Great Western Supports Tutoring for Minority STEM Students in Partnership with CABPES

November 2020—DENVER, CO

Great Western helps shape brilliant young minds in a partnership with the Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists (CABPES), a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging African Americans and other underrepresented youth to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The partnership with CABPES became a perfect opportunity to advance Great Western’s dedication to inclusivity and partnerships that support the communities in which we work and live. With our donation, young, aspiring scientists and engineers were able to continue their tutoring without interruption.

“CABPES is a remarkable organization highlighting career paths and industries with minority underrepresentation that will ultimately shape the innovators and stewards of our energy future,” said Susan Fakharzadeh, VP of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs at Great Western. “It’s exciting to see students get involved in the STEM field as it’s important to the innovation and transformation of various industries – including energy.”

Great Western’s donation has directly impacted CABPES’ work with students and structure. Due to COVID-19, CABPES had to navigate the execution of a virtual programming platform. With the help of Great Western, the nonprofit was able to resume several programs such as the Junior Engineers Tomorrow’s Scientists (JETS) program, Math Enrichment Program (MEP), SAT/ACT college preparatory program, and individual and group tutoring through subscriptions to applications like Moodle, IXL, and other communication platforms, without interruption to the students.

“We are in the business of developing future scientists and engineers,” said Dewey F. Brigham, Jr., Ph.D., president and executive director of CABPES. “Our outreach and operational efforts can reach more students with the help and generosity of organizations like Great Western. We are fortunate to continue supporting students in the program during COVID-19.”

A portion of the donation went to CABPES marketing and strategy efforts for intentional recruitment and volunteer appreciation.

“Many of our volunteers have been with us for nearly 30 years, and we were happy to show our appreciation and the students’ appreciation, to these volunteers, especially during the pandemic,” Brigham said. “We are intentional when recruiting volunteers to support future STEM professionals, and providing incentives allows us to continue retaining volunteers for many years.”

There are around 150 students in grades 5-12 participating in the CABPES program, depending on the time of year and type of program, and the organization continues to grow. The 2020 summer enrollment numbers reached ten states. Participating students can work with real, industry professionals through CABPES; nearly all teachers and volunteers are current or retired scientists and engineers, creating role models and allowing students to learn real-world applications. 

“These students get to see professionals who resemble themselves working in technology and scientific areas,” Brigham said. “This helps inspire what and who they will become.”

“In the energy industry, we understand how diversity, inclusion, and representation are important to our operations and our work environment,” Fakharzadeh said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to support an organization that’s vital to the growth and development of future generations and a staple to minority representation in the STEM industry as part of Great Western’s post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.”

Great Western continues to make a difference in various communities in which our employees live and work and looks forward to the progress and impacts of CABPES in our communities.

Great Western Introduces its GREEN Initiative to Identify and Improve Sustainability Progress

October, 2020—DENVER, CO

Great Western is serious about its commitment to environmental stewardship and is working to create a positive ecological impact by improving all areas of sustainability and its influence on the environment, economy, and society at its sites. As part of our environmental, health and safety (EHS) practices, we’re excited to introduce a brand-new initiative upholding our commitment and propelling our environmental efforts forward with our GREEN Initiative. GREEN – Globally Reduced Emissions and Extraction Network – is an integrated process for managing our field locations that highlight areas of sustainability.

Great Western has an important role in the environmental sustainability ecosystem. The GREEN Initiative will ensure our locations are low emissions and emphasize the need for further reducing truck traffic by increasing pipe movement to have the most up-to-date facilities.

Great Western’s facilities and pads will be evaluated and identified by:

  • Facilities engineered in conjunction with third-party networks to drastically reduce emissions and increase sustainability metrics
  • Low-emission, electric-assisted facilities
  • Take-away and pipeline programs to reduce traffic and load-off emissions
  • Twinning and quadri-frac completions strategies, and
  • Site-specific community engagement programs

Under GREEN, there are three levels of criteria for a location to meet before identifying as Silver, Gold or Platinum GREEN status.

