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 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 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.

Gran Tierra achieved an important environment objective in 2017, when its gas-to-power program significantly reduced gas flaring at two of its oil fields and eliminated the fields’ need to draw electricity from the local grid. In 2016, the company voluntarily launched the program to convert excess gas-to-power at the Costayaco and Moqueta fields as a way to reduce air emissions. Any excess power generated will be sold to the local power grid. GTE plans to expand the program to other fields in the future.

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. In fact, at our Acordionero facilities we have committed to spend USD$20 million on gas turbines in order to reduce our emissions and reliance on the grid.

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. 

Study of Greenhouse Gas Emissions