2021 Report
2021 Report
2021 ESG Metrics

Operating Responsibly 

While the greatest impact is in the work we do for our  customers, SECURE has also embarked on measures to reduce our own environmental impact.

Our services are designed to mitigate environmental impacts and facilitate responsible management of water, waste, landfill leachate and land through a broad range of customer activities. We strive to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and minimize our impact on the environment, while meeting customer needs and expectations. We monitor our environmental performance on an ongoing basis and report quarterly to the ESG Committee of the Board of Directors.

Our environmental business lines support our customers with experience and expertise for managing their environmental projects and liabilities. Environmental Services provided to customers include:

In this section, you'll find details on:


2021 Highlights

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Land Use, Reclamation and Asset Retirement

Our goal is to meet or exceed regulatory requirements and return impacted land back to the environment.

SECURE is committed to responsible asset development throughout an asset’s lifecycle. We undertook assessment, abandonment, decommissioning, remediation and reclamation activities in 2021 at many of our sites, spending over $10 million. These activities included:

  • Ten wells abandoned
  • Pre-abandonment work at five caverns
  • Seven environmental assessments
  • Twenty sites with decommissioning, remediation and reclamation activities at various states

SECURE is required to retire its assets once they have reached their end of life. Asset retirement often occurs over the course of several years due to the scope of activities undertaken and seasonal limitations, therefore, the number of sites undergoing closure varies each year. SECURE is currently in the process of creating a five-year strategy on its Asset
Retirement Obligation which will be incorporated into its capital spending strategy.


Water

SECURE has established a baseline and set a short-term target of reducing freshwater usage by 5% in 2022.

From sourcing to transportation, use and re-use to final disposal, SECURE is exploring technologies and implementing best practices to reduce the total volume of freshwater we use. 

A major potential consequence of climate change is the impact on the world’s water supply. Sourcing a sufficient quantity and quality of water could become problematic if freshwater supplies are restricted. Water is an essential input in the production and extraction of resources. We are also helping our customers manage their water needs through offering various onsite water solutions.

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SECURE owns and/or operates centralized water hubs, where recycling can occur, providing customers with economical access to the water required for their operations while efficiently managing the wastewater generated. Such conservation and recycling solutions help reduce the environmental impact of drilling oil and gas wells while reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with water handling.

Water Use

SECURE is committed to reducing the use of freshwater through the application of innovative solutions for reuse. SECURE primarily uses freshwater for vacuum truck washouts, maintenance and cleaning at our Midstream Infrastructure and waste processing facilities. In 2021, approximately 618,500m3 of water was withdrawn or purchased for domestic and industrial purposes. From that total, 63% was groundwater, 15% was surface water and 22% was water purchased from a municipality or water hauler. As a result of the merger, more robust tracking of water was implemented across 45 additional facilities resulting in a 13.8% increase in reported use compared to 2020.

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Surface water run-off that comes in contact with our facility operational areas is required to be managed using engineered surface run-off control, facility containment and diversion systems. In 2021, SECURE returned approximately 718,000m3
of water back to the watershed because it met surface water quality discharge criteria.

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SECURE routinely conducts surface and ground water monitoring at the majority of its fixed facility locations where there is potential for impact. SECURE maintains strict performance standards and monitoring to mitigate any potential environmental impacts as well as help assess our water management performance.

CASE STUDY

La Glace Midstream Processing Facility Water Usage

In an effort to reduce water usage across the Midstream Facility network, La Glace Midstream Processing Facility and La Glace South Midstream Processing Facility were identified as having opportunities for improvement in their water usage; both facilities operated at approximately the same capacity but had differing water usage, one using significantly more than its neighbour. As part of the project, meters were installed to track water use accurately, gain operational awareness and to identify key optimization opportunities across several water intensive processes. To date, savings of 32m3 of water per day has been realized through operational efficiency improvements.

Processes Meters Applied to

Water Reduction Results to Date

Vacuum truck offload pads Currently collecting meter data
Boiler line and make up  Currently collecting meter data
Flocculant package  ~15m3 per day
Filter pots  Currently collecting meter data
Hopper auto flush ~15m3 per day
Steam system ~2m3 per day
Total Savings to Date: 32m3 of water per day

 


Waste

SECURE’s Midstream Processing Facilities are designed and operated to maximize hydrocarbon recovery, adding value for our customers and minimizing the overall environmental impact. On behalf of our customers, SECURE safely processed
the following volumes in 2021:

  • 253,983m3 of crude oil recovered from waste was shipped to market
  • Safely disposed of 3,624,174 tonnes of waste in our landfills
  • Injected 9,152,851m3 produced water and wastewater in our injection well network

“As a combined company, our waste services and facilities have expanded by providing a  suite of waste management  solutions spanning the waste and by-product management life cycle of industrial and  energy customers. We offer services both on our customers’ sites and through our network of transfer stations to help our customers effectively manage their waste and operate in an environmentally compliant manner.”

