Climate Change

Climate change is a material environmental topic for Crestwood. As a part of the oil and gas value chain, our business is exposed to risks and opportunities related to the potential effects of climate change, and the potential for policy and regulatory changes that may impact demand for our services. Possible risk factors include the physical effects of climate change on Crestwood assets and reduced demand for fossil fuels because of policy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Conversely, efforts to shift to cleaner burning natural gas could offer growth potential for parts of our operations.

As a midstream company, we have greenhouse gas emissions associated with fuel and energy use in our own operations, such as our trucking fleet and our gathering and processing facilities. We also have the potential for fugitive and process emissions from our operations.


Management of emissions, including greenhouse gases, is an integral part of our overall environmental management program, which we discuss in detail in the Environmental Management section of this report. We manage associated regulatory risks by actively engaging with industry peers and advocacy groups to share best practices and influence regulatory development – all of which we discuss in detail in our Government Relations section.

Specifically as environmental management relates to greenhouse gas emissions, we strive to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and continuously improve the emissions intensity of our operations. To achieve these objectives we have implemented programs to:

  • Prevent and detect leaks from our natural gas gathering, processing, storage and transportation facilities;
  • Reduce venting and flaring of hydrocarbons; 
  • Evaluate the use of electric-powered equipment, where possible.

“We balance our business growth objectives with a commitment to minimize the environmental impact of our operations. In our efforts to be strong environmental stewards, we have implemented alternative leak detection and repair practices that will decrease fugitive emissions as we find and repair leaks earlier, thereby reducing our environmental footprint."

Portrait of Vic Conner, Plant Manager, Barnett South

Vic Conner,
Plant Manager,
Barnett South

Case Studies

Reducing Emissions in North Dakota

Reducing Emissions in North Dakota

Through the purchasing of new trailers and refurbishing existing equipment, Crestwood is gaining efficiencies that lead to reduced emissions. These trailers are tanks that hold our products such as natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, or produced water, and the new or refurbished trailers can hold an additional 2,000 to 3,000 gallons per load and trip. We estimate that at peak production, this will reduce the number of miles driven by 1,440 per day, 10,080 per week, and 43,200 per month – all of which leads to significant reductions in CO₂ emissions.

Additionally, we are strategically re-routing trucks to reduce their travel time, thereby reducing emissions. We hope to quantify the impact of this program in our 2019 Sustainability Report.

Produced Water Pipelines Reduce Emissions

Produced Water Pipelines Reduce Emissions

In 2016, Crestwood began leveraging our expertise in pipeline installments to reduce our operational footprint. We installed pipelines to dispose of produced water from our operations, reducing the use of trucks to haul and dispose of this waste stream. From this shift alone, we have eliminated a total of 7.4 million trucking miles and reduced emissions by nearly 1,000 metric tons of CO₂ since 2016.

Leak Detection and Repair Methods Improve Operational Efficiencies

Leak Detection and Repair Methods Improve Operational Efficiencies

In early 2019, we began utilizing Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) at natural gas processing facilities in both Texas and New Mexico, as a way to detect potential leaks faster. OGI cameras provide the ability to spot invisible gases, allowing technicians to find fugitive emissions faster and more reliably than sniffer detectors. With the OGI schedule, our ESR team oversees bimonthly inspections of our facilities, and this new technology has the capability to better detect larger leaks that tend to comprise of over 90 percent of total emission volume for these types of facilities.

Even though the monitoring is more frequent than Crestwood’s previous leak detection processes, OGI results in a cost savings – by as much as 30 percent. The reason is that OGI can check anywhere between 5,000 to 15,000 equipment components every day, compared to 250 to 600 a day with previous methods.

We anticipate this upgrade to continue reducing cost for Crestwood as well as significantly reducing emissions, and we look forward to reporting our results in our 2019 Sustainability Report.

Installation of Electric Drives at the Orla and Bear Den processing facilities

Installation of Electric Drives at the Orla and Bear Den Processing Facilities

During 2018, Crestwood has installed electric motors to drive the residue compression units at our Orla and Bear Den processing facilities. Electric drives increase plant efficiency when electric motors are coupled with variable frequency drive, reducing torque and therefore waste heat, generating energy efficiency gain and a lower overall carbon footprint as a result. In addition to the reduction in carbon emissions intensity, electric drives can also provide localized environmental benefits, such as reductions in air emissions and reduced noise impacts.

Looking Ahead

Two key emissions-reduction initiatives that Crestwood is currently implementing in 2019 include programs to evaluate and reduce truck movements associated with our operations, and using alternative leak detection methods.


Related Content 

Environmental Management

Asset Integrity

Biodiversity and Land Use