  • Silver: Great Western locations with lower emissions, electric-assisted facility, continuous air-emissions monitoring and twin rig/quadri-frac completions technology to substantially reduce on-location activity time.
  • Gold: In addition to the elements named in the Silver level, a Gold facility features a holistic supply and transportation network that reduces emission from production, completions, all the way through transporting of resources off the facility through established pipelines, increasing safety and substantially reducing traffic and emissions typically associated with natural resource production.
  • Platinum: Platinum facilities exceed Silver and Gold status and additionally include site-specific community investment and engagement programs. Example: Great Western’s Ivey Pad collaborates with local educational non-profit The Butterfly Pavilion to develop species-specific horticulture plans that support thriving pollinator populations on the berms of our site that support the broader community.

The Great Western GREEN program was developed with the purpose of establishing communications, transparency, and sharing the innovations and technologies that go into making our sites compatible with the diverse areas of Colorado in which we operate. As we move forward, our projects will be identified through these tiers in order to help neighbors and stakeholders in the community understand the process of oil and gas production and share in the benefits of these innovative, community-forward programs.

Great Western is committed to a sustainable future and to improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities in which we work and live. Through these proactive EHS initiatives, and Great Western’s core values, Great Western continues to be a leader in the natural gas and oil industry, in the Denver-Julesberg Basin and across the state of Colorado.

Great Western is #CommittedtoColorado.

Great Western Partners with UCHealth to Support Suicide Prevention Awareness Efforts

September, 2020—Denver, CO

In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s challenging to remember that Colorado’s mental health is just as important as its physical, emotional and financial health. As September and the National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month comes to a close, Great Western is proud to invest and support the mental health of Coloradans by partnering with UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation and donating to the fight against suicide.

“The mental health of the communities in which we work and operate are important to all of us at Great Western. The challenges we have all faced this year has led to mental health impacts, and we are raising awareness for suicide prevention,” said Susan Fakharzadeh, vice president of corporate communications & government affairs for Great Western. “We’re value the opportunity to help support the efforts of UCHealth in our communities and invest in top-quality health care.”

While suicide has tragically impacted millions of people for decades worldwide, the effects of COVID-19 and the stress of isolation has caused professionals to worry that suicide rates will reflect in 2020 and the future. With this gift from Great Western, UCHealth will be able to study and address some of the risks and prevention tactics through programs, outreach and medical studies.

Initially, Great Western’s donation will begin with the Zero Suicide Implementation Focus Group. UCHealth’s team of mental wellness professionals created a tool to conduct focus groups and interviews to collect input from people who have had direct experience with suicide-related treatment, such as the patient themselves, family members and caregivers. This insight will allow for better treatments and the ability to implement changes for suicide prevention policies and practices. The questions asked will relate to screening, assessment, safety planning, evidence-based treatment, care transitions and follow-up processes. The program is associated with the local Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Imagine Zero.

“Especially during this uncertain time, this month is a reminder to all of us to stay connected with each other,” said Erica Siemers, regional executive director of UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation. “We’re incredibly thankful for this gift and the support for suicide prevention awareness. Great Western’s donation will go beyond the focus group and into future prevention efforts that will help UCHealth combat Colorado’s high suicide rates.”

We understand how imperative it is to invest in the change we want to see in the world. We value this opportunity and look forward to learning how Great Western can further suicide prevention efforts in the future.

For more information about a northern Colorado coalition to end suicide, please visit: uchealth.org/today/imagine-zero-suicides. Follow Great Western on Facebook and LinkedIn for more partnership and community updates.

Great Western Alleviates Some School Pandemic Challenges at Windsor Charter Academy with Charitable Donation

DENVER—September 2020

Great Western put smiles on the face of students and teachers at Windsor Charter Academy with a charitable donation as the 2020-2021 school year kicked off. As the school year and educational requirements continually shifted to meet the health and safety needs of teachers and students, Great Western saw an opportunity to support the learning community in Weld County in its ongoing dedication to being #CommittedtoColorado.

This gift is an effort to help its teachers, students and staff navigate through the challenges of a new school year amid a looming pandemic through new technology, learning programs and remodeling efforts.

“We strive to help the nonprofits and schools in the communities we live and work. Our communities need us during this time, and Great Western is committed to being part of the post-COVID-19 recovery solution,” said Susan Fakharzadeh, vice president of corporate communications & government affairs for Great Western. “With the means, inspiration and support, we’re excited to bring safety, college prep access, and much needed space for continuing quality education and health safety for teachers and students at Windsor Charter Academy.”

