Focused on Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC)
Frontera Resources Corporation conducts its business in a way that demonstrates a strong commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our employees and contractors; responsible stewardship of the natural environment; and recognition of the importance of the communities in which we operate.
Frontera published its first HSE policy in 1999. It was broadened in 2006 and upgraded in 2012.
To view Frontera’s Health, Safety, Environment and Community Policy, click here.
Frontera publishes an annual HSEC report which describes prior year HSE accomplishments and upcoming year plans.
To view Frontera’s 2016 Health, Safety, Environment and Community Annual Report, click here.
Health, Safety and Environment Management System
Frontera has developed a management system (HSEMS) in alignment with global conventions that serves as the foundation of the company’s approach to managing health, safety and environmental issues. Frontera management undertakes regular assessments of HSEMS implementation and performance. In early 2016 FEGL and Frontera leadership teams reviewed the status of implementation of the HSEMS and identified focus areas to emphasize for the future. Looking forward a Vision 2019 was created which defines the desired state of FEGL’s implementation of the HSEMS. In 2013 a metrics system was developed in order to quantitatively assess the “state of implementation” of the HSEMS. This metric has been used to routinely evaluate progress since 2007, the year that the HSEMS self-assessment process was developed. Progress toward that Vision 2016 was evaluated in early 2016. Conclusions of the most recent year-end assessment were that “we essentially met” the 2016 Vision and that steady progress has been made since 2007. Implementation of the HSEMS has seen a 86% improvement in execution from 2007 to 2016. These charts (click here) illustrate the progress that has been made in the implementation of the HSEMS.
To view the framework of Frontera’s HSEMS, click here.
Frontera has also established numerous specific HSE guidelines, procedures, and practices. These enable our operations to implement the HSEMS and in turn to provide a more solid HSE foundation for Frontera.
To view the Frontera HSE Guidelines Manual structure click here to view the Table of Contents (TOC).
Frontera pursues a goal of Zero Harm to company employees and contractors and continued its exemplary safety performance in 2016 by working nearly 500,000 hours with ZERO injuries. FEGL has now worked 9 years and 4.5 million hours with only one recordable injury (since an LTI on March 15, 2008). To review the safety performance records click here. Throughout all of its operations, Frontera conducts contractor bridging document discussions, provides extensive operational training, supplies appropriate personal protective equipment, performs risk assessments on work to be performed, and steadfastly keeps attention focused on a vision of zero harm to people. In order to assess this company goal, a Hazard assessment of FEGL’s overall operations was conducted in 2011, and has been reviewed annually since then. Evaluation shows that mitigation measures are in place and additional measures are being identified. The conclusion was reached that there are no significant un-mitigated hazards.
Annual posters illustrating and communicating the theme of “zero harm” and Frontera’s commitment are posted at all work locations. The Safety Training Observation Program (STOP) program has been comprehensively implemented throughout Frontera operations; it’s findings are evaluated annually. Near misses are reported and a discussion of lessons learned takes place. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are established for both lagging and leading indicators, and a monthly scorecard of KPI performance is published.
Frontera ensures that contractors are aligned with the company’s standards and expectations related to health, safety, environment and community, reflecting a commitment to safe and environmentally responsible operations. Prior to the commencement of any major operations, a formal bridging document process is conducted with contractors. This ensures alignment of contractor procedures with Frontera’s HSE expectations.
Risk Management is one of the key elements of the Frontera HSEMS. It describes the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Job Safety Assessment (JSA) process to be followed in Frontera Eastern Georgia Limited (FEGL) operations. A JHA was performed on the Mtsarekhevi Gas Pipeline Project in 2012 and reviewed in 2014 prior to commencement of operations. A Prestartup Safety Review (PSSR) tool was also developed and executed for the gas project. This PSSR and the JHA are two key ingredients, along with the daily routine JSAs, of the FEGL Risk Management process.
To learn more about the Gas Pipeline JHA, click here.
In 2016 we used gas pipeline JHA as a model to create JHA templates for deep drilling and fracing operations. We conducted a JHA and complied lessons learned for our fracing operations in 2016.
To learn more about the fracing operations JHA, click here.
Frontera developed its first JHA to assess the hazards and mitigation measures regarding the Mtsarekhevi pipeline in January 2013. The JHA was completed and mitigation measures designed. When commencement of operations were ready to begin in Fall 2014 two safety tools were used, i.e. 1) a review of the JHA and 2) use of the Prestartup safety review (PSSR). This review was conducted in March 2014. The JHA description is noted above in this annual report; the PSSR checklist is provided for information.
To learn more about Gas Pipeline PSSR, click here.
