetera, evaluation, bring our board along, let them have them challenge and study what we were planning to do, but then fully endorse it and we moved on. First with Indigo, probably the best of the best in terms of inventory, quality people, development, market access. And then we picked up as a complementary acquisition. GeoSouthern, same kind of thing. Well positioned, inventory was great.

The result of all this is we have 15 years of Tier 1 inventory in the Haynesville complimented with 15 years of Tier 2 inventory in Appalachia. The two together have complimentary economics. We're able to pivot and move from a flexibility perspective from one basin to the other kind of at will as we develop both basins because of our vertical integration and our ownership of rigs and frac fleets to start. The move into Haynesville gave us optionality of markets optionality of being in LNG and being a major supplier. We're the largest supplier of natural gas to the LNG sector in the United States today, and we're looking to grow that position as we move forward and so certainly we can learn a lot about it being in the middle of that market as well.

JB: Yeah, I mean, you touched on a little bit there. I mean, obviously SWN's transformed, but the Haynesville has had a bit of its own transformation from this hot basin 15 years ago to now being critical again because of proximity to LNG facilities, but also technology advancements.

BW: Yeah, as with the entire industry, the technology advancements and the operating advancements that the teams have delivered have changed the economics and changed the focus areas within a given basin. And an advantage to SWN, we have our own rigs and our own frac fleets. Our teams understood from the Indigo and the GEOSouthern staff, the nuances of how to drill here or frac there and how they went about it. It greatly accelerated our education. We brought our rigs down early from Appalachia, applied the same rigor and the same innovation that allow us to drill 30,000 ft wells, 24,000 of that sideways in Pennsylvania, enabled us to get a running start in Haynesville and we were able to meet or exceed a lot of the targets we set for the acquisition.

JB: Very good. With sustainability being important for some LNG buyers abroad, can I get you to talk to about just how SWN is ahead of the game, so to speak, when it comes to responsibly source gas, water, and a lot of other important factors?

BW: Sure. SWN has been designed to meet or exceed these targets. We've not had to invest really any material amount of money to become certified other than the fees that you have to pay to become certified on the gas side. We're working now to be 100% monitored by the end of this year when that gets sorted. But we designed the company and the culture and the practices so that we didn't have to reinvest. It didn't make sense to build it one way and then the regulators tell us we had to go different. We can transcend that. So we're very excited about that. It speeds us along. We're 100% certified.

On water, we're the first and only company that replaces all of the fresh water we use. So we've put back about 16 billion gallons of fresh water back into the aquifers where we have taken it from for fracture stimulation work in our operation. We have leading methane emission metrics. We've been issuing and reporting all of our progress on a number of short and long-term goals in our corporate responsibility document, that we're in our ninth edition of that. We believe that's very important. We don't routinely flare. We actually don't flare at all. Green completions. All of the things that make our gas responsibly produced and desirable for utilities and regulated domestic demand as well as international.

JB: Great. Well, thank you so much for joining us for the OGInterview here. To read and watch more, please visit us online at hartenergy.com.