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March 2, 2024

Oil and Gas Methane Reporting and Carbon Accounting

OGGN ESG Energized Podcast Envana Softare Solutions Paul Hajek Delfina Govia

Paul Hajek, Envana Software Solutions Director of Revenue Operations with Delfina Govia, Host of OGGN ESG Energized Podcast - Methane Mitigation Summit - Houston, Texas - December 2023


EPA Subpart W Regulations and Beyond

Solving the methane emissions and reporting challenge was the focus of the conversation between OGGN's ESG Energized podcast host, Delfina Govia, with Paul Hajek, Envana's Director of Revenue Operations at the recent IQPC Methane Mitigation Summit. 


An Emissions Management Solution for Scope 1, 2, and 3 

Delfina: Tell me, Paul, what does Envana Software Solutions do?  

Paul: We offer a SaaS for emissions management a pure software as a service play for emissions management. In our software solution, we either: 

  • Receive from sensor data of direct measurement of methane and other gases that might be leaking as part of a C02e profile.  
  • Model C02 emissions.  You can use emissions factors and formulas to model what the emissions would be outside of a direct measurement from a sensor.  

There's a carbon impact from certain activities that are involved in the oil and gas space, such as transportation and logistics. Also, all the utilities that support the infrastructure that's in place or some of the equipment and materials that are used at the drill site or in a production facility. Those variables as a collective can be ingested into our platform.  We can take the operational data about those variables, the equipment runtime, the fuel that's used, and several other factors. And we can create a carbon footprint for your operation.  You can have an idea of the carbon impact of your operation... it's not a black box anymore.  


Making Sense of Emissions Monitoring Sensor Data 

Delfina: Are you taking actual sensor data that a company has and bringing that together into one location? And/or, are you using some other sources of historical data or information or proprietary information that you guys have collected from just being out there in the world and understanding different companies in different industries and building those models?  

Paul: The answer is that we could do both.  We're not just strictly monitoring methane leaks–that's a big piece of this industry. We have the capability within Envana Catalyst, our software, to receive information about methane leaks that are collected from sensors. But we're sensor agnostic. We only provide the software. 

On top of that, however, you're able to model your entire C02 or C02e footprint within our software– outside of methane.  


Measuring C02 Footprint 

Delfina: When you're modeling that, what is the underlying data upon which you're building the model? 

Paul: We build that model using the real operational data provided by the client. So, we can take, for example, a drilling contractor, a service provider in the space, a plug and abandon company... if they're drilling a well or if they're setting up assets for producing field.  We would take the operational data about that asset and bring it into the system.  

  • How many compressors do they have?  
  • How many generators are they using?  
  • How much cement did they use in the well? 
  • What type of logistics were used to support that?  
  • How many trucks?  
  • What type of fleet?  

All that adds up to a C02 or C02e.  We ingest that information.  We have a unique way of organizing it inside of our platform that's specific to oil and gas. The software is built by oil and gas and for the oil and gas industry. We owe that to our legacy, which comes out of Halliburton.   

The company was formed within Halliburton roughly about two years ago because Halliburton needed to address this issue. They wanted to address it for themselves because they were working in spreadsheets. There was siloed information, and they needed to have a centrally governable place where they could operationalize all their GHG data. That's what Envana Catalyst does. After the period that it was incubated in Halliburton, Envana LLC stood up early in 2023, and now we're going to market. It's very exciting.  


Carbon Accounting by Oil and Gas, for Oil and Gas 

Delfina: You're bringing up something that we talk about a lot on ESG Energized, which is that it is very difficult for us in the oil and gas industry to accept solutions that are offered to us from organizations that are not us. They don't understand the ins and outs of our business.  

Paul: Absolutely.  It's an insular industry. I think that's changing a little bit because there's so much exposure being put on our industry right now. Then some of that's critical. Not all of it is, but there's a lot of pressure being put on the industry and tech that disruption is coming from.  


New Oil and Gas Subpart W Regulations 

There's political pressure. But there's also pressure from technology: Technology is making things a little bit more transparent. And with regulations coming along the way that they are, it's also putting pressure on the industry to be a little bit less insular than it has been. But there are good reasons for that.  In my career, since I graduated from college, I've been in oil and gas the entire time. I love this industry, I'm passionate about it, and I want this industry to continue to be able to reliably, safely, and cleanly bring energy to the world and our country. That's important! Hydrocarbons are an extremely important asset for a modern, thriving civilization.  We believe in that. But there's a way we can do it as responsibly and cleanly as possible. And I think most people are on board.  

Delfina: Global energy demand is going to continue to increase. We know that every organization that forecasts those sorts of things agrees.  But they're also saying that along with that, there are going to be the emissions that naturally are going to come from having to supply that increase in demand.  

