Australian Energy Producers 2023 Environment Project Excellence Award

Circular Economy Solutions in the Drilling Lifecycle

Senex has taken home to coveted Environment Project Excellence Award for 2023 at the Australian Energy Producers conference for its Circular Economy Solutions in the Drilling Lifecycle initiative.

Senex is constantly looking for ways to minimise waste in our drilling operations.

As part of our commitment to product stewardship, we are championing waste management across the drilling process by reusing, refurbishing, and recycling steel tubing joints and rods during regular workover operations and recycling high-density polyethylene (HPDE) thread protectors.

These capabilities have been made possible through our partnerships with local businesses COHO Resources (COHO), Oilfield Piping Systems (OPS) and Outback Contractors who provide industry-leading waste recycling services to Senex.

These partnerships are crucial in strengthening Senex’s waste management capabilities. Currently, Senex conducts its own onsite inspections of steel tubing joints and rods however, does not possess the capabilities to conduct more detailed offsite inspections or recycle HDPE waste.

Where the tubing joints do not pass the initial onsite inspection, COHO facilitates offsite inspections to determine the potential for reuse. In 2023, the partnership with COHO meant Senex was able to reuse 13.8% of tubing joints for workovers and plug and abandonment and 42.9% were repurposed for use as fencing by farmers.

OPS provides offsite inspections for rods and refurbishment services for damaged rods. During 2023, 91% of rods were identified as suitable for refurbishment by OPS, with only 9% scrapped.

Over the 27,471 meters drilled in 2023, in partnership with COHO and OPS, Senex was able to save 126.47 tonnes of CO2 and $248,650 through the reuse of tubing joints and rods.

The partnership with Outback Contractors is one that spans more than five years and has recently been able to provide a solution to extensive thread protector waste destined for landfill.

Outback Contractors provide Senex with a service that removes the HDPE waste from drill sites to their Roma facility. Here it is melted down into square blocks and collected by a third-party who melt down and blend the waste with raw HDPE to create new products at their Brisbane facility.

In 2023, 51 tonnes of HDPE waste were diverted from landfill to beneficial use for bus benches and garden furniture, championing circular economy solutions during Senex’s drilling campaign.

COHO Resources Artificial Lift Manager Josh Anderson spoke to the importance of introducing waste recycling services in the drilling lifecycle.

“All of our services have a net positive impact on the environment,” Josh said.

“Tubing inspections allow for the reuse of steel which dramatically reduces CO2 emