We illustrate our commitment to responsible environmental stewardship by implementing industry-leading environmental protection practices and technologies, striving for continuous performance improvement, and holding ourselves accountable through transparent reporting on our progress.
We support compliance through a comprehensive environmental management system (EMS), which is informed by ISO 14001, that includes programs on Air Quality, Air Monitoring, Avian Protection, Biodiversity, Emergency Response, Incident Management, Methane and GHG Inventory Management, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, Site Reclamation, Soil and Groundwater Remediation, Spill Prevention, Storm Water Management, and Waste Management.
Our management system defines roles and responsibilities and the ultimate work authority for each area, specific job responsibilities for relevant workers at different levels and functional teams, and requirements and processes for each area.
Our Board’s Audit and ESG Committees together with our senior management oversee climate-related issues, including risk management, goal setting, and emissions reduction efforts. To embed this responsibility across our business, we updated our 2022 incentive program to incorporate goals to reduce our methane emissions intensity by 5% compared to 2020 and to develop enhanced GHG tracking and reporting processes.
In addition to supporting the expanded use of natural gas, which helps address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, we are reducing emissions from our operations and across the oil and gas value chain to help address climate-related risks.
We reduce energy use and indirect emissions through:
We work to conserve biodiversity and protect sensitive habitats and ecosystems including rivers, wetlands, and nesting areas for raptors across our operating areas. We aim to avoid – rather than mitigate – impacts to the environment throughout the entire project lifecycle.
Prior to beginning a new project, we assess sites for the presence of natural and cultural resources that could potentially become affected by our operations. In addition, we hire third-party, independent biologists to monitor activities at each major stage for our new and major maintenance projects.
We strive to minimize the generation of hazardous and nonhazardous waste from our operations by implementing programs to increase reuse and recycling across our supply chain.
Whenever possible, we recycle materials used in our operations, including, for example, engine exhaust catalysts, scrap metal, and used engine oil.
We follow a range of best practices to minimize the production of waste, including:
Preventing the release of any potentially harmful substances is our top environmental priority. We use a comprehensive monitoring and avoidance system to identify and stop potential releases. For example, employees at our Tactical Operations Center and local operations control centers remotely monitor equipment, including tank and pipeline pressure levels, and we can shut down much of our infrastructure remotely if alarms are triggered.
We install secondary containment around all containers holding 55 gallons or more of chemicals and process fluids. We conduct periodic third-party inspections to confirm Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans accurately reflect onsite equipment and to ensure oil storage containers are in proper working order.
Where feasible, we install engineering controls and processes that eliminate the potential for releases to occur.
We use a comprehensive monitoring and avoidance system to identify and stop potential releases from occurring. Employees at our Tactical Operations Center and local operations control centers remotely monitor equipment, including tank levels and pipeline pressures, and have the ability to shut down much of our infrastructure remotely if alarms are triggered.
We also install secondary containment around containers that hold 55 gallons or more of chemicals or process fluids. We conduct periodic third-party inspections to confirm that our SPCC plans accurately reflect on-site equipment and to ensure oil storage containers are in proper working order.
WES owns and operates 835 miles of produced-water pipeline, 43 disposal wells, and associated water treatment facilities, with a system capacity of 1.4 million barrels of water per day in the Delaware Basin. We also operate one produced water separation site in the DJ Basin.