Serinus has existing concession and licence holdings in Romania and Tunisia. Both asset portfolios cover extensive acreage but in vastly different topographic settings with the Satu Mare licence covering 2,949 km2 in the north-west of Romania, across primarily agricultural farmland, while the five Tunisian concessions are located in the north, central and southern regions of the country in both remote desert and populated, agricultural environments.
Serinus’ goal is to manage the distinct local environmental requirements of its operations in full compliance with the relevant regulations and to reduce our carbon footprint by minimising emissions and waste and mitigate the potential impact of our operations on the environment.
Serinus Energy Romania S.A. has continued to present an excellent HSE track record through 2020, with a zero-frequency rate (per one million man hours worked) for Total Recordable Injuries across all sites (2019 – zero for Serinus Romania employees). There have been no spills or environmental incidents at the Moftinu Gas Plant since its commissioning in 2019. Serinus Romania has maintained full compliance with all of its regulatory and environmental obligations.
Serinus Energy Romania S.A. has been certified for ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management).
Romanian operations currently produce gas through the Moftinu Gas Plant which was brought onstream in April 2019 and is currently supplied by four producing gas wells. The M-1004 well was drilled and brought into production in February 2020, and the most recent well, M-1008, was completed in February 2021. The process to plan and permit the drilling of these wells involved extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders from local landowners, regional agencies and national regulators. This process included gaining permission from each local landowner impacted by the drilling location; receiving local environmental permits which required environmental impact studies and a Natura 2000 study to assess the impact on local environmental protection zones (Natura 2000 is a network of protected habitats across the European Union); an archaeological assessment and studies to ensure the preservation of the local area; agricultural approvals, which required soil sampling before and after operations to demonstrate the absence of soil contamination; the development and approval of a flaring strategy; and regulatory permits from local and national authorities. There were no incidents of spillage or pollution at the Moftinu Gas Plant in 2020.
During 2020, energy use from grid electricity at the Moftinu Gas Plant was 254 MWh, 0.021% of annual production of 1,223,200 MWh, compared with 169 MWh in 2019, which was 0.025% of that year’s annual production of 653,234 MWh.
In 2020, 8.4 MMscf of gas was flared from the three wells in production, being less than 0.2% of annual production of 4,802 MMscf, and equivalent to flared gas of 0.23 MMscf per month per well, which was 19.7% lower on a month per well basis than in 2019 when 0.4 MMscf of gas was flared from annual production of 2,577 MMscf with the two wells in production flaring 0.29 MMscf) per month per well. There was 736 m3 of produced water from the wells during 2020.
A Fugitive Emissions Monitoring Report was undertaken by a European accredited emission monitoring and pipeline integrity organisation, The Sniffers (www.the-sniffers.com) for the Moftinu Gas Plant in February 2021. The company collected data and presented its report in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States (“US EPA”) “Method 21” EPA-453/R-95-017. The Sniffers has been accredited ISO 17025 by BELAC (the Belgian accreditation body) on 17 December 2017 for the Method: “EPA 21 Protocol for equipment leak emission estimates, 1995, EPA-453/R-95-017”. All data and calculations were generated by proprietary software designed by The Sniffers called Sniffers Full Emission Management Platform “SFEMP”. Measured parts per million values are converted to emission loss (kg/year). These calculations are based on US EPA “Correlation factors for Petroleum Industry”. This method uses conversion factors depending on the source type and the measured value. The monitoring exercise completed a Leak Detection and Repair programme through which it identified a total of 2,468 emission sources, of which 26 were not accessible sources (a source of emission that cannot be measured as it cannot be reached physically or safely without additional tools and is recalculated to be representative of all sources) and 2,442 were accessible sources.
The report identified total emissions of 377 kg/year, with eight registered leaks out of the 2,442 accessible sources, being 0.33% of accessible sources and results in emissions of 275 kg/year. One leak was detected above the Repair Definition threshold (the threshold concentration indicating obligatory repair of leaking sources which under the US EPA definition is 10,000 parts per million volume), amounting to 264 kg/year. The report concluded that a successful repair of the leak above Repair Definition could reduce the emission loss by 264 kg/year, equating to 69.96% of the total emission.
During 2021, a project to install solar panels to provide electricity to power water pumps for the firefighting system and provide fresh water for the accommodation units was initiated. Preliminary analysis indicates that this could save up to 70% of the electricity costs of the gas plant as well as reducing operating costs. Following implementation of this initial project, we will be able to evaluate further opportunities to generate renewable electricity for the Moftinu Gas Plant and other subsequent gas plants.
Serinus Tunisia B.V. maintained a strong HSE track record through 2020, with a zero frequency rate (per one million man hours worked) for Total Recordable Injuries across all sites (2019 – zero for Serinus Tunisia employees). There was one environmental incident at Sabria as a result of an overflow of approximately 100 litres of crude oil during a crude oil loading operation, and four minor incidents at Chouech which were addressed and repaired. Serinus Tunisia has maintained full compliance with all of its regulatory and environmental obligations.
Environmental monitoring has been undertaken across all of our Tunisian fields since 2014 in compliance with legal requirements and the Company’s responsibilities to the local environment. The annual environmental report for 2019 was submitted to the Agence Nationale de Protection de l’Environnement (“ANPE”) in June 2020 and the report for 2020 will be filed during 2021, as required.
During 2020, annual environmental monitoring was undertaken by Le Centre Mediterraneen d’Analyses (“CMA”) at the Sabria and Chouech fields, assessing: air emissions from stacks at both fields; air quality monitoring; groundwater monitoring; produced water; fresh water; soil sampling and noise pollution.
