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Values Matter
2016 Sustainability Report
Values Matter
2016 Sustainability Report
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Public Safety & Emergency Response

Our Commitment to Public Safety

We understand and accept the high expectations placed on us by our stakeholders to ensure Vermilion recognizes, considers and mitigates potential safety impacts on the residents in the communities in which we operate. Ensuring public safety has and will continue to be our number one priority. This is our license to operate.

In the NBU, for example, our primary areas of focus regarding public safety include:

Earthquake Risk Assessments

No production-related seismic activity has ever been recorded on the fields that we operate in the Netherlands, some of which have been on production for over forty years. Nevertheless, we are incorporating the latest independent scientific research and modeling with respect to the probability of seismicity occurring in relation to our operations, and the potential magnitude, into our development and production plans. We are cooperating with all levels of government, research institutes, and local communities to improve the industry’s understanding and communication on this complex topic.

Subsidence Risk Assessments

As part of the production plan approval process, we conduct extensive baseline subsidence measurement surveys and construct detailed subsidence models to estimate the total lifetime subsidence as a result of gas production activities. Once production has commenced, we then conduct regular subsidence measurements to ensure gas extraction related subsidence stays within our modeled expectations. In the event that actual measured subsidence exceeds our production plans, we will cease production to conduct more detailed studies and measurement work to determine when (if ever) production can be recommenced.

Early models and concepts weren’t as well developed as they are today. While we endeavour to reduce or eliminate impacts to the communities we operate in, if we have caused damages we will ensure they are compensated and corrected.  In 2014 Vermilion contributed 3.6 Million Euros to a compensation fund related to the Harlingen Upper Cretaceous field in the Province of Friesland. We voluntarily shut in this field in 2008, after we took over operatorship in 2004, due to higher than expected levels of subsidence. This field has remained shut in since that time.

Spatial Planning Considerations

Where location of our target asset and where projects meet our financial criteria, we try to reduce our footprint on the land by re-using existing well sites, flow lines and surface facilities to support development, thereby reducing the aerial impact of our operations and removing the need for the construction of new well sites or pipelines.  Traffic, noise, light, and flora/fauna impacts are carefully considered in our development and operations activities.  We work with local residents and independent environmental groups to help reduce the impact we have on all of our neighbours.  We seek early engagement with local communities through town hall sessions to discuss our full development plans and listen to any concerns, questions, or feedback that is provided to help shape our plans.

We regularly carry out emergency response exercises to test office and field staff response to emergency scenarios.

Vermilion’s organization and response to emergencies follows the globally accepted Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS design structure is applicable to all kinds of emergencies and is suitable for both small and day-to-day situations as well as very large and complex incidents. It is applied consistently with local emergency responders and across each operating area, and provides a common organization structure to aid the management of resources at emergency incidents. Exercises are organized throughout the year to train our people and test the effectiveness of our emergency response plan under various scenarios. A total of 128 exercises were held in 2015, ranging from table top sessions to extensive simulations with activation of the Corporate Command centre.

What is a LEVEL 4 ERP Exercise?

Emergency Response Plan (ERP) exercises can include table top exercises, simulations, and combined exercises with Corporate Headquarters:

Level 1 ERP

Level 2 ERP

Level 3 ERP

Level 4 ERP

Table top exercise – Includes discussion of various emergency scenarios, cross training of ICS roles and responsibilities.

In-Country Operations-only Simulation – Includes the mobilization of business unit staff, first level of scenario role playing.

Simulation includes Vermilion’s Corporate Command Activation. Corporate Command owns corrective action logs and improvement schedule. Role playing of all Vermilion personnel involved.

Simulation includes Vermilion’s Corporate Command Activation and external (other industry, emergency responders, government authorities, other external stakeholder) parties.

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