-Merrilee Edge, Director, Waste Management, Environmental Solutions

  • SECURE generates hazardous process solids by processing and treating our customers’ waste to increase hydrocarbon recovery, remove contaminants and minimize fluid content across our Midstream Infrastructure network. SECURE also directly receives  hazardous solids from our customers’ operations at our waste pads. In 2021, the combined total of SECURE-generated and our customers’ hazardous solid waste totaled 56,138 metric tonnes. This waste was disposed of in our engineered hazardous waste landfills in accordance with regulatory requirements
  • At SECURE’s three caverns, 45,638 metric tonnes of recyclable hazardous waste was disposed with over 58%, or 15,193m3, recovered as oil

In addition, SECURE offers onsite management of waste projects, through its field services team, which provides customers with onsite  supervision, site clean-up, transportation and disposal of various waste streams. The field services team also offers emergency response, spill containment and impact assessment services. 

Asset Integrity

Proactively managing our assets to limit the number of spills and leaks is paramount in protecting our stakeholders and the environment.

Asset integrity management is material to SECURE due to the asset-based nature of the Midstream Infrastructure reporting segment. Prevention of leaks and spills is critical as they have the potential to cause harm to the environment, health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we operate.  Managing the integrity of our Midstream Processing Facilities and pipelines begins at the engineering and design phase and continues through the full asset life
cycle, from construction and operation to eventual decommissioning.

The areas where we operate have some of the world’s most stringent regulations governing the entire life cycle of an energy infrastructure asset. Our integrity management  programs, including the associated systems, processes, analysis and documentation, are designed and implemented to ensure proactive management of our midstream infrastructure, and to meet or exceed regulatory requirements, resulting in world class safety, reliability and longevity throughout an asset’s lifecycle.

As a result of the merger, each organization’s Asset Integrity Management System’s (AIMS) and scheduled activities were completed independently in 2021 with a goal of combining the AIMS by the end of 2022. In addition, the asset integrity team grew because of the merger with many roles previously outsourced brought in-house and software and databases were merged and consolidated.

CASE STUDY

Source Odour Detection Through Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Our facilities are located across communities in Western Canada, North Dakota and Oklahoma. As a responsible community member, responding to our community’s concerns is our priority. In 2020, SECURE partnered with an AI-based environmental surveillance company to monitor odours at the La Glace Midstream Processing Facility as a result of  community odour complaints. In 2020, prior to installation of the station, SECURE received 13 odour complaints. Deployment of the station has provided the necessary information for SECURE to identify and rectify on-site odour sources in a timely manner, reducing confirmed odour complaints to one in 2021. The station has also assisted with identifying odour sources outside of our facility.

As a result of the effectiveness of the stations installed at the LaGlace Midstream Processing Facility, additional stations were installed at the Dawson Creek Midstream Processing Facility in Q3 2021. The facility also completed process  efficiency upgrades based on historical knowledge at other operating facilities to reduce the amount of odour complaints at site. As a result of the facility process improvements and reviewing data from the stations, SECURE is proactively monitoring odours to mitigate and reduce any future complaints. SECURE continues to apply odour mitigation strategies to ensure our operations do not impact our neighbours and evaluates the installation of technology on an individual facility basis.


Spills

SECURE takes a proactive approach to spill prevention through education and awareness training in managing and mitigating spills and releases in our operations.

Operations at our Midstream Processing Facilities and Environmental and Fluid Management services offered at our customer’s sites present risks for spills and releases.  In an effort to reduce our impact on the land and water resulting from spills and releases, SECURE’s Midstream Infrastructure reporting segment initiated the ‘Every Drop Matters’ campaign in 2019. The purpose of this program is to demonstrate how every employee and contractor can make a difference around spill prevention to minimize the negative impact our operations may have on  the environment, maintain our social license to operate and share best practices with employees and contractors.

In 2021, SECURE’s first party reportable spill volumes trended upward, primarily due to a one-time release of fluids during an incident response, which resulted in a significant increase over 2020. If this singular event were removed, the volume released in 2021 would be 47% lower than year-over-year volumes released.annual-spills-reported_800x600

To build continuous improvement, the ‘Every Drop Matters’ and spill education campaign was reintroduced to the combined company to reinforce spill prevention best practices and to emphasize the importance of the role all employees have in  reducing spills. Key considerations within the program include:

  • Timely and consistent reporting
  • Asset integrity management
  • Fluid transfer procedures and protocols
  • Operating procedures
  • Site engineering or design

All reportable spills are fully investigated to determine the appropriate course of action to prevent future reoccurrences and prevent adverse impacts to the environment. SECURE’s spill reduction target in 2022 is to decrease the reportable incident rate by 10% year-over-year for the Midstream Infrastructure reporting segment based on one million metric cubes of fluids handled.recordable-spill-incident-rate_800x600


 

Leachate Management

Our engineered landfill cells are designed and constructed with leachate collection systems to effectively remove this byproduct from the base of the landfills.