Great Western’s donation was a gift to all schools at Windsor Charter Academy. The high school received funding for PREPWORKS, a college-preparedness program, that will help 300 students prepare for college entrance exams, such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Testing (ACT). The program guarantees improving student test scores of 200 to 300 SAT points and three to five ACT points, increasing the likelihood of college acceptance and success.

The academy is in the process of revitalizing an outdoor area that has been deteriorating from drainage problems outside the middle school building. This donation will help the installation of new concrete to replace the damaged grassy area. The final product, anticipated to be completed mid-October, will have space for outdoor seating to support safety and social distancing efforts.

The elementary school received new microphone headsets for 38 teachers to help alleviate hearing problems for students, especially those near the back of the class, caused by wearing masks.

“Due to COVID-19, our teachers are required to wear masks all day and only use face shields while conducting a phonics lesson,” said Kelly Seilbach, director of elementary school education at Windsor Charter Academy. “During the first week of school, we quickly realized that many teachers were losing their voice! Microphones suddenly became an important need for instruction, and ultimately, a game-changer for the quality of education for our students overall.”

Together, we’re making a difference in the day-to-day activities for students and teachers.

“I am so grateful for this device,” said Lindsay Nolting, first grade teacher at Windsor Charter Academy. “By the end of the day, my voice is much less strained. My students love that I look ‘so official’ now with my new microphone!”

“We are grateful for Great Western Petroleum’s generous donation, which has already provided an immediate and direct benefit to our teachers and students,” Seilbach added.

Windsor Charter Academy looks forward to updating Great Western with progress from their school year. We hope the future brings many more opportunities for Great Western to support and make an impact just like this.

Amy Voit, Field Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator Featured in Employee Spotlight

DENVER—September 2020

At Great Western, we’re dedicated to an inclusive culture that’s employee-centered and supportive. To better expand and demonstrate our core values, we’re excited to share a new, robust series of employee profiles! Whether it’s Stewardship, Teamwork, Excellence, People, Growth or Resilience, each of our core values helps us uphold our commitments and achieve greatness, and all of our efforts at Great Western begin with one in particular:  People.

We’re showcasing what it means to work for Great Western, and the work that goes into our mission to produce energy in a safe and responsible way to improve people’s lives.

As we continue to pursue our environmental goals, Amy Voit, the field EHS coordinator for air quality, pushes us one step closer to achieving a better partnership between environmentalists and the energy industry. Watch her profile to learn how she’s moving us toward a better future. Great Western is #CommittedToPeople

Great Western Conducts Pilot Testing on Next-gen Air Quality Monitors

DENVER—August 2020

As Great Western continues to improve the ways we develop our natural resources, we also continue to improve the ways we protect the environment. This is part of our commitment to Colorado and the communities we serve. Since 2018, Great Western has been conducting pilot studies on new, compact hydrocarbon emissions monitoring sensors that give the natural gas and oil industry ways to remotely monitor emissions-related issues for an even more rapid response to potential issues at locations.

Great Western has in place, a long running Leak Detection and Repair Program (LDAR) utilizing infrared cameras to conduct inspections at all facilities. Through this program, we have reduced the overall leakage at our facilities. The small hydrocarbon sensors we have been piloting will complement our existing LDAR programs by adding the ability to remotely monitor emissions at our facilities. These high frequency hydrocarbon monitors, along with our existing Emergency Shutdown and Operational Monitoring supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems allow us to respond immediately to significant issues as well as prevent some emission from occurring.

Recognizing the need for continued progress along with our commitment to the environment and our community, Great Western is at the forefront of testing and developing these next generation hydrocarbon monitoring sensors to ensure we are acting as responsible community partners. While these hydrocarbon monitoring sensors are still in need of some technological development, we have committed to partnering with several vendors to support and lead these technological advancements. As part of this effort, we are evaluating innovative ways to integrate our existing continuous monitoring and control SCADA systems at these locations with the hydrocarbon monitoring data. 

Our pilot study included three different systems across various locations and field environments. These systems have generated important data on how the sensors function outside of laboratory settings, in real world environments. During our testing, the sensors were deployed at seven different Great Western facilities in various stages of pre-construction, construction, drilling, completion and flowback operations, and production. Some of these devices are new, and before our pilot program, they had minimal testing in a natural gas and oil field setting. 

