Range Resources Corp. recently put itself on the forefront of the growing discussion around ESG after the Fort Worth, Texas-based independent E&P company became one of the first shale producers to set a net-zero emissions target.

A natural gas and NGL producer with operations focused in the Appalachian Basin, Range said it is already a leader in emissions reductions among its peers. However, in late August, the company announced plans to further those emissions reductions by targeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Following the announcement, K. Scott Roy, senior vice president of Range Resources, joined Hart Energy Editorial Director Len Vermillion to discuss the U.S. shale producer’s net-zero ambitions and why Range believes natural gas will be an important part of the mix in the energy transition.

“Rather than the theory that suggests that the only way to address the environmental issues of the day is to exclude fossil fuels as part of the mix,” Roy said, “we think that the facts bear out that increased use of responsibly produced natural gas has actually improved the environment while continuing to offer sustainable, low-cost energy option.”

Natural gas, he said, has the potential to address energy poverty issues worldwide.

“With that in mind, our take is that by articulating aggressive but achievable goals including net-zero within the next five years, along with a transparent disclosure, facts-supported accounting of our performance on a whole host of issues, hopefully will allow more folks to understand what we understand—that natural gas is part of the solution,” he said.

Range, which claims to have pioneered the Marcellus Shale in 2004, currently holds roughly half a million net acres in Appalachia primarily in southwest Pennsylvania. The company expects Appalachia production to average about 2.15 Bcfe/d of natural gas for 2020, according to a recent investor presentation.

Along with the company’s net-zero ambitions, Range Resources also released an updated corporate sustainability report in late August that the company said highlights progress it continues to make towards its broader ESG priorities. These have included investing in new technologies and engineering solutions.

In addition to the company’s current use of reforestation and forest management, Roy said Range is also exploring other solutions as “this is a quickly evolving area focus that there are new technologies being developed all the time.”

“Our sense is that there will be new opportunities for offsetting emissions as well as reducing emissions developed over the course of the next several years,” he continued. “So, our sense is that we will have a fairly diverse portfolio of means to achieve that net-zero goal by the target date.”

Range’s story all along, according to Roy, has been to be an early adopter of technologies. An example of this he cited from the report that directly relates to the issue of emissions is Range’s use of electric frac fleets.

“For example, the use of the electric frac fleets has allowed us to reduce use of diesel using natural gas as an alternative for electric generation,” he said. “Sourced locally has allowed us to reduce costs and, in that instance, is actually a cost savings—reduces emissions dramatically and has reduced costs.”

In summary, Roy noted the report proves that “doing the right thing, is good for the bottom line.”

Jump to a topic: 

  • Why now set the net-zero target? (0:30)
  • Taking the lead among U.S. shale producers (3:05)
  • Range Resources’ plan (4:05)
  • Sustainability achievements so far (6:30)
  • Future technology investments (9:45)
  • ESG’s  importance going forward (11:25)