The following projects highlight our progress in addressing energy efficiency and emissions reduction. 302-4 305-5
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 as of 2021 had achieved beyond our target:
These assets were partially divested in 2023.
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.
In 2022, our partnership accounted for 1,753 bbls day, or approximately 4% of our total production on an equity basis.
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.
Given the success of the trial, the project has been expanded in subsequent years with CNG now representing approximately 20% of our drilling and completions fuel, on an energy content basis.
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.
In 2023, we continued a project initiated in 2019 to convert high-bleed pneumatic devices to low-bleed units. Based on the equipment supplier’s data, this is expected to reduce vented emissions by approximately 5,000 tCO2e/year.
We have 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.
Due to a recent equipment upgrade in our German business unit, the existing natural gas production at three sites in Bergen (district of Celle) will be up to 70 percent more efficient. The increased production efficiency means an additional approximately 2,040 households can be reliably supplied with domestic natural gas annually. This natural gas production makes a valuable contribution to security of supply in Germany, and reduces import dependency and CO2-intensive transports from abroad.
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.
Expansion We began purchasing power from 100% renewable sources via our electricity provider in Ireland in 2021 and in Germany in 2023.
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.