During 2014 we heightened safety awareness by continuing the signage at all field locations and also posted safety signs along the Mtsarekhevi gas pipeline right of way and at key facility locations, e.g. compressor station (X1).
Just as in safety, Frontera is equally committed to Zero Harm to the Environment. The company has several programs and initiatives aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of our operations.
One of our most important environmental activities over the past few years has been the wellhead location remediation program and the drilling well location pits closure. The wellhead program began in 2005 in our Mirzaani field since that is where significant drilling operations had occurred. Criteria were established for classifying well site locations according to soil contamination. Priority remediation actions were defined.
The decision was made in 2013 to expand this successful program to the entire FEGL Block 12. The active well locations in all other fields, i.e. Taribani, Mtsarekhevi, Patara Shiraki, Nazarlebi, Baida, etc were identified, characterized and prioritized.
FEGL demonstrated continued progress in 2016 in its wellhead monitoring and remediation program. Phase 1 began in Mirzaani in 2005; Phase 2 expanded to FEGL Block 12 wide in late 2013. Results at year-end 2016 show work remains on 13 of the total Block 12 wide 255 well locations. An environmental management and action plan (EMP) was prepared in early 2016 for 2016 work; actions were implemented. An updated EMP has been prepared for 2017, remediation actions, costs determined, and implementation schedule defined. A goal of only 1 P1 site and 0 P2 sites was established for the number of priority sites remaining at year end 2017. The program will continue until all sites are remediated to a minimal or zero effect level, i.e. P3 or clean.
A report on this effort is published annually and is available for review. To learn more about Frontera’s wellhead remediation program, click here.
In conjunction with the wellhead cleanup there has been reliance upon use of the Taribani and Mirzaani Waste Management Areas (WMAs). To learn more about Frontera’s successful bioremediation land treatment work, click here.
Frontera developed waste management and treatment facilities at two of its major business units — the Shallow Fields Production Unit and the Taribani Field Unit to responsibly handle operational waste. Plans for these facilities were reviewed and approved by appropriate governmental agencies in Georgia. The sites are operated according to international standards and specifically provide bioremediation treatment of oily materials, temporary liquid waste storage, and inert-waste disposal.
The Taribani WMA continues to be managed in order to receive additional hydrocarbon materials for land treatment. To learn more about Frontera’s Waste Management Program, click here.
The Taribani Waste Management Area (WMA) land treatment initiative achieved initial clean closure in July 2009. Since that time it has been reactivated to receive additional oily waste. Groundwater quality monitoring has been conducted at both business unit WMAs.
Frontera is also committed to ensure that its operations do not adversely impact the groundwater resources of Eastern Georgia. And further, Frontera is committed to identifying possible sources of groundwater supply for communities and agricultural use. In 2005, Frontera conducted a comprehensive hydrology program across the entire Block 12 in order to establish baselines for assessing groundwater quality before and after execution of the company’s ongoing work programs. With the support of experts from PennsylvaniaStateUniversity in the United States and the Georgian Geologic Institute of Tbilisi in Georgia, extensive sampling and evaluation of groundwater quality has been conducted through more than 300 shallow wells.
To learn more about Frontera’s Hydrogeology Program, click here.
We continue our programs to prevent occupational illnesses and injuries. Contractual agreements are in place with Medi-ClubGeorgia for emergency assistance. Major contractor work involves supplying a full time medic for routine and on-site emergency treatment. FEGL provides medical support for routine health services at our major locations.
Other community health initiatives have been identified and are being explored.
Frontera enjoys a positive reputation among landowners and within communities. We regularly engage in dialogue with the surrounding communities and landowners regarding its operations, including periodic updates to community leaders about planned operations. Frontera takes great pride in its positive impact on the communities in which it operates, including the contributions to local economies via job creation, locally sourced goods and services, and local tax contributions.
In addition to our communications with stakeholders, our company values its social commitments to the communities in which we operate. In this regard, Frontera has undertaken significant initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life in Georgia.
We continue to evaluate additional opportunities to enhance our working relationship in local communities where we have a significant presence.
Government and NGOs
Frontera is committed to interaction with the non-governmental organization (NGO) community. It conducts semi-annual meetings with leading NGOs to discuss current and planned company operations as well as ongoing HSE activities. We provide routine updates regarding the status of our HSE activities. In addition, Frontera has extensive communication with the appropriate governmental agencies within the Georgian government regarding its HSE activities, including technical presentations related to permit applications and environmental impact assessments.
FEGL will continue to interact with several leading NGOs in order to broadcast current operations and HSE activities in eastern Georgia and Block 12. In order to reach out to the broader NGO community in Georgia, FEGL provides information to CENN (Caucasus Environmental NGO Network), which reaches approximately 3,000 NGO organizations.