Environmental cleanups to reduce carbon emissions have emerged as a fixture powered by an annual budget of up to C$40 million ($32 million) for top Canadian natural gas producer, Tourmaline Oil Corp.

Aeco July 29

The agenda announced as part of its quarterly results includes cutting diesel motor use, methane leak control, paring down natural gas plant emissions, waste heat recovery and water management. 

Corporate carbon emissions have been cut by 250,000 tons/year to date, the Calgary firm said.

Most of the environment-related capital investments eyed “do generate a modest positive return, albeit not as strong” as the exploration and production investments concentrated in the Montney Shale, management said.

Rising production and prices as the Covid-19 pandemic began to fade have transformed the firm’s profile.

Natural gas production in the first six months of 2021 grew by 32% from the same period a year ago to 1.9 Bcf/d. Oil and liquids byproduct volumes gained 47% to 91,516 b/d.

Gas fetched an average price of C$3.55/MMBtu ($2.84) in the first six months, up by 46%. Liquids prices on average increased by 45% to C$41.95/bbl ($33.56).

Production growth continues, with Tourmaline currently operating 12 drilling rigs on its liquids-rich Montney targets. It also plans to increase its active field squad to 13 rigs in September.

Net earnings for the first six months climbed to C$668.7 million ($535 million) or C$2.23/share ($1.78). In the first six months of 2020, Tourmaline recorded a net loss of C$15.7 million ($12.6 million) or minus C6 cents/share (minus 5 cents).