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Sustainability Report
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Sustainability Report
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Energy and Emissions Management

 The following projects highlight our progress in addressing energy efficiency and emissions reduction.302-4 305-5 

Scope 1 Emissions

Reducing Flaring and Venting in Southeast Saskatchewan

Following the 2014 purchase of light-oil assets in Southeast Saskatchewan, we made important improvements that reflect our focus on safety,  sustainability, and operational excellence. These included a target to reduce flaring and venting emissions by 50% by 2020, compared to a baseline of 2014. This was achieved above target, at 88%.

In May 2018, Vermilion completed the acquisition of Spartan Energy Corp. This increased Canadian production by approximately 30% relative to 2017. Similar to the 2014 acquisition, we set a target to reduce associated flaring and venting emissions by 50% by 2024, compared to 2018. This is being accomplished through a variety of gas conservation and recovery initiatives, including the construction of new infrastructure and implementation of enhanced operational practices and technology, and is currently tracking beyond the target:

These assets would have been in production regardless of whether we were the operators. Our philosophy is that if we bring higher emissions profiles into the company, we seek to improve them.

Carbon Capture and Storage in Weyburn, Saskatchewan

We have a non-operating financial interest in the Weyburn-Midale Carbon Capture and Storage facility in Saskatchewan. This is one of the world’s largest carbon capture, utilization and storage projects, bringing in CO2 from a utility in North Dakota to use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), after which the CO2 remains permanently sequestered in the field. In 2021, our partnership accounted for 2,065 bbls day, or approximately 4% of our total production on an equity basis.

CNG replacement for diesel and propane in Canada

In 2020, our Canadian operations worked with our vendors to trial the replacement of diesel or propane with compressed natural gas (CNG) for boilers and water heating for the drilling program in Alberta. This provided cost savings while also reducing CO2 emissions by 27% for the program this year: 380 Tonnes, which is equivalent to taking 82 passenger vehicles off the road for a year. The project has therefore continued in our drilling and completions program.

Power Generating Replacement in Canada

We are replacing traditional thermoelectric (TEG) power generating devices at remote production sites wirh hybrid solar/methanol fuel cell units. Unlike TEG units which run (and therefore consume fuel) continuously, the hybrid units run on demand only. Based on manufacturer specifications, this reduction in operating time is expected to result in a greater than 99% emissions reduction in relation to the TEG units. 

Between 2017 and 2020, a total of 35 EFOY units were installed at 12 locations in Alberta. Based on the annual energy generation rates and a specified emissions reduction of approximately 8.2 kg CO2e/KWh, the operating EFOY units represented an estimated CO2e savings of approximately 100 tonnes in 2021.

Additional Projects

Continuing a project initiated in 2019, we converted an additional 69 high-bleed pneumatic devices to low-bleed units in 2020. Based on the equipment supplier’s data, this is expected to reduce vented emissions by approximately 4,804 tCO2e/year.  

Installation of a HB2LB Pneumatic device in Canada in 2020 with an estimated reduction of 40,600 tonnes/yr CO2 equivalent. 

We completed the installation of nine solar powered chemical injection pumps at our well site facilities in Alberta (fully funded by provincial grants).  This project is expected to reduce Vermilion’s emissions by 9,000 tCO2e/year.

Flaring and Venting 

Gas Micro-Turbines 

France: At our Vic Bilh site in 2021, we successfully piloted the use of micro-turbines that consume natural gas that would otherwise need to be incinerated. Since commissioning, the turbines have produced an average of 258 KWh and a maximum of 395 KWh, out of the 570 KWh required to operate the two oil wells associated with the gas byproduct, thus also decreasing our use of the national grid. 

Incinerator Technology   

France: At our battery in Parentis,  where no regional gas gathering infrastructure exists to tie in our gas, Vermilion has installed high efficiency incinerator technology that has significantly reduced flaring while resulting in no noise, vibration or smoke. Because the incinerator runs at a much higher temperature (900°C instead of 400-500°C) and combusts the gas in a much taller, 9-metre stack, significantly more of the gases – such as methane, sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides – are safely incinerated, minimizing the gas that has to be flared.  

Scope 2 Emissions

Certification Under ISO 50001 in Germany

Our German business unit is certified annually under ISO 50001 for Energy Management. This Standard provides a framework for developing, implementing and maintaining an energy management system that supports continual improvement in the efficient use of energy. We have developed an energy management practice that includes strategic planning, communication, procurement and design, verification, monitoring, internal audits, and corrective actions. As part of the certification process, we set energy reduction targets, and are externally audited on our progress.

Purchase of Green Power

Netherlands: In 2016, Vermilion began purchasing 100% green power via Guarantees of Origin from our largest power provider. The Netherlands accounted for approximately 41% of Vermilion’s gross Scope 2 emissions in 2015, and for 0% beginning in 2017. We have continued this program through 2022.

Ireland: We began purchasing power from 100% renewable sources via our electricity provider in 2021

Power Efficiency

Canada: Replacement of traditional thermoelectric (TEG) power generating devices at remote production sites to hybrid solar/methanol fuel cell units: Unlike TEG units that run (and therefore consume fuel) continuously, the hybrid units run on demand only. Based on manufacturer specifications, this reduction in operating time is expected to result in a greater than 99% emissions reduction in relation to the TEG units.

Between 2017 and 2020, a total of 35 EFOY units were installed at 12 locations in Alberta. Based on the annual energy generation rates and a specified emissions reduction of approximately 8.2 kg CO2e/KWh, the operating EFOY units represented an estimated CO2e savings of approximately 100 tonnes in 2021.

Use of Solar Power

Canada: We have a program to install pump-off controllers at well sites so that the pump only operates when enough fluid is present. Annually, this is expected to reduce power consumption by approximately 17%, resulting in an estimated 10,000 kWh saving per year per well.

Additionally, an initial, full-scale trial of a solar remote power generating (EPODTM) unit was initiated in 2021. Capable of generating approximately 8 MWh/year, the EPODTM unit is expected to result in an annual CO2e savings of approximately 60 tonnes when compared to traditional, fuel-based power generation.

 Other solar power initiatives that were implemented in 2021 include: installation of solar powered remote monitoring devices; installation of new solar equipment in conjunction with our 2021 DCET program; solar retrofits of legacy pumps; and, installation of solar- powered leak detection systems.

Collectively, these initiatives are expected to result in a further CO2e savings of approximately 20 tonnes/year.

France: In Parentis, we provided space for a partnership that installed solar panels over our parking areas, providing cover and generating grid power.

AIr Emissions

Reduction of NOx Emissions in The Netherlands

On three drilling operations completed between 2019 and 2021, we reduced NOx emission exposure associated with our Netherlands operation by 960 kg NOx, or 10% compared to the base case, by using NOx scrubbers on our drills. We anticipate using both NOx scrubbers and purchasing NOx certification via permanent withdrawal of agricultural NH3 emissions for upcoming drills in 2022. 

 

 

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