Some of the largest independent producers in the United States — including Chesapeake Energy Corp., Devon Energy Corp. and Newfield Exploration Co. — have formed the American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) with a “singular mission” — to increase the public’s “awareness and appreciation” of the abundant domestic gas supplies.

ANGA, still in its formative stage, has 20 members now and is expected to add more in the coming weeks.

“Our mission is to increase market appreciation for American natural gas as the clean, abundant, affordable and dependable solution to the most challenging energy and environmental issues facing the U.S.,” said Newfield CEO David Trice, who was tapped to chair the new group.

ANGA, headquartered in Reston, VA, appointed Rod Lowman as president. Lowman previously was president of the Abundant Forests Alliance, which promoted the sustainability and renewability of U.S. forests and forest products. He also served previously as president of the American Plastics Council and was executive vice president of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Under his leadership, the ACC led advocacy and public education campaigns to lift public opinion of the plastics industry to all-time highs.

“ANGA members comprise approximately 40% of total U.S. gas supply, producing about 8 Tcf a year,” said Lowman. “Independent natural gas exploration companies have invested in advanced technologies and innovative production techniques to assure that America will have access to abundant supplies of clean, affordable, domestic natural gas.

“Over the last several years, the natural gas industry has found vast deposits of gas in new resource plays. Utilizing these resources for our country’s energy needs will help to improve air quality, create thousands of American jobs and reduce our growing dependence on foreign oil. We will work hard to get our message heard by policy makers, end-users of our product and the American public.”

Trice said Lowman was “uniquely qualified to lead this initiative, given his early years working in natural gas fields and his more than 20 years of experience in effectively leading communication and advocacy programs for other large organizations.”

Lowman now is working on ANGA’s governing structure, public policy priorities and strategic communications initiatives. Details were sketchy about the alliance because of “governance issues,” a spokeswoman told NGI. However, she said she was allowed to disclose the names of some of the producers that joined the group. A formal announcement about ANGA is expected in March, she said.

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