In the oil and gas industry, Westgen is bringing a breath of fresh air with their innovative approach to reducing methane emissions. Founded in 2019 by engineers Ben Klepacki and Connor O’Shea, Westgen’s mission is to empower the energy evolution by providing practical, scalable solutions that can be deployed on a wide scale to eliminate emissions today.
The Westgen story started with a serious accident on a wellsite. A field worker was injured when methane gas emissions vented from a pneumatic device caused a flash fire. There was no practical solution to eliminate these emissions at the time, but Ben and Connor felt that this was a problem worth solving. They pooled their savings, left their jobs and started Westgen.
In June of 2019, they built the prototype of the EPOD (Engineered Power on Demand), a solar-hybrid power generation system designed to eliminate methane emissions from the energy industry. And in November of that same year, the first-ever EPOD was deployed to reduce emissions in northern British Columbia.
Since then, Westgen’s EPOD has gained rapid traction in the industry. The solar-hybrid power generation system provides an economic solution to eliminate methane emissions, reducing site emissions by up to 99.5 per cent. But beyond emissions reductions, the patented and award-winning EPOD also reduces capital costs, improves reliability and generates carbon credits for oil and gas producers.
While there are less than 1,000 new wellsites developed in Canada each year, there are hundreds of thousands of existing wellsites which emit methane gas to atmosphere through pneumatic devices. To address this problem, Westgen developed a new product called EPOD-Mini, which launched commercially in February 2021 and quickly became the market-leading solution for pneumatics retrofits in Canada. To date, hundreds of EPODs and EPOD Minis have been sold to 50+ oil and gas producers across North America.
Westgen’s innovative solutions have not gone unnoticed. The company has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Global Energy Award for Emerging Clean Technologies and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award.
But for Ben and Connor, the real reward is supporting the industry to reduce emissions intensity and to continue providing energy that the world needs. Each EPOD deployed reduces emissions from pneumatic devices by 99.5 per cent, which in a typical application, is equivalent to reducing emissions from 250 cars to just one. The company’s big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) is to eliminate 50,000,000 tons of CO2e of emissions by 2030.
To achieve this goal, Westgen has continued to innovate and expand. They’ve signed agreements with two U.S.-based distributors and are poised to capture a significant percentage of the emerging retrofit market mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the spring of 2022, the company raised $20 million in capital to scale faster and opened a 46,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Balzac, Alberta.
In just four years, Westgen has established itself as a cleantech leader in North America, but they’re not stopping there. The world faces a great energy challenge, and Westgen is well-positioned to provide solutions the world needs.