‘Fracking Scorecard’ ranks 30 oil companies by disclosure of environmental risks by Sergio Chapa, March 16, 2016, San Antonio Business Journal
Times are tough in the oil patch but that doesn’t mean that protecting the environment is not a priority for the companies with wells that still remain in production.
The third annual ” Disclosing the Facts” report from As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management and the Investor Environmental Health Network looks at how well the oil and natural gas companies inform their investors about environmental risks.
A coalition of three socially conscious investor groups has released their 2015 “Fracking Scorecard” detailing how 30 publicly traded oil companies rank in terms of disclosing environmental risks.
The three socially conscious investor groups scour through filings from publicly traded oil exploration and production companies to see how they inform investors on the key risks of fracking, use of toxic chemicals, water consumption and water quality, waste management, air emissions, methane leakage and community impacts.
Using an objective points-based system where the maximum score is a 39, the “Fracking Scorecard” ranks 30 publicly traded companies on those factors.
Eight oil and gas companies made substantial progress in their 2015 disclosures, spurred in part by the earlier scorecards as well as by shareholder engagements involving a wide range of investors.
Australia-based BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP), which has a major presence in Houston, has emerged as the highest-scoring company for the second year in a row where it almost doubled its score.
[Meanwhile, Encana hovers more than half way down in the tawdry secrecy scores (Refer to table below). Is Encana’s Responsible Drilling Program a fraud?
Encana has been promising that since 2005, with little evidence to back up any green frac fluid emergence and when asked what the “green” chemicals are, VP Richard Dunn has this to say:
Encana VP Richard Dunn: “To be honest with you, I don’t understand what we swapped in, but I do understand what we swapped out, and that’s really the beauty of it all.”
Encana also refused to heed the Alberta Rules of Court. As of March 16, 2016, Encana still has not yet disclosed to Ernst, as ordered by Chief Justice Neil Wittmann with a December 19, 2014 deadline, all chemicals the company injected into fresh water zones at Rosebud, including illegally into the community’s drinking water aquifers]
Meanwhile, the three lowest-ranked companies were Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR), Denver-based Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) and Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (Nasdaq: CRZO).
BHP Billiton Head of Corporate Affairs Tommy Clark said the company got two out of 32 possible points when the first “Fracking Scorecard” was issued in 2013. With a corporate policy of transparency, Clark said the Melbourne, Australia-based company reached out to the scorecard organizers and learned that the report was exclusively based on information publicly available on company websites, annual reports and U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filings.
“We aggregate our public reporting on a high-level so consequently, we didn’t report on a granular level like they were looking for on a shale-by-shale play,” Clark said. “Once we understood what they were doing, rather than ask our people in Melbourne to change the way they do their website, we said let’s just do a case study and post it to our website, so they can find it.”
BHP Billiton Senior Manager for the Environment Ed Mongan said the company follows several practices favored by the “Fracking Scorecard,” but they were not publicly reported at the time the first report came out.
“They only score based on what’s publicly available on your website,” Mongan said. “You can’t go sending them things to prove your score, they’ve got to be able to find it on your website.”
The addition of the case study brought BHP Billiton’s score up from 2 points in 2013 to 18 points in 2014. The company saw significant gains in hydraulic fracturing fluids category where it has improved the disclosure of fracking fluid chemicals and eliminated the use of diesel or “BTEX chemicals” such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene in them.
Mongan said the company has also realized a series of voluntary methane emissions reductions across their value chain with a goal of having no more than 1 percent of losses by 2025.
“This voluntary effort is beyond what the EPA requires,” Mongan said.
Fracking Scorecard: How Oil Companies Ranked for Environmental Risk in 2015
Rank Company Ticker Score
1 BHP BILLITON, LTD. BHP 32
2 HESS CORP. HES 21
3 APACHE CORP. APA 20
4 CONSOL ENERGY, INC. CNX 19
5 NOBLE ENERGY, INC. NBL 19
6 SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY CO. SWN 16
7 ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP. APC 15
8 QEP RESOURCES, INC. QEP 15
9 EQT CORP. EQT 14
10 CONOCOPHILLIPS CORP. COP 11
11 RANGE RESOURCES CORP. RRC 11
12 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC RDS 11
13 OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP. OXY 10
14 PENN VIRGINIA CORP. PVA 10
15 BP PLC BP 8
16 CABOT OIL & GAS CORP. COG 8
17 ENCANA CORP. ECA 8
18 EOG RESOURCES, INC. EOG 8
19 DEVON ENERGY CORP. DVN 7
20 EXCO RESOURCES, INC. XCO 7
21 NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO. NFX 6
22 CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP. CHK 4
23 CHEVRON CORP. CVX 4
24 EXXON MOBIL CORP. XOM 4
25 PIONEER NATURAL RESOURCES PXD 3
26 ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP. UPL 3
27 WPX ENERGY, INC. WPX 3
28 CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC. CLR 2
29 WHITING PETROLEUM CORP. WLL 2
30 CARRIZO OIL & GAS, INC. CRZO 0