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 three 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 2021, with a zero-frequency rate (per one million man hours worked) for Total Recordable Injuries across all sites (2020 – zero for Serinus Romania employees) and in January 2022, the Moftinu Gas Plant reached 1,000 accident-free days of continuous operation. 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. completed its annual certification inspection and is 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 Moftinu-1004 well was drilled and brought into production in February 2020, and the most recent well, Moftinu-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 2021 (no incidents in 2020).
During 2021, energy use from grid electricity at the Moftinu Gas Plant was 314 MWh, 0.042% of the annual production of 749.980 MWh, compared with 254 MWh in 2020, which was 0.021% of that year’s annual production of 1,223,200 MWh. A trial 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 completed during the year and produced 2.7 MWh of electricity to date, offsetting the equivalent of 5,761 kg of CO2 emissions. This coming year, the intent is to utilise further available space within the Moftinu Gas Plant and install additional solar panels to increase the contribution of solar generated electricity. The aim is to install sufficient numbers of solar panels so as to generate up to 70% of the gas plant’s electricity consumption, during the summer months.
In 2021, 9.6 MMscf of gas was flared from the four wells in production, being less than 0.4% of annual production, and equivalent to flared gas of 0.20 MMscf per month per being 14.3% lower on a month per well basis than in 2020 when 8.4 MMscf of gas flared from three wells in production, being the equivalent to flared gas of 0.23 MMscf per month per well. 3,292 m3 of produced water was generated from the four wells in 2021, compared with 736 m3 of produced water from three wells during 2020.
Flue gas emissions tests are performed annually, in accordance with the requirements specified in the environmental permit. The most recent test was undertaken in September 2021 which monitored an average CO2 emission level of 2.04% of total flue gas.
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 potential emission sources, of which 26 were not accessible (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.
Of the 2,442 accessible potential emission sources identified, there were only eight registered leaks, being 0.33% of accessible sources and resulted in an emission loss 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. The leak has been repaired.
Serinus Tunisia B.V. maintained a strong HSE track record through 2021, with a zero-frequency rate (per one million man hours worked) for Total Recordable Injuries across all sites (2020 – zero for Serinus Tunisia employees). There were no environmental incidents at Sabria and six 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 2020 was submitted to the Agence Nationale de Protection de l’Environnement (“ANPE”) in June 2021 and the report for 2021 will be filed during 2022, as required.
During 2021, 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 August 2021. 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 has been implemented to address this, including the refurbishment and overhaul of affected equipment. 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, 45,598 m3 of produced water was disposed of in 2021 (2020 – 38,322 m3) and at Chouech 193,400 m3 of produced water was evaporated from lined surface pits in 2021 (2020 – 193,929 m3). The Company is investigating alternative environmentally-responsible produced water disposal solutions.
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 program of the potential impacted areas within Sabria field. The program 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. Recommendations from the report are being implemented.
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 September 2021 an annual review was conducted at Sabria and at the pumping facility at Oum Chiah. 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 reduce emissions. In November 2021, 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 is addressing 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 2012-2016 for the Sabria, Chouech and Sanrhar fields. During the years 2017-2019 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, 757 kg of paper and plastic bottles were recycled in the Tunis office in 2020, which increased to 822 kg of paper and plastic bottles being recycled in 2021, as a result of training and greater awareness of wastage. Electricity consumption at the Tunis office in 2021 was 57,066 kWh, a further decline in consumption in 2020 from 59,336 kWh as the impact of COVID-19 related stay at home measures continued through that period. At Sabria electricity consumption remained consistent with prior years at 717,836 kWh (2020 – 714,056). Chouech is not connected to the electricity grid and power at Chouech is provided by on site gas generators. Fresh water consumption in 2021 at Sabria was 14,949 m3 (2020 – 14,214 m3) and at Chouech, 65,558 m3 (2020 – 54,925 m3). Diesel consumption across all operational locations was 160 m3 an increase over 2020 – (114 m3) but remains a significant reduction from 2019 (305 m3) reinforced by a combination of greater awareness of wastage, training, optimisation and more efficient transport management.