Paul: I would add one other thing about just the insular nature of the industry.  That's an important point in the messaging as new technologies are developed in the emissions space: it's a space that isn't as mature as some of the other niche spaces within the industry. There's a lot of new development, a lot of new regulations. Things are changing. And that creates uncertainty in the marketplace for all the players and our clients as well.  


Envana: Emissions Management By Oil and Gas, for Oil and Gas

That's created an opportunity for technology solutions like the ones that you see here, like ours –Envana Catalyst– and all the other great companies to come in and solve the need: Help bring clarity to consolidate things in a way that allows people to operate and continue to operate more effectively. One thing that I love about the industry is that sort of insular nature is grounded in a really pragmatic approach to getting the job done. When you think about what you have to do to get these assets out of the ground:  It's a risky endeavor. It's risky from an environmental aspect, it's risky from a human safety aspect, and it's also risky from a financial impact.  

And you don't always hit pay dirt.  And you're hoping that the times that you do it cover the times that you did.  I don't think that a lot of people outside our industry understand the incredible amount of intellectual engineering, emotional…   

It tests the entire human spirit to get this product into the market so that people can receive the benefits that it brings. And you have to be very pragmatic. And that's why when you're bringing these assets into the marketplace to be used, you have to make change incrementally. And so that's why the oil and gas industry has always been a little bit slower and has always made incremental change because they don't want to do things that disrupt proven processes, especially in the type of risk environment that we just outlined.    

Delfina: That's exactly right!  There are so many startup companies that are bringing new technologies into the market. I have these conversations weekly. They're saying, "This is frustrating because we have this phenomenal technology." We go and we talk to the oil and gas companies, and they say, 'Okay, you're welcome to come do a pilot program.'" What they're going to give you is some place to do that pilot program, but not the money to go with it. We don't just open our arms and say, "Yeah, come, do something new."  We have to be pragmatic about it.  We get bombarded every day by new opportunities.  

I'm glad to see an organization like Envana: you are us! And especially now, given what we heard on Saturday, the new EPA regulations.  Big news! Now companies need to be able to understand what that environmental footprint is.  


Centralized Emissions Management for Engineering and Sustainability Stakeholders 

Paul: They need to be able to understand it, and they need people from the industry who understand what's going on and have a measure of empathy for the challenges that operators, contractors, and service providers face.  

And being pragmatic about that with your technology offering, whether that's IOT or pure software.  Or even just consulting and services, that's also a big piece of this industry.  Being very pragmatic about that and showing people how you can deliver value in a short period is the key.  

The engineers, the operations folks, and the sustainability folks who work in this industry can very quickly pick up on whether you understand our space or not. And that's a big focus for us at Envana. We've intentionally staffed up people who come from this space, whether that's petroleum engineering backgrounds or people like me. I have a business background, but I spent time working in the field. I spent time working offshore. I contracted with Chevron for a couple of years with their BOP (blowout preventer- Sub Sea Well Intervention) reliability team. And when you learn the operation, you have a very deep appreciation for what it takes to produce this asset.  


Integrating Methane Leak Emissions Data  

Delfina: Thank you!  Last question for you. Talk to me about the ability of Envana to integrate with other systems that an operator might have.  

Paul: On the censor side, we're sensor agnostic. And we are very well plugged in. No pun intended to the major players in the space. And we can –at the client's request– receive batch sensor data or sensor data in aggregate at intervals that they would determine.  

And that data can then be put into our platform, and we can use that to track over time. So, they have visibility there. But even if there are no sensors in place –this is where the challenge with measuring things besides just methane leaks directly comes in. If you're looking at the total C02 equivalent, if you want to understand that carbon impact, there are modeling assumptions that must be taken into account.  

You have to understand the operational reality to organize that information so that you can create a C02 estimate that makes sense. If you can't do that, then you can't rely on your estimates, and no one wants to share that information. Envana Catalyst, our product, has a custom endpoint API we deploy. Our very talented product team is headed by our Head of Products –the former sustainability lead at Halliburton– Roxanna Nielsen. She does an amazing job of sitting down with our clients and understanding their needs. Because we were in the same industry. And we're not reaching across the table. We're all at the same table with them. We understand where in their organization all their operational data lives. And it's typically in various sources. It's sort of fragmented. That's the typical profile. That's the way it is.  

And then, as part of our SaaS, we provide the service of finding that data and organizing it in a way that it can come into the Envana Catalyst engine and be made sense of.  

Delfina: Wonderful!  That is exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you so very much for joining us on the show.  


To demo Envana Catalyst for free or discuss your organization's needs, reach out to our team. We'll be glad to support you in solving your emissions reporting challenges with you.   


To listen to the podcast, visit OGGN.


Edited for clarity.  

Oil and Gas Methane Reporting and Carbon Accounting