We recognize that the preservation of the environment and the health and safety of our employees and our neighbors are our highest priorities.
Sentinel Peak Resources is committed to operating in the most environmentally conscientious way possible, underscored by our target to be carbon neutral by 2030, while already achieving net-positive water impact in the State of California. Through innovation, thoughtful safeguards, and responsible operations, every employee is focused on minimizing our environmental impact.
Our environmental goals and planning are led by our Chief Executive Officer and executive leadership, with our Environmental, Health and Safety Team, together with our Asset Team leaders, responsible for developing and implementing our programs. Our Board of Directors maintains ultimate oversight where environmental performance, including issues related to safety, carbon emissions and climate change, are discussed at every Board meeting.
Our pathway to operational carbon neutrality by 2030
We are committed to addressing the risks that climate change poses to the planet and to our business. In that vein, we have developed and begun implementing our three-part plan to reduce our carbon footprint and to achieve carbon neutrality for our scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
Step 1: Improved energy efficiency – 20% energy reduction achieved in 2020
Sentinel Peak is actively implementing cutting-edge energy saving and smart oilfield technology to reduce our emissions. Steam generation used to recover oil accounts for 94% of our operational GHG emissions, making it our primary focus for efficiency enhancements.
- Sentinel Peak’s Intelligent Oilfield includes our machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) powered enhanced data management system that collects vital reservoir performance data, allowing real-time optimization of steam management operations. Our intelligent oilfield efforts contributed to a 38% improvement in steam injection efficiency in 2020, permanently reducing our CO2 emissions by 188,000 tons per year.
- Reservoir heat management through advanced reservoir monitoring techniques are used to identify opportunities to reduce steam demand by optimizing steam placement in reservoirs.
- Steam generation efficiency enhancements achieved a 2% improvement in 2019.
- Fugitive emissions reductions are achieved through leak detection and repair (LDAR) and vapor recovery. We utilize portable leak detection equipment, including FLIR camera technology, to identify leaks across surface production systems. Sentinel Peak has installed both casing and tank vapor recovery systems to capture emissions from production systems.
Step 2: Alternative energy
Sentinel Peak utilizes renewable landfill gas to displace natural gas consumption for steam generation activities at our Arroyo Grande oilfield. Landfill gas beneficially uses a waste product and is exempt from carbon fees. We are also evaluating the potential to utilize renewable natural gas from dairy farms near our San Joaquin Valley thermal recovery projects to further reduce our carbon footprint.
We are installing a 1.5 MW photovoltaic solar array to power our Belridge thermal recovery project, with a planned startup in 2021. We estimate there is a potential to scale photovoltaic solar power installations to 10 MW over the next 5 years.
Step 3: New technology
The adoption of new technology will be critical to achieving our carbon neutrality goal. We are actively pursuing multiple options for significantly reducing our emissions.
- Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) – we have partnered with Stanford University to seek Department of Energy funding for CCS development. We believe CCS offers a viable solution for safely and securely capturing and storing CO2 emissions from our steam generation operations.
- Water-Jet Oil Recovery Technology – we are piloting the use of water-jet oil recovery technology to reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating steam generation emissions. Piloting activities have already commenced, with additional testing planned to further evaluate the technology.
Net Positive Water Impact
We recognize the importance of minimizing our water use and impact, especially given the risks water scarcity poses to our operations and the local communities within which we operate. Through a comprehensive conservation program including the use of water recycling practices and reverse osmosis technology, Sentinel Peak has become a net supplier of water to the State of California. As part of our efforts to minimize freshwater use, we source over 95% of our water from non-potable sources, including produced water from our wells.
Because of the local nature of water issues, each of our sites develop and implement water use and mitigation plans. Where applicable, we partner with local groups to jointly understand and manage water issues, such as with the Central Valley Salinity Coalition.
On a net basis beginning in 2021, Sentinel Peak is providing more freshwater than we consume through our produced water reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration treatment at our Arroyo Grande site. The operation discharges clean water to Pismo Creek, benefiting aquatic life and supporting local habitat.
Sentinel Peak’s freshwater reduction success
We are focused on minimizing our effluent discharge with almost all wastewater re-injected into our wells, including for steam generation and enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Through these efforts, we are actively phasing out the use of percolation ponds.
Protecting wildlife and biodiversity
Sentinel Peak is committed to protecting ecosystems and minimizing disturbances from our operations; operating in strict compliance with federal, state and local laws. We have robust programs to identify and safeguard biodiversity, including sensitive and endangered species, at all of our locations. Where we do have physical impacts, we mitigate them. Additionally, we maintain approximately 1,800 acres dedicated under conservation easements and habitat conservation plans.
We conduct biodiversity impact assessments before operating in new areas. As part of our programs, we have engaged a consulting biologist to identify potential flora and fauna impacts. All relevant employees, contractors and visitors receive field awareness training on how to operate in and around protected wildlife habitat with the Company mandating adherence to relevant policies while on our sites.
Environmental management and oversight
Sentinel Peak sustains a commitment to providing a workplace that protects the health and safety of our employees as well as the communities surrounding our operations. Our Environmental, Health & Safety Management System provides the framework through which we identify, monitor and reduce our environmental risks. The System ensures consistent and effective environmental management throughout our operations and promotes continuous improvement by ongoing measurement and evaluation of performance against established standards. We strive to truly make our standards and policies an integral part of our daily lives and our very culture.
Key tenants of our environmental, health & safety management framework include:
- Environmental impact and risk identification. We seek to identify and mitigate environmental risks and considerations in our projects and daily operations.
- Goals and targets. Our executive management and EHS teams develop goals and monitor performance to help drive ambitious environmental improvement.
- Emergency response. We have established plans for identifying potential risks requiring emergency response, and guidelines for preparing, training and responding to a potential emergency. We maintain a spill management team, conduct annual spill drills including boom deployment drills with local and state agencies, provide regular employee emergency response training, and consistently engage and coordinate with communities, first responders and other relevant stakeholders.
- Employee training. All sites must provide new hire on-boarding training in our environmental programs, and a minimum of annual continual training for employees and contractors. Training includes annual HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) training; monthly safety meetings; endangered species training for new employees and project specific training; spill prevention training; annual spill drills and boom deployment; and annual field training on odor, noise, emissions and water management.
- Auditing and compliance. We check for effective compliance through periodic self-audits and annual third-party compliance audits, including regulator audits. We use the feedback gained to achieve continuous improvement.
**Represents water cleaned and recycled from the Arroyo Grande Reverse Osmosis Plant and sent as fresh water to Pismo Creek . The volumes sent to Pismo Creek are as follows: 3,932 M BBLs (2018), 3,918 M BBLs (2019), 3,834 M BBLS (2020), and 15,931 M BBLS (ITD). As these volumes are recycled and put back into the creek to support local habitat, they are not included in the recycled water