The results will greatly aid in informing the industry and regulators on the benefits and drawbacks of deploying these sensors in a broader capacity. Our testing has shown that these sensors have the capability of detecting operational events that potentially release gas to the atmosphere, but still need additional quality assurance-quality control to validate the data and eliminate reporting anomolies. 

Importantly, these studies also allowed us to create protocols for selecting appropriate sensors, set expectations for maintenance and calibration procedures, and derive meaning from the data.

Without cooperation from the industry, sensor developers often cannot predict how their products will perform in the field. In the short-term, this project helped the sensor developers improve their current generation’s sensor design, performance, and reliability. In the long-term, our pilot will inform future sensor development that will meet the needs of all stakeholders in natural gas and oil monitoring, enabling monitoring plans that are scientifically-backed and effective.

Being a partner in expanding and testing the newest technologies is just one way that Great Western is driving innovation to advance the company’s long-term goal of improving air quality in our operating basin.

Great Western is #CommittedtoColorado.

Great Western Petroleum, LLC Announces Termination of Exchange Offer

To view the press release please view the below PDF:

Great Western Petroleum, LLC Announces Exchange Offer for Any and All of Its Outstanding Senior Notes Due 2021

Great Western Is #CommittedtoWomen

Kimberly Sands, Director of Reserves and Planning, named to DBJ 2020 Top Women in Energy

July 2020—For many years, Great Western has prioritized diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is good for our business as well – Great Western views people as our most valuable asset, and we work hard to support, empower, and truly value every member of the team.

One important leader at Great Western is Kimberly Sands. A Colorado School of Mines alum, Kim is a petroleum engineer and our director of reserves and planning. It was no surprise that Kim recently was recognized in Denver Business Journal’s 2020 Top Women in Energy.

During her three years at Great Western Petroleum, Kimberly has contributed to the rapid growth of the company to nearly 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. She manages the broad scope of Great Western’s properties and minerals and excels in the development and execution of some of our most strategic projects.

“I am honored to receive this award and represent Colorado women working in energy,” said Kim upon hearing the announcement. “Women continue to earn a seat at the table in this industry and I love working for a company that encourages my professional growth while prioritizing diversity in leadership.”

Kim is a strong advocate for women in energy, and a respected leader among her peers at Great Western and in the industry as a whole. She is highly deserving of this award because of her passion and commitment that ensures talented people – from any background – see Great Western and the energy industry as a place to contribute and grow.

Rich Frommer, the president and CEO of Great Western, emphasizes the impact women have had on the organization. “I am grateful to have many female voices to weigh in on Great Western’s strategies and operations. Our leadership team is better than ever, and many of our victories are directly attributed to our female team members.”

In an industry that has been predominantly male, Great Western is a frontrunner in encouraging women to pursue careers in energy. Thirty-five percent of Great Western’s management team are women, and the organization plans to grow that number in the future. For as much as Great Western is committed to Colorado, it is also committed to the women of Colorado. The organization will continue to advocate on behalf of women and lead in diverse management for Colorado energy companies.

Living Our Values: Providing Hope to Coloradans

Denver, CO—April 2020

At Great Western, we are committed to living our core values, inside and outside of the workplace. While we all grapple with the swiftly evolving landscape during these challenging times in our world, we believe that living and exemplifying these values is more important than ever. Supporting our communities through stewardship and partnerships has never been more important.

In February of this year, we continued our partnership with Make-A-Wish Colorado in supporting their “Kids for Wish Kids” program—a program that engages students across the state in a fundraising effort to support the many families that are awaiting a ‘wish’ through the Make-A-Wish organization. Make-A-Wish Colorado has been a part of our community for 40 years, and Great Western is proud to support these crucial efforts for Colorado’s families.

The “Kids for Wish Kids” program is important to us for many reasons—in addition to fostering the core mission and work of Make-A-Wish, we believe that engaging students across the state in these fundraising efforts develops leadership and values in the youth of today that will be the leaders of tomorrow. In matching the funds that these students raise, we support and encourage their efforts to be stewards in their own communities. And in turn, we are inspired by the creativity, commitment, and dedication of these youth as they selflessly raise funds to support friends and families in their communities.

Our world is an unpredictable place right now, to be sure; in the midst of the questions and  uncertainty, we invite you to celebrate the small successes that will help all of us prove that we are resilient, and will come through this situation stronger and more united than ever.

Great Western is committed to our partners, and #CommittedToColorado.