About Diamondback Energy – Dark Skies Participation
In recent years, the increase of oil and gas activity in the Permian Basin and all the development that comes along with that, has resulted in an increase of light pollution that threatens the dark skies. The McDonald Observatory’s Dark Skies Initiative staff have been working to educate oil and gas companies, businesses, and homeowners in local communities on the benefits of dark skies friendly lighting. Diamondback Energy embarked on implementing dark skies friendly lighting practices across their operations in 2018.
Diamondback Energy believes it is their responsibility to form partnerships with regional stakeholders. In the case of protecting dark skies, Diamondback chose to reduce the impact of their commercial light sources in order to not negatively affect the mission of the McDonald Observatory, or the wildlife who depend on dark night skies. Diamondback Energy does not currently have facilities near the McDonald Observatory, but they recognize that standardizing lighting practices across their operations will enhance the quality of life for all Texans, both human and wildlife, across the Delaware Basin. By implementing the practices now, they will avoid adding to the negative impacts of light pollution as the industry continues exploration and production in the western regions of Texas.
Diamondback Energy’s goal is to maximize the benefits of the Dark Skies Initiative as well as maximize their asset operations with minimal or no impact to viewing the night sky that so many Texans and people across the world cherish.
Diamondback Energy believes their first responsibility is the safety of their employees, their contractors, and the public. The need for safety aligns perfectly with Dark Skies Initiative’s Recommended Lighting Practices. By providing greater ground-level light by utilizing the Dark Skies Initiative’s practices, Diamondback Energy’s goal is to increase the safety at both present and future facilities. Additionally, the more efficient use of lighting techniques at assets should result in more conservation of resources and savings through reduced energy consumption.
Dark skies friendly lighting practices have a direct conservation impact in the Delaware Basin. The lighting type and angle at which it is directed allows for more visible coverage in a given surface area for their operations. Effectively utilizing light sources is cost-effective from an energy usage perspective, produces less glare that affects line-of-sight for workers, and is beneficial by reducing the loss of nighttime sky for the public and the McDonald Observatory.
Diamondback Energy has an average of 8 lights per facility location.
When choosing lights, Diamondback Energy focuses on low-energy, LED lighting such as RAB FXLED125SF.
Facilities teams are in the process of writing an SOP for lighting to ensure all future facilities follow the practices.
To align your own facilities with Dark Skies lighting, be sure to utilize the Recommended Lighting Practices published by the observatory and endorsed by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.
The positive impact of implementing Dark Skies practices stretches beyond DiamondbackEnergy’s operations, positively impacting the surrounding communities as well. For oil and gas operations, the larger positive industry impact is a reduction on the potential excess light that disrupts facilities, such as the McDonald Observatory, as they work to expand our understanding of the boundaries of science. Diamondback Energy is proud to operate in the Delaware Basin and believes that community support is critical to operational success. They continually look for opportunities to make a positive impact in the communities where they operate and where their employees live. The responsible stewardship of resources is foremost in their strategic planning for today and for the future.
In addition to the positive impact that dark skies friendly lighting has on human health and recreation, dark skies friendly lighting positively benefits wildlife. Every living organism on the planet evolved under a diurnal cycle of day and night; light and dark. Reducing exposure to artificial light at night can be beneficial by helping those creatures maintain their natural cycles.
Is your company interested in joining the Dark Skies Initiative and gaining recognition for your efforts? Review the “Recommended Lighting Practices” and TxN Certification for Dark Skies guidance document to get started. If your company is interested in learning more, a presentation on the Dark Skies Initiative and/or a site visit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see examples of Dark Skies recognition here.
About Diamondback Energy: is an independent oil and natural gas company headquartered in Midland, Texas focused on the acquisition, development, exploration and exploitation of unconventional, onshore oil and natural gas reserves in the Permian Basin in West Texas.