EQT Corp. pledged a $75 million investment in ESG initiatives and new technologies over the next five years along with targets to achieve net-zero by 2025 or sooner in a major push by the U.S. shale gas giant toward decarbonization.

“EQT is equipped to excel in a low-carbon future,” said Toby Rice, CEO of EQT Corp., during a conference call with Wall Street financial analysts June 30.

EQT announced targets to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in its production segment operations by or before 2025. While others in the industry have also set net-zero targets, Rice said EQT is playing a leading role in reducing emissions, which is demonstrated by its annualized GHG emission reduction percentage.

Outlining the progress the Pittsburgh-based company has already made in the past two years to limit GHG emissions, Rice said that the combination of a strong ESG foundation and modern operating model will allow EQT to act nimbly as it pushes to accelerate a sustainable pathway to a low-carbon future.

“Our methane intensity target of 0.02% is 1/10th the intensity of the 2025 target of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative,” he said. “And our GHG emissions target is about 1/16th the average of the oil and gas industry.”

“As a result,” he said, “meeting our net-zero goals would make us one of, if not the first major producer, to reach net-zero on a Scope 1 and 2 basis.”

Additionally, EQT’s internal target for reducing GHG emissions annually is 18%, which according to the company, is higher than any of its peers in the oil and gas industry.

EQT has already begun the process to replace its natural gas-powered pneumatic devices by 2023, which Rice said were responsible for approximately 53% of EQT’s production segment Scope 1 GHG emissions in 2020. In addition, the company has built a proprietary emissions model to forecast future emissions and layer in different cost of carbon scenarios when making capital allocation decisions

Since last year, EQT also began partnering with several companies to further its methane and GHG reductions.

In January, EQT entered an agreement with Denver-based startup Project Canary to produce “responsibly sourced natural gas” from select wellpads through the use of Project Canary’s continuous methane emission monitoring devices. The company also formed a partnership with Equitable Origin and MiQ in April to certify the production of its natural gas produced from over 200 wellpads located in Pennsylvania’s Greene and Washington counties, which collectively produce approximately 4 Bcf/d.

More recently, EQT reaffirmed its commitment to reducing methane emissions on June 23 by joining the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 Initiative.

Through these initiatives, EQT is aiming to position natural gas as a decarbonizing commodity of choice. Appalachia gas, in particular, should be valued as a premium product in the marketplace, stressed Rice during the conference call on June 30.

“We are firm believers that natural gas is an energy source that should play a leading role in the energy mix of the future,” he said.

“As the largest producer of U.S. natural gas,” he continued, “we see as our duty to maintain and enhance the potential for natural gas to play that leading role, giving policymakers and stakeholders a necessary tool to achieve our climate and human progress goals.”

EQT also outlined the company’s operational data and initiatives to improve the way it produces environmentally responsible, reliable and low-cost energy in its ESG report for calendar year 2020 released June 29.