CarbonPath is Attacking Climate Change by Providing the Framework to Shut Down Orphaned and Abandoned Oil and Natural Gas Wells

CarbonPath is attacking climate change by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions in the atmosphere at the source, by permanently shutting down low-producing, orphaned, and abandoned oil and natural gas wells.

They have developed a methodology that has been highly scrutinized, peer reviewed, and leverages existing best practices to create one of the highest quality carbon credit tokens available today!

Below is an interview with Kyle Westendorf, Head of Product at CarbonPath.

Q: What is the mission and vision of CarbonPath?

We are attacking climate change by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions in the atmosphere at the source, by providing a framework to permanently ​and responsibly shutting ​down low-producing, orphaned, and abandoned oil and gas wells. 

 We offer a Web3 registry as a mechanism for oil and gas operators to sell, as well as businesses and individuals to buy and retire tokens. These tokens are created as tangible and immutable assets that validate the permanent decommissioning of oil and gas wells. 

 Q: What are the problems with low-producing, orphaned, and abandoned oil and natural gas wells?

There are 750,00 older, low-producing oil and natural gas wells in the U.S., which are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane "a super polluter”, per unit of production volume.

By permanently shutting them down, future methane and carbon dioxide emissions from these wells will be stopped for good and a tangible reduction in GHGs can be achieved.

There are 2 million orphaned and abandoned wells in the US.

These are wells that have not been permanently and responsibly shut down and leak methane. It is estimated that these wells will emit 7.5 million tonnes of CH4 over the next 25 years!

Q: What occurs after one of these areas or wells is successfully shut down?

Before a well is successfully shut down, it must first be submitted to CarbonPath (CP) to be reviewed and tested against our methodology. Once this has been completed, a variety of baseline data must be collected and verified.

Hydrocarbon reserve volumes are then calculated and reviewed by independent 3rd party licensed professional engineers, with expertise in oil and natural gas well production and methane leak detection, to formulate the carbon measurements.

Next, we ensure that a well is shut down safely and responsibly according to state or federal regulations.  To the extent there is surface equipment (tanks, pipes, compressors) on site, this equipment will be removed and recycled. 

Finally, the surface area is restored to its original natural habitat, thereby creating a carbon sink. This will depend on where the well is located. Some examples include: pine forest in east Texas, native prairielands in Oklahoma, or even farmland if the well is in a cornfield in Illinois.

Once CP receives the official report from the appropriate regulatory agency that the well has been permanently shut down and ​the surface restored, CP will create a well specific NFT, from which carbon credit tokens are issued.

These will be issued as fungible CPCO2 or CPCHtokens on the Celo blockchain.

Q: What does a CarbonPath token represent?

1 CarbonPath token represents 1 tonne of CO2 or CH4 that has been sequestered in the ground by responsibly plugging oil and gas wells in accordance with our methodology. 

By leveraging blockchain technology, we are creating an elegant dMRV (digital measurement, reporting, & verification) solution to provide transparency into the permanence, additionality, verification, and validation of the entire process.

Q: How can companies benefit from using CarbonPath? 

CarbonPath can help companies with their ESG goals in 2 ways:

  1. CarbonPath can facilitate a reliable pipeline of high-quality carbon credit tokens tied to highly impactful climate projects that can meet the timing and volume requirements of a company's ESG goals.
  2. CarbonPath will provide exceptional reporting functionality and user experience on our registry. The ​CarbonPath tokens associated with each well are unique and contain embedded dMRV. This allows companies to get in-depth reporting including volumetric, location, visual, governance data, and validation of their impact. The CarbonPath registry will allow companies to easily communicate their positive environmental impact to their employees, customers, and investors.