Petrotrin’s Operations are regulated by the Environmental Management (EM) Act 2000 of Trinidad & Tobago which complements our practices to protection and preservation of the environment. The main objectives of the Act and subsidiary rules include the:
ü Establishment an integrated Environmental Management System (EMS) to protect, enhance and conserve the environment
ü Development and effectively implement rules, policies and programmes in relation to sustainable development, sound environmental practices and international obligations
The Certificate of Environmental Clearance Rules, 2001
According to the subsidiary legislation of the EM Act 2000; the Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) Rules 2001 require Petrotrin to submit CEC applications for all new Projects and major modifications to existing Projects. These Rules seek to control pollution by reducing it through a permitting system, so that all new or significantly modified activities will be assessed by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), which is the main environmental regulatory and enforcement organisation in Trinidad & Tobago.
The CEC is therefore an approval or certificate granted to an applicant, which certifies the environmental acceptability of a proposed activity. These Projects range from both onshore and offshore drilling activity, installation of pipeline networks, establishment of infrastructure for oil and gas activity, well abandonment and establishment and decommissioning of Refinery Process Plants. To date, Petrotrin’s Environmental Compliance Section within the HSE Corporate Department has acquired greater than 250 CEC approvals.
The Water Pollution (Amendment) Rules, 2006
The Water Pollution Rules 2001 as amended 2006 are geared specifically towards point source reduction and involves registration and permitting processes used to control wastewater releases. Petrotrin has successfully registered all its discharge points and the Company is currently in the water permitting phase.
In an attempt to reduce the impact of the company’s operations on water quality and ensure compliance the company has vigorously pursued options to effectively treat produced water from our Exploration and Production (E&P) operations and process water from the Refining operations.
Currently primary, secondary and tertiary treatment systems are utilised for waste water generated from the E&P operations. Primary treatment is achieved via gravitational separation of crude and water, secondary treatment is through the use of chemicals which permit the consolidation and floating of crude contained in the water and tertiary treatment is by way of Produced water Treatment Plant. This Produced water Treatment Plant ensures that the effluent being discharged into the natural environment is in compliance with inland and near shore discharge levels as per Water Pollution Rules 2001 as amended by 2006. There are three main unit operations in this water treatment plant are as follows:
1. Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) for separation of Oil and Grease and Suspended Solids;
2. Aerobic Treatment for reduction of COD
3. Reverse Osmosis for reduction of inorganic dissolved constituents
Within the Refinery operations primary treatment facilities; that is, API Separators, and Induced Air Flotation (IAF) units are currently utilized to facilitate the separation of free oil from water before the effluent is discharged into the environment; this is done using the principle of gravity separation and residence time. The company has embarked on a project to further improve the quality of the refinery effluent wastewater streams and explore the possibility to recover effluent water through technical and engineering means.
The Air Pollution Rules, 2014
The Air Pollution Rules 2014 stipulates the maximum permissible levels for ambient air quality and stack release limits so as to regulate impact to air quality in Trinidad and Tobago. The exploration, production and refining of crude oil result in the release of contaminants into the atmosphere which can impact the receiving environment and sensitive receptors. Petrotrin recognizes this potential and has embarked on proactive measures to curtail such effects.
At the upstream operations, Petrotrin has embarked on projects for the installation of pipelines to collect vented gas from gathering stations and well sites; scrubbers for removal of liquids from the captured gas and compressors to compress the low pressure gas to the wet gas for industrial use.
The company has increased its efforts in the downstream operations to produce cleaner and more environmentally-friendly gasoline and diesel at our Refining Operations through our Clean Fuels Upgrade Programme. This comprises the Gasoline Optimization Project and soon to be commissioned Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Project. Petrotrin also continues to implement an ambient air quality monitoring at the fenceline communities.
Environmentally Sensitive Areas Rules, 2001 and Environmentally Sensitive Species Rules, 2001
The Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) 2001 and the Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS) 2001 Rules provide guidance during Petrotrin’s environmental baseline biological surveys for the Aquatic, Invertebrate, Floral, Avifaunal, Reptilian and Mammalian species record within the field areas of operations. A comprehensive database has been established on the biological diversity throughout Petrotrin’s Operations and is updated every 4-5 years in an effort to preserve and protect flora and fauna while conducting major activities.