The Colombian Petroleum Company (ECOPETROL) recently became the first extractive company in Latin America to determine its water footprint. A concept that aims to “quantify the amount of water needed to produce a barrel of oil, gas and fuel”, according to a press release published by the oil company.
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The above, through a process carried out by the Colombian Institute of Technical Standards (ICONTEC), in which not only the amount of water needed in the facilities has been included, to complete the production, but also the amount used in the chain of goods and services, since they decided to give it a “life cycle” approach.
The study was carried out in the refineries of Cartagena and Barrancabermeja, and in the La Cira-Infantas fields, in Santander, and Castilla, in the department of Meta, its largest facilities.
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This is an initiative that aims to analyze the potential impacts of its exploitation on the country’s water sources, which the company proudly presented in the networks: “We are the first mining and energy company in America Latin America to check its water footprint calculation. A certification achieved through a process with ICONTEC. We will continue to move forward with #SosTECnibles actions”.
In this regard, Icontec’s validation and verification manager, Martha Corredor, said that for the institute “it is an honor to issue the first water footprint certificate for Ecopetrol and the first in Latin America. for a mining energy company”.
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The process, Icontec points out, has met the requirements established in the ISO 14046 standard and is understood as a great advance in the efficient use of water resources, for which they hope to be the “spearhead of the sector so that other organizations join this objective”. », and determine your water footprint in the hydrocarbon production chain.
With the study, they not only determined how much water they currently need to keep their operation active, but also extolled the benefits of decarbonization initiatives, which are environmentally friendly and much closer to the concept of neutrality. .
Walter Canova, vice president of refining and industrial processes at Ecopetrol, considers this delivery “a very important step, and it is one more step in this objective by 2045 of achieving water neutrality in our operations”. .
And to add: “We must move forward with concrete actions to achieve this objective, which is extremely ambitious and very relevant for the sustainability of the operation”, in the distant future.
Aware of the social and environmental value of water, ECOPETROL will try to replicate this process, in a systematic way, in the operations and projects of segments such as production and refining of its business group. “This certification reiterates the company’s commitment to conserving the environmental and social value of water,” they said in a statement posted on the company’s website.
“Water neutrality -explains the company- means achieving a balance between the water necessary for operation and actions that reduce the direct water footprint, and that allow replacing at least 100% of its consumption in operations. , through offset projects”.
In this sense, the first step is to determine the amount of water used by the ECOPETROL group, to maintain strict control over the efficient use of this precious resource and to generate a complete analysis that allows them to take concrete measures, aimed at avoiding waste and promoting the responsible use of this source of life.
While it is true that the study was only conducted on four of its long list of assets, this is a turning point, which marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the company. oil and leads the way among other mining companies. – energy companies operating in the region.