Grounded in our Appalachia First vision and supported by our Core Values, CNX’s Sustainable Business Model (SBM) and initiatives position us as a leader in the environmental, social, and governance aspects of the energy industry.

Our legacy of innovation and forward-thinking has kept us ahead of the curve on crucial issues in our sector, region, and the world. Sustainability is central to our strategy for value creation and our methodical focus on prudent capital allocation. Our strategy is to foster an SBM that applies the nonreplicable advantages of our stacked pay acreage development, integrated midstream assets, and innovative New Technologies business segment that lead to a business with low methane intensity, low cost operations, and the generation of regular and substantial free cash flow (FCF). We then prioritize injecting that FCF back into our business through investments in our people and assets, investments in our communities, and returning capital to our shareholders and debt holders.

Competitive Moats

Our nonreplicable advantages provide a wide competitive moat that allows us to generate regular and continued substantial FCF.

Stacked Pay (Utica and Marcellus)

CNX has a significant inventory acreage position that was built over 160 years, much of which is unique multi-formation acreage. This non-replicable asset base allows for stacked pay development of the Marcellus and Utica shales that drives superior financial returns through economies of scale, greater flexibility, and a reduced footprint. From an environmental perspective, stacked pay development limits earth disturbance and associated emissions from construction of additional well pads and infrastructure, reduces excess hauling traffic from local highways, and minimizes secondary fuel consumption. This type of development reduces capital investment by reusing pads and our midstream and water infrastructure. It also reduces cycle times and reduces gathering and processing fees as we blend our gas—as described in the Integrated Midstream section below. Stacked pay development presents an unparalleled opportunity to lead the development of, what we believe are, one of the world’s two most prolific natural gas basins.

Integrated Midstream

CNX owns or operates approximately 2,700 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines, along with a number of natural gas processing facilities. Our integrated upstream and midstream business provides a competitive cost advantage, as reflected in our low operating costs, and allows us to provide natural gas gathering services to third parties, affording us significant flexibility in our operations. We have developed a processing portfolio to support produced volumes from our wet gas production areas and have the operational and contractual flexibility to convert a portion of currently processed wet gas volumes to be marketed as dry gas volumes, or vice-versa, as economically appropriate. We also have the advantage of natural gas production from lower Btu wells in close proximity to higher Btu wells. In the absence of an integrated midstream, low and high Btu natural gas may need additional processing to meet downstream pipeline specifications—a costly process, routinely incurred by our competitors. The geographic proximity and interconnected gathering system servicing these wells allow CNX to blend this gas together and, in some cases, eliminate the need for the costly processing of natural gas that does not meet pipeline specification. This allows us more flexibility in bringing wells online at qualities that meet interstate pipeline specifications. An integrated midstream operation allows us the flexibility to free flow a significant portion of early production volume while utilizing the energy from the wellbore. Free flowing this production can significantly reduce compression costs and emissions incurred during the early phase of well production.

We, at CNX, believe that natural gas will play a significant role in jumpstarting the carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and hydrogen economy. The pipeline right of ways along with the expertise CNX has achieved in gathering, processing, compressing, and transporting natural gas provide CNX with a solid foundation and a competitive advantage in pursuing CCS and/or hydrogen business development opportunities.

We continue to make substantial investments in water pipeline infrastructure with a significant network of over 1,400 miles of water lines. Transporting water through pipelines reduces the risks and carbon footprint associated with transportation by truck and minimizes our impact on the community and environment in Appalachia. CNX works to develop solutions that coincide with our midstream operations to offer natural gas gathering and water delivery solutions in one package to third parties.

CNX Sustainable Business Model

New Technologies

Officially launched in 2021, CNX New Technologies business unit develops proprietary technology for vertical and horizontal business growth that is rooted in the company’s extensive legacy asset base, intellectual assets, and innovative tradition. The group is focused on waste methane capture and abatement, automating and lowering emissions in the oil and gas life cycle, as well as forging strategic partnerships for the use of low carbon intensity feedstocks and the creation of derivative products in transportation fuels, manufacturing processes, and other hard-to-abate sectors. Addressable markets and growth avenues in these areas present significant opportunity and further differentiate CNX as the world focuses on a lower emissions future while meeting rapidly growing energy demand.


Our non-replicable competitive moats lead to the following advantages.