Stack air emission analysis and air quality monitoring was conducted at Sabria and Oum Chiah in July 2020. Analysis of the results demonstrated that most pollutants are compliant with limits, except for some excess carbon monoxide levels from a number of older compressors, heaters and generators. Mitigation measures have been investigated, a short and medium term action plan with an enhanced preventative maintenance programme is being implemented to begin to address this. Ground water monitoring is conducted on a yearly basis from existing water wells drilled at Sabria. No evidence of pollution has been reported. Five piezometer wells were drilled at Sabria to monitor the ground water table in 2014 which continue to be monitored.
The water disposal project manages produced water production at Sabria. This formation water has high salinity (360 grams/litre) with traces of heavy metals. Until 2015, disposal at Sabria was conducted by discharge into lined surface pits for natural evaporation of fluids. The low efficiency of natural evaporation together with the ongoing need to construct additional lined pits led to the introduction of automated fracturing evaporator technology in 2015 and which has enabled the acceleration of evaporation of produced water through an automated and a more efficient process. At Sabria, 38,322 m3 of produced water was disposed of in 2020 (2019 – 47,384 m3) and at Chouech 193,929 m3 of produced water was evaporated from lined surface pits (in 2019 this was recorded over a six month period since production restarted: 140,825 m3).
Further environmental analysis was conducted by First North African Consultancy for the Environment (“FNAC” www.fnac-environment.com), an engineering consultancy, in September 2020 to review the environmental management of the Sabria fields, compliance with Tunisian environmental regulations and analyse underground water and soil pollution in proximity to the water disposal project. The scope of work included: recovering, analysing and assessing environmental and technical documents and reports related to the evaporation ponds; analysing all previous waste pit treatment operations and related reports; analysing existing red register (hazardous waste) and blue register (domestic waste); carry out coring and sampling investigations of the potential impacted areas (soil and underground water) within the Sabria field; undertake water sampling and laboratory analysis from existing piezometers and production water discharge; and perform an environmental monitoring programme of the potential impacted areas within Sabria field. The programme was conducted in conjunction with representatives of ANPE and the environmental reports were submitted to ANPE. Results from the assessment showed below threshold levels of potential pollutants set under Tunisian regulations and equivalency with both groundwater and soil control samples. These demonstrated the efficacy of the water disposal project and the process of produced water storage in evaporation pits, with no evidence of leakage or overflow from the pits into the soil or groundwater.
The environmental monitoring programme for remote locations has been reviewed by management and has been implemented at all sites. The Company purchased a portable stack gas analyser in 2014 and it is used at Sabria and Chouech for ongoing air emissions monitoring (started in August 2015). In addition, the Company has engaged the services of FNAC and CMA to conduct an annual environmental monitoring programme at Sabria and Chouech. In July 2020 an annual review was conducted at Sabria and at the pumping facility at Om Chiah. The National Environmental Agency was present at this review which determined that the Company was in compliance with approved thresholds of groundwater and soil contaminants and required solid waste management. The Company’s own review of air emissions showed compliance in all areas except for carbon monoxide (“CO”) emissions from older fixed equipment. The Company has enhanced its maintenance of the older machinery to address the higher emissions. In September 2020, the most recent annual review conducted at Chouech found that in accordance with the air quality limits set by Decree No. 2018-447 of 18 May 2018 and Decree No.2010-2519 of 28 September 2010 the Company complied with all measurements except for those relating to CO and CO vapour. The report made recommendations for remedial actions and the Company has endeavoured to address these. The annual review also determined that the Company’s operations were within the limits for soil quality for industrial use and that groundwater was free of any contamination as a result of the activities of the central processing facility. Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions were calculated for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for the Sabria, Chouech and Sanrhar fields. During the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 GHG emissions were calculated for Sabria only, as a result of the shutdown of the Chouech and Sanrhar fields:
- Field gas consumption: CO2– N2O – CH4
- Flaring: CO2– N2O – CH4
- Venting: CH4
- Diesel consumption: CO2– N2O – CH4
- Vehicle transport: CO2– N2O
Guidelines followed for the calculation of GHG emissions were the Decree No. 2010-2519 dated 28 September 2010, fixing the limit of air pollution caused by fixed sources, and Decree No. 2018-447 dated 18 May 2018, fixing the limit and alert level of ambient air quality.
Waste management procedures have been implemented in all locations in Tunisia and monitor a comprehensive range of waste products including industrial waste (dry cell batteries, lead acid batteries, empty gas cylinders, oil filters, used oil, contaminated waste, used fluorescent lighting), resource waste (diesel consumption), hazardous waste (sewage, medical waste), domestic waste (food waste, plastic bottles, cooking oil, paper) and office waste (plastic bottles, paper, printer cartridges, batteries). For example, 385 kg of paper and plastic bottles were recycled in the Tunis office in 2019, and despite the impact of COVID-19 on consumption and utilisation as a result of work from home protocols during 2020, 125 kg of paper and plastic bottles were recycled that year, as a result of training and greater awareness of wastage. Similarly, while electricity consumption at the Tunis office was greatly reduced by 95% to 4,585 kWh during 2020, in 2019 it was reduced by 58% to 87,564 kWh (2018 – 207,724 kWh). At Sabria electricity consumption declined by 61% to 281,863 kWh in 2020 (2019 – 728,195 kWh), also as a result of training and increased focus on energy management, optimisation and wastage. Chouech is not connected to the electricity grid and power at Chouech is provided by on site gas generators. Fresh water consumption in 2020 at Sabria was 12,255 m3 (2019 – 19,264 m3) and at Chouech, 54,925 m3 (in 2019 this was recorded over a six month period since production restarted: 26,591 m3). Diesel consumption across all operational locations reduced significantly by 67% to 102 m3 (2019 – 305 m3) through a combination of greater awareness of wastage, training, optimisation and more efficient transport management.