Health, safety and environment
Amerisur places great importance on limiting the environmental impact of its activities and has in place a formal policy and framework focused on protecting the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems in the areas in which it operates.
This policy is communicated to all employees, suppliers and contractors. An annual review is conducted to check compliance, with processes regularly reviewed by external parties. Additionally, the Company applies strong standards to the protection of its employees and contractors through health and safety practices and permanent reviews.
The Company aims to comply with all Colombian environmental and health and safety regulatory requirements and has implemented an Integrated Management System that has been certified by Bureau Veritas International since 2012 and is updated annually through auditing and re-certification processes: a OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems; a ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management; and a ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management.
The Colombian applicable environmental regulatory framework is extremely complex and the oil and gas industry’s compliance is carefully supervised.
Amerisur conducts its operations in an environmentally responsible manner as a key objective, and a team of experts are involved in environmental assessment and planning, licensing and permitting and implementing industry compliance, best practices and monitoring the impacts of its day-to-day activities.
The Company also has up-to-date oil spill contingency plans as incident-free and back-to-business operations are key to success. Through the Company’s environmental management system water use, wastewater (industrial and domestic) treatment and disposal, solid waste generation and disposal, gas recycling and burning, greenhouse gas emissions and control, fauna and flora protection and even printing paper usage are constantly monitored and evaluated
One of Amerisur’s main objectives is to execute its operations with environmental responsibility, involving the different teams from the planning stage, obtaining licences and permits, implementing the best industry standards and monitoring and control of the different day to day activities, to ensure we continue to operate incident free.
Amerisur’s environmental management system seeks an interaction between the fulfilment of legal obligations by the Company and the management of environmental permits for the execution of its different activities. Management seeks to comply with the provisions of the Colombian regulatory framework and best practices established for the development of hydrocarbon production activities, using as leverage its business philosophy and strategic planning through the implementation of policies, plans and programmes.
Amerisur maintains its overall positive environmental performance and continues to focus on the efficient use of water, energy, paper, liquid and solid waste management, prevention and control of oil spills and flora and fauna care.
Water is used for domestic use inside the platforms and for industrial use in activities such as: irrigation on roads, civil works and drilling of wells. The importance of water conservation is of high importance to Amerisur and has water protection and remediation policies in place.
Amerisur monitors the quality of the water during their activities and complies with all the water related obligations. Amerisur seeks to increase the use of rainwater and encourages employees to rationalise the use of water where possible.
Amerisur also monitors the quality of water for domestic consumption in five schools in the local Putumayo area as part of their commitment to the environment.
Domestic wastewater generated by operations is treated in the wastewater treatment plants that are located in each platform in the Platanillo block, and delivered to a specialised contractor company that has the necessary environmental licenses and permits for its final disposal.
In 2018, Amerisur planted rainforest trees over a 22-hectare area across Alea and Puerto Asís, where changes in the green coverage and biodiversity in this region of the Putumayo were noticed by authorities and communities. The Company is also working on collecting, transporting and replanting vascular epiphytic plants over an area of 25 hectares in Puerto Asís in order to support the biodiversity of the region. These types of plants are particularly important in Colombia for rainwater control and forest preservation and are protected by special regulations. In addition to the planting programme, workshops have been conducted with students across the Platanillo and the Fenix Blocks to promote sustainability in the area and develop a clear understanding of the aims of the reforesting programme. Amerisur has also delivered over 4,500 plants to schools across La Sevilla, La Alea, El Baldío, Nariño and Ancura for educational purposes.
In 2018, the Avifauna Environmental Promotion Diploma was established through an agreement between Corpoamazonía and the Putumayo Technological Institute. This programme is aimed at developing local capabilities for local eco-tourism projects and for keeping a permanently updated bird database as an indicator of biodiversity recovery. 40 students completed the training in the Platanillo Field vicinities last year, and 410 bird species have been registered in the database.“ Amerisur has played a great role, providing good opportunities and always bearing the local people in mind. They have always worked for both the Company and the community. They have delivered great projects and now we have the Avifauna Environmental Promotion Diploma, where the idea is to train up 45 young people from the Platanillo block.” Yamid Díaz – Secretary of the Bajo Mansoyá Community Administration
Amerisur continue to work alongside ANDI (National Business Association of Colombia) and Corpamazonia, research institutes as well as the National Natural Parks Unit of the Ministry of the Environment in the Putumayo to demonstrate their fulfillment of its environmental obligations and its voluntary investments in the protection, restoration, ecosystem connectivity and sustainable development of biodiversity.
During the early hours of 1 April 2017, a devastating mudslide occurred in the city of Mocoa, Putumayo. In the aftermath, Amerisur was involved in the response activities led by the Colombian Authorities, providing aid, specialist equipment, fuel, fresh water in bulk and logistical support as well as providing electricity to the hospitals and shelters.
Amerisur also provided the use of helicopters to help the military force move those who had been injured.
Health and Safety
Safety in its operations is one of Amerisur's highest priorities. To ensure safety is front of mind for all employees and contractors, the company systematically assesses risks and acts to eliminate or reduce areas of concern. It also implements proven safety management systems, policies and procedures with the aim of maintaining low accident and injury rates. The company provides training for all employees and contractors in industrial safety and occupational health. Road safety awareness campaigns are also conducted as part of the Road Safety Strategic Plan.