Tallgrass Energy has announced a multi-year partnership with Project Canary to make Tallgrass’ Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) the first interstate natural gas transmission pipeline in U.S. to receive a comprehensive and independent environmental assessment and certification from Project Canary. The certification standards will be focused on environmental stewardship, operational excellence and real-time emissions detection and monitoring, the companies said in a joint press release Sept. 28.

REX is one of the country’s largest natural gas header systems, with a total capacity of more than 4.4 bcf/d. As a bidirectional pipeline, REX allows access to Midwestern markets from key producing basins in the Rockies and Appalachia. To validate the agreement’s environmental stewardship, Project Canary will install real-time monitoring devices to measure and quantify emissions across REX’s 22 compressor station sites, spanning more than 1,700 miles. As a result, REX will dedicate specific capacity to moving certified responsibly sourced gas from Appalachian producers to markets in the Midwest.

The long-term objectives of the partnership will enable the midstream sector to certify carbon neutral gas transportation capacity and enable tip-to-tip certification and tracking of gas molecules, including responsibly sourced and renewable natural gas to markets seeking to meet new low carbon goals. Additionally, the collaboration will enable the creation of a standardized certification process for pipeline transmission and storage segments.

“This first-of-its kind engagement underscores the critical importance of natural gas transmission systems in the energy transition,” said Tallgrass President Matthew (Matt) Sheehy. “Customers want assurances that natural gas is produced responsibly and being transported via low emissions pipeline systems."

The Project Canary Midstream Certification process is expected to begin in Q4 2021 and be completed by mid-2022. REX anticipates engaging shippers, end users of natural gas and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in discussions to address the benefits of its differentiated level of service.