SECURE’s network of 27 landfills are designed with safety and environmental responsibility at the forefront. Leachate is the by-product of precipitation draining through a landfill cell. Leachate is typically transported by truck or pipeline for safe disposal at our Midstream Processing Facilities. We are investigating new technologies and best practices as alternatives to trucking, treating and disposing of leachate to both reduce costs and the environmental impact. Investments in technology and best practices are helping us reduce leachate generation in our landfills. These technologies and best practices include accelerated evaporation, treating leachate and staged capping.

In 2021, SECURE generated 439,555 m3 of leachate at our 27 landfills, a decrease of 47% over 2020 due to reduced precipitation and implementation of staged capping

Accelerated Evaporation

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One method to reduce leachate disposal is accelerated evaporation. Accelerated evaporation machines, or ‘misters,’ have been trialed at two SECURE landfills over the past year with promising results. Similar to snow-making machines used at ski hills, misters are set up in the leachate ponds and the mist plume is directed over the pond for the water to be lifted into the air and evaporated into the atmosphere. Operating from March-October with favourable weather, operational controls are applied to the misters so when the wind and temperature conditions change, they stop misting.

By using accelerated evaporation, SECURE returns more water back to the environment, rather than disposing of it downhole. In 2021, SECURE operated three of these misters at two of our landfill facilities. Other environmental benefits include reduced emissions from the removal of trucks that would normally deliver the leachate to disposal wells. Avoided emissions are estimated at 5.25 kilograms of CO2e per cubic meter of leachate.

CASE STUDY

Permanent Capping - Landfills

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SECURE implements staged capping as a best practice in advance of permanent capping to minimize leachate production. Capping lowers the Asset Retirement Obligations for our landfills through meeting the final closure requirements, mitigating the associated liability. SECURE invested $6.5 million on the permanent capping of landfills in 2021. Landfills are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the level of environmental risk associated with landfill cell stability and the amount of leachate generation involved at each site. This solution minimizes the environmental risk with both landfill cell instability and the generation and management of excess leachate. Approximately $2.0 million a year in leachate trucking, disposal costs and associated carbon emissions were saved through completing this investment in 2021.

Treating Leachate

south-wapiti-landfill-evaporation-400x300SECURE utilizes two evaporation systems to treat landfill leachate. These units are a zero liquid discharge evaporator that return clean water vapour to the atmosphere while collecting the remaining contaminates in their solid form to be sent for disposal. These evaporators are located next to the leachate ponds to reduce transportation and disposal requirements. All evaporation systems are equipped with a proprietary stripper system that removes light hydrocarbons, methanol, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. These units are the only evaporation system on the market to effectively deal with these  potential contaminants within the process. This system differentiates itself by providing all services required for onsite evaporative disposal. Switching from offsite to onsite disposal increases control and reliability of disposal. This helps mitigate issues related to disposal capacity availability, removes truck traffic from roadways and eliminates the need for deep well leachate disposal. In 2021, this solution returned approximately 31,224m3 of treated water to the environment.

Staged Capping

Staged capping is a method used to cover landfill cells with a welded synthetic liner, preventing precipitation from entering the landfill cell. The liner blocks the precipitation from encountering the underlying waste, preventing it from turning into leachate. Precipitation runs off the liner surface and into the ditches around the landfill site, which is then collected in storm water ponds and tested to ensure water quality and then drained back into the natural environment.capping-operating-costs_800x600

This best practice reduces leachate generation at our landfills. This solution has led to a reduction in operating costs and improved environmental management of our operations. To safeguard the synthetic liner from the wind, engineered wind

breakers ensure that the liner is protected and withstands varying weather conditions. By design, staged capping reduces saturation of the waste, enabling it to dry out and as a result, improving the stability of the landfill.

janvier-landfill-capping-400x300Completed capping at SECURE's Janvier landfill in 2020.

Since 2020, SECURE has invested $15.9 million on staged capping and the program is continuing in 2022 as it is a meaningful investment to reduce leachate generation. Landfills are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the level of environmental risk associated with landfill cell stability and the amount of leachate generation involved at each site. This solution minimizes the environmental risk with both landfill cell instability and the generation and management of excess leachate.investment-in-staged-capping_800x600

Looking Ahead

  • Asset Integrity: Comprehensive combined Asset Integrity Management System (AIMS) implemented in 2022
  • Spills: SECURE’s spill reduction target in 2022 is to decrease the number of reportable spills over volumes handled by 10% year-over-year for the Midstream Infrastructure reporting segment
  • Land Use, Reclamation and Asset Retirement: Completion of a five-year internal asset retirement strategy to decrease long-term environmental liability
  • Water: Freshwater usage reduction target of 5% for 2022
  • Leachate Management: SECURE is committed to reducing leachate generated by construction of three staged caps (reduce catchment area by 4%)