Corporate Responsibility

Our approach is to analyze every project individually to determine its economic, safety and environmental impacts over the life of the project

Air Quality

The EPA requires petroleum and natural gas facilities to report under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). The GHGRP requires reporting of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fugitive emissions from equipment and venting, and CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O) from flaring, onshore production and stationary and portable combustion emissions. The GHGRP, however, does not cover all emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems. For example, companies are only required to report facilities that have total annual emissions from all sources covered by the GHGRP in excess of 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (mtons CO2e), which is calculated using the above-described component emissions. The oil and gas industry reports its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The tables to the right show the EPA reported amounts of GHG emissions for Cimarex. Note that boosting and gathering segments were not required to be reported until 2016.

To better understand our overall methane profile, Cimarex embarked on a rigorous review of our inventory of emission devices and the calculations used to estimate emissions from all known sources, including sources not mandated to be reported. The chart provided outlines our emission calculations based on category. Please note companies may use different calculation methods for non-reportable sources. Thus, comparison from one company to the next may be difficult. Based on our review, we updated our master equipment database to identify every known potential source of methane emissions. This enabled us to enhance our processes to identify, monitor and calculate the movement of methane emitting devices across our fields. The table to the right shows methane emissions from all of Cimarex's known sources and an associated methane intensity rate.

Other includes: Gathering Pipeline Leaks, Gas Processing Plants, Compressor Rod Packing Venting, Compressor Blowdowns, Liquids Unloading, Compressor Startups, Flare Stack, Saltwater Disposal, Mishaps, Vessel Blowdowns, Pressure Relief Valve Venting, Pipeline Blowdowns, Well Completions/Workovers, Well Drilling

During initial review, high bleed gas pneumatic devices were found to contribute a significant portion of total company methane emissions. By year-end 2017, Cimarex had removed, replaced or retrofitted 100% of all known high-bleed gas pneumatic devices. The full impact of this effort is expected to be seen in 2018. By year-end 2018, we expect a 20 to 25% annualized reduction from the 2015 methane emission numbers, despite increases in our overall oil and gas production.

In addition to high-bleed pneumatics, we have undertaken a number of other initiatives to reduce our methane footprint and minimize potential emissions in future development projects. These actions have resulted in a 21% decrease in the GHG emissions production segment from 2015 to 2016; and from an intensity rate perspective, we are emitting 0.43% of our total production.

There is a cost to the gas we do not sell. The table to the right shows our estimated lost value in methane emissions. In 2016, the net estimated lost value to Cimarex of methane emitted was $4.15 million, which is 0.19% of our $1,257 million in net revenue. We calculate this lost value by converting methane emissions to thousand cubic feet (Mcf) and multiplying this number by our average net revenue interest (NRI) in the same period, which yields our net methane emissions. This number is then multiplied by the average price we received for our natural gas in the same period. To get to a percentage of net revenue, we then take this number and divide by our total revenue.

We prioritized our efforts to reduce our higher emission sources and will continue to do so in the future. Additional projects in 2017 should provide further reductions in methane emissions, and we are continuing to review and identify further enhancements we can implement at our existing facilities. We are also incorporating the information we have gathered from our reviews into the design of future production facilities, enabling us to reduce our carbon footprint on future facilities of similar size and capacity. Another area of focus has been flow-back operations following hydraulic fracturing of wells. Since 2015, Cimarex has been reducing these emissions by utilizing green completions on all flow-back operations. Green completions flow through temporary or permanent production equipment, which prevents venting directly to the atmosphere.

Cimarex has an ongoing leak detection and repair (LDAR) program to help identify and repair methane emissions. The LDAR program uses infrared cameras to monitor emissions that might not otherwise be detected. This program was initially implemented in accordance with state and federal requirements at our production facilities and compression stations on BLM lands and sites built after September 2015. Cimarex will continue to monitor these sites as a part of the LDAR program, whether or not requirements change.

GHG Emissions
(metric tons CO2e)
2015 2016
Production Segment
Carbon Dioxide 885,653 594,711
Methane 856,889 778,609
NOx 548 354
Total Production Segment GHG 1,743,090 1,373,673
Boosting/Gathering Segment
Carbon Dioxide 504,975
Methane 61,338
NOx 216
Total Boosting/Gathering Segment GHG 566,529
Total Methane Emissions
(metric tons CO2e)
932,770 862,812
Methane Intensity Rate* 0.45% 0.43%
Value of Methane Emissions
Net methane emissions (Mcf) 1,124,182 1,065,213
Realized Gas Price ($/mcf) $2.53 $2.31
Net value of methane emissions ($millions) $2.8 $2.5
Company total revenue
$1,452 $1,257
Lost Value as % of total revenue 0.19% 0.20%

*Intensity rate is defined as total methane emissions divided by total gross operated production