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.

Exercising Responsibility to Our Employees, Families, and Communities

Amongst the many challenges that we plan for and anticipate, the onset of a global pandemic that quickly hits close to home is rarely one of them.

Great Western has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it has developed over the past several weeks. As the situation escalated in our home state of Colorado, we swiftly implemented a thoughtful and sweeping plan to address this issue for the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our communities.

Sometimes the situations that we train for so diligently become a reality overnight. In the case of COVID-19, we have ensured that our operations in the field will continue to operate safely and securely, and be monitored and managed as they are every day. Our employees have been equipped with information to understand what to do if they are in contact with an individual with, or start experiencing themselves, the symptoms of COVID-19. Our employees execute their daily activities in the field with health and safety as their number one priority, and managing this unexpected incident is no different.

In our offices, we have implemented a flexible policy to allow employees to work from home as necessary. Faced with statewide school closures, and concerns for individuals with a variety of personal health needs, we are working with our employees, our managers, and our teams to ensure that our employees’ and their families’ needs are met while continuing to focus on the priorities of our business.

It is in these times of unexpected challenge that our character is both tested and proven. We are proud to operate on the core values of Growth, Stewardship, Teamwork, Excellence, People, and Resilience, and we know that these values will carry us through this current challenge to emerge a stronger team, and more resilient to face any challenges we may see in the future.

Great Western wishes all members of our Colorado community good health and urges everyone to take the highest precautions of safety and prudence during this time.

Great Western Supports our Communities During the Holidays

Denver—January 2020

Living our values is something that is important to our employees every single day, and there’s no greater time to celebrate and share those values in our communities than the holiday season. A time of celebration and gathering, this can also be a time of economic challenge for individuals and families across our state. In 2019, we put several of those values to work—People, Teamwork, and Stewardship—as we rolled up our sleeves to help those who help others.

In an effort to provide support where it was most needed this holiday season, Great Western participated in a three-part giving campaign with food banks across our state to provide meals to families in three different counties.

In September, Great Western ‘paved the runway’ with a gift to Food Bank of the Rockies, to help them kick off their annual giving campaign and provide an important jumpstart to the holidays.

 In November, over a dozen employees from Great Western volunteered at Weld Food Bank, in conjunction with a telethon with KFKA Radio where we matched dollar-for-dollar contributions from the community to Weld Food Bank.

Finally, in December it was our pleasure to sponsor Food for Hope, an Adams County initiative that provided meals through local schools to over 2,500 families this holiday season.

All in all, this campaign provided 20,000 meals, 5,000 meals boxes in Adams County schools, and 250 Thanksgiving dinners.

In the words of Bob O’Connor, CEO of Weld Food Bank, it’s “friends supporting friends… there is nothing greater” and we like to think that’s what it’s all about, every day.

Click on the video to learn more.

1911-GW-Weld Food Bank_v04 from Great Western on Vimeo.

Great Western Partners with Habitat for Humanity on Build Day

DENVER—September 12, 2019

In August, 10 members of the Great Western team gathered in the Swansea neighborhood in northeast Denver to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. The team arrived eager and ready to work, and throughout the day swung hammers, cut wood for floor joists, and installed a sub-floor for a duplex in this emerging community. As the day neared its end, our employees were covered in dirt and sweat, with tired arms and full hearts.

When volunteers partner with Habitat for Humanity, they save an average of $30,000 to $50,000 on the cost of building the home. This project in northeast Denver at Swansea is creating 16 buildings with enough units to provide housing for 32 families in this vibrant community. 

Every time our team comes together on important projects like this, it is an opportunity to celebrate our core values in action, both as a company and as individuals. As the foundation of our business, we empower and value our People, both inside and outside the workplace. When we join in Teamwork, we learn from each other, strengthen each other’s skills, and enhance the outcomes we deliver. And when we do it serving our community, we demonstrate our commitment to Stewardship by serving our neighbors, in this instance for generations to come.

Great Western is proud to be a Colorado born, Colorado built company, and contributing our skills to our communities in a meaningful way. We are #CommittedToColorado.

GreatWesternHFH_v03 from Great Western on Vimeo.

Wishful Thinking

Needing to raise funds to grant thirteen wishes is usually a fairly daunting task…

But it needed to be done quickly, so I figured I would start at the top of the food chain and work my way down.  I picked up the phone and made a call to a Make-A-Wish Colorado Board Member who happens to work for an oil and gas company.  Turns out, we had thirteen wishes to grant in what Denver affectionately calls the “D-J Basin.”  It’s oil  and gas slang for the Denver-Julesburg Basin and it is rich in natural resources.  One of them that is plentiful: oil.
A casual ask of our Board Member at Great Western Oil & Gas soon turned into an executive meeting brainstorm with a whole bunch of people with “Vice President” in their title.  The solution to granting wishes quickly seemed simple in that boardroom: each division would reach out to their respective colleagues and ask them to join Great Western Oil & Gas in supporting Wish Kids in the heart of the DJ Basin, Adams and Weld counties.  Great Western President and CEO Rich Frommer took it one step further.  The company would match employee giving AND seed the first three wishes with $2,500 each.  That was either a $10,000 or $17,500 proposition for Great Western Oil & Gas.  Except that employee giving exploded (one wish granted), Great Western matched it (another wish granted) AND still seeded three other wishes for a total of $22,500.  We were off and running.

Actually, from that point on, it became a sprint.  What was meant to be an introductory email turned into companies clamoring to give.  Most wanted to sponsor entire wishes.  Most wanted to sponsor high cost wishes.  Their only request was that they be able to share the story of a child with their employees so they knew that every day when they went to work in the D-J Basin, they were working in the very same  community where that child lived.  The first three companies to join those seed money wishes actually wanted to fund the whole thing: Baker Hughes (another wish!), Precision Drilling (another!), and Catamount Oilfield Services.  For those keeping track that is 5.  Next came two high cost wishes supported by Halliburton and Liberty Oilfield Services (6!7!).  One left in Adams County.  Remember that Make-A-Wish Board Member who set this in motion?  He picked up the phone and made a phone call and a small company by oil and gas standards, M&M Excavation Co granted LaShawn’s wish for a cruise: that’s 8!

With five wishes left to grant, another Great Western employee offered to reach out to his people in Weld County.  It took five minutes for the first of his colleagues, Water Way Solutions, to respond and adopt Aaron’s wish to go to Australia: 9.  It seemed this was going to be too easy.  JACAM and IES Combustors quickly followed for numbers ten and eleven.  And then there were two.  Remember, back at the beginning, I said Together.  Together, we create life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.  SO those last two wishes became a little bit of a community effort with three companies essentially pooling their money to grant the wishes of Carter and Carlos.  Twelve.  Thirteen.

Sometimes it seems the oil and gas industry gets a bad rap here in Colorado.  I can tell you, I have never worked with a more compassionate, giving and engaged group of people in my years of fundraising.  This campaign of giving was important to them.  The kids are important, where they live is important, and what they wish for is important.  So this is my way of saying to the remarkable people who make up the oil and gas industry in Colorado, and especially the D-J Basin: thank you.  You have left an indelible mark on the community in which you work and I know  thirteen Wish Kids and their families who will have lifelong memories of their child realizing their one true wish.  Because of you.

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