Gran Tierra’s environmental policy calls for the company to track its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and take steps to reduce them where it can do so cost-effectively.
In 2016 and 2017, Gran Tierra Energy voluntarily retained Novus Environmental Inc., a respected international expert in the field of air quality, to create an assessment of its greenhouse gas emissions in Colombia. This assessment involved collecting, analyzing and quantifying 2015 and 2016 air emissions data from GTE’s operations. An updated assessment using 2017 air emissions data will be released later in 2018.
Even before the baseline report’s findings were released, GTE took steps that will result in significantly lower emissions at its facilities. To reduce flaring at three of the company’s operating fields, it developed and is in the process of implementing, plans to convert excess gas to power. The gas, which would have otherwise been flared, will supply generators to power operations at the Costayaco and Moqueta fields. Any excess power generated will be sold back to the local power grid.
In 2016, progress on GTE’s gas to power project resulted in the program generating nearly five megawatts of electricity for its operations in the Putumayo region. The goal of the program is to meet 100% of the power demand of the Moqueta and the Costayaco fields in the near future.
Given that conservation and restoration of tropical forests can play a significant role in offsetting emissions, GTE is sponsoring a five-year, multimillion dollar reforestation project in the Putumayo region of Colombia in partnership with the global NGO, Conservation International and local authorities and communities. Other initiatives to reduce air emissions, which are not a requirement of the environmental authority of Colombia, include:
- Electrification of the oil fields, which reduces machine noise, waste generation and consumption of fuels such as diesel.
- Purchase of more land than is required by the Colombian environmental authority for natural regeneration processes. These areas have been left in conservation and have now formed a large wooded area that helps mitigate the impact caused by the generation of greenhouse gases.