Low Methane Intensity

The Appalachian Basin is the lowest methane emission intensity basin in the United States, and CNX is a leader in driving meaningful methane emission reductions in the basin. We have made significant reductions since 2020 and have aggressive goals to further reduce our intensity—even as we expand our operational footprint. Executive compensation is tied to methane reduction targets and has been since 2021. CNX uses cutting-edge data management tools and technology to further these efforts along with a collaborative Emission Reduction Task Force including members from operational, environmental, engineering, and data management teams. Furthermore, we capture waste methane from other industries—far more than we emit in our own operations—for processing, compression, and transport to market.

Low Cost and Low Capital Intensity Operations

Our all-in operating cost structure is the lowest in the Appalachian Basin, allowing the company to make long-term investments that generate high rates of return.

When compared to other energy sources, natural gas provides more affordable electricity than either solar photovoltaics (PV) or onshore wind in Pennsylvania. Subsidies are the only way wind and solar can compete with natural gas, but they force ratepayers to foot the bill in the form of higher taxes—paying the government instead of the utility. Further, the flexibility and dispatchability of natural gas is unmatched compared to intermittent wind and solar.

Consistent Free Cash Flow Generation

Our business continuously generates significant free cash flow (FCF) year-after-year, and we prioritize injecting that cash flow back into our business. Between 2020-2023, CNX generated $3,771 million of net cash provided by operating activities, which resulted in $1,874 million of FCF. In 2023 alone, the company generated $814 million of net cash provided by operating activities, which resulted in an annual FCF of $305 million. Through the fourth quarter of 2023, CNX delivered 16 consecutive quarters of positive FCF, which has enabled the company to invest in our people and communities, reduce debt, and retire shares.

See Non-GAAP Measures in the Appendix for a reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow.

See more here on operating costs

Capital Allocation Philosophy

We prioritize injecting free cash flow back into our business by investing in our people, assets, communities, and returning capital to our shareholders and debtholders.

Investing in our People and our Assets

We view investments in our team as high rate-of-return, value creation opportunities. A key priority of free cash flow allocation under our Sustainable Business Model is to invest in our employees. We embrace meritocracy. This means we pay for performance and Excellence in our daily work. We pay well, as we perform well. In 2023, median employee compensation, when considering all realized benefits and incentives, was approximately $176,000 (excluding the CEO). We will continue to invest in our talented workforce to improve on our region-leading compensation profile. We make significant annual capital investments in our operational assets based on a detailed review of risk adjusted rates of return. Our ‘follow the math’ philosophy means we invest in the highest return projects first, including our stacked pay Marcellus and Utica opportunities, as well as our integrated upstream and midstream infrastructure. In 2023, we invested $679 million of capital spending in our assets.

This capital program resulted in the conversion of 819 Bcfe, representing a 1.46x proved developed replacement ratio, and bringing the total proved developed reserves at year end 2023 to 6.03 Tcfe after adjusting for asset sales, price, production, and revisions. Finding and development costs for this activity were $0.63 per Mcfe. Efficiently developing and replacing our producing reserves year after year, even in low commodity price environments, is core to the creation of long-term per share value.

Investing In Our Communities

CNX has a longstanding and special relationship with the communities and people in our region. We have called Appalachia home for 160 years. The people and families within our walls and living in our operational footprint are one and the same. Over the years, we have become increasingly concerned that many of our friends and neighbors are denied access to economic opportunities in energy and manufacturing that represent a realistic path to the middle class. 

In 2023, the CNX Foundation invested $3.1 million dollars through the funding of 121 community initiatives aligned with its Tangible, Impactful, Local focus. In addition, CNX directly supported communities in its operating area with an additional $2.5 million of community investments. At CNX, community investment is more than a financial commitment. We strive to enhance our communities by lending our time and talent to organizations across the region. These efforts are part of CNX’s pledge to invest $30 million through 2026 in local initiatives supporting underserved causes within our operating footprint.

Returning Capital to Shareholders and Debtholders

We continue to view share repurchases as a compelling capital allocation opportunity, creating long term per share value for our owners. Since the peak share count in the third quarter of 2020, CNX has repurchased approximately 33% of our shares outstanding— 74 million shares for $1.2 billion1—which equates to an average repurchase price of $15.96 per share. We believe that our share repurchase program provides an opportunity to create incredible value for our long-term, like-minded shareholders, who will benefit as their per share value continues to grow meaningfully over the coming years.

Since the third quarter of 2020, we have reduced adjusted net debt by approximately $331 million2, and we are evaluating the timing of further debt reduction as part of our clinical capital allocation process. With the reductions in net debt, we extended our maturity runway, providing us with considerable flexibility to take advantage of any capital market disconnects or opportunities that may arise.

  1. As of December 31, 2023
  2. See Non-GAAP measures