Minimizing Emissions

Gran Tierra’s environmental policy calls for the company to track its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and take steps to reduce them where ever economically feasible.

Since 2016, Gran Tierra Energy has voluntarily retained a respected international expert in the field of air quality, to create an assessment of its greenhouse gas emissions in Colombia. This assessment involves collecting, analyzing and quantifying annual air emissions data from GTE’s operations. You can find our most recent report here.

An updated assessment using 2019 air emissions data will be released in 2020.

Reduction Initiatives

Gran Tierra Energy has taken corrective actions to lower GHG emissions by reducing the flaring of natural gas through major capital investments in voluntary “Gas-to-Power projects”. Instead of flaring excess gas GTE converts gas into power at its fields, reducing flare volumes and the associated GHG emissions.

In 2019, Gran Tierra Energy completed a Gas-to-Power project at the Acordionero field, GTE’s single biggest producing asset. In the process significantly reducing gas flaring and the company’s use of electricity from the national grid.

During 2018 GTE completed implementation of a Gas-to-Power project at its Moqueta field, one of the company’s most challenging fields since it is accessible only via helicopter transport. The project, valued at USD$3,000,000, successfully installed twelve 250kWh reciprocating gas engine generators in June and a gas conditioning system in December in order to produce better quality gas for generation. This project was the first of its kind to be fully developed and executed by GTE. In addition, the gas-to-power project at the Costayaco field has been operating reliably since 2017.

Costayaco Forestry Center: A Unique Resource For Reforestation

The Costayaco Forestry Center (CFC) is one of the most innovative reforestation efforts in South America and spans over 210 hectares of land in the Putumayo Department.

Established by Gran Tierra in 2010 in coordination with the regional environmental regulator, CORPOAMAZONIA, the Center has grown large enough to become a habitat for the protection of wildlife that would otherwise be in danger. Hundreds of birds and thousands of butterflies can be seen throughout the area.

Through the Costayaco Forestry Center initiative Gran Tierra has planted 75,108 trees at the CFC, reforested 160,089 trees across the Putumayo Department, donated 42,691 trees and has planted 75 native species of trees. The Center also works to increase environmental awareness by providing educational opportunities for communities to learn about the importance of protecting the forests and environment.

In total GTE has planted over 545,000 trees through its environmental investments.

Reforestation Project with Conservation International

Gran Tierra Energy prioritizes the protection and conservation of the environment and works with organizations that share similar values. Gran Tierra in partnership with Conservation International has committed to contribute USD $13 million over five years to a major reforestation and conservation project that will contribute to the restoration and protection of the Andres-Amazon corridor, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.

Through comprehensive environmental and social programs the partnership between Gran Tierra and Conservation International also aims to educate communities and implement sustainable practices to reduce deforestation.

NaturAmazonas Deforestation Reduction Goal

The NaturAmazonas project will reforest 1,000 hectares of land and will secure and maintain 18,000 hectares of forested land that adjoin the restoration areas.

Given that nature-based approaches including conservation and restoration of tropical forests can provide 30% of the solution to climate change Gran Tierra believes that projects and partnerships such as this are contributing positively. It is expected that the actions developed by NaturAmazonas will contribute to reducing deforestation in the Amazonian foothills by at least 20% by 2021.

Expanding NaturAmazonas: Conservation and Prosperous Communities

Gran Tierra is expanding the NaturAmazonas project and partnership with Conservation International. This new project called “Conservation and Prosperous Communities” is designed to promote economic sustainability and conservation for rural communities in Putumayo. This program will work to support family food security needs, all while developing zoning areas for forest conservation and restoration activities.

Reciprocating Gas Engine Generators at the Gran Tierra Moqueta Field

In 2018, Gran Tierra’s total operations electrical power use was 10,315,661 kWh. In the same year 14.4% of GTE’s energy was derived by renewable sources and the remaining from non-renewable. The percentage of our energy consumed from the grid in 2018 was 20.3% and we continue to develop Gas-to-Power projects.

Moqueta1 5,444,309 29,553,865 266,771
Costayaco2 62,296,159 312,414,063 2,429,550

1Savings are calculated VS National Power Grid (SIN) 355-20  (SoE KWh) = 147 $/KWH
2Savings are calculated VS National Power Grid (SIN) 325-208 (SoE KWh) = 117 $/KWH

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. 

Study of Greenhouse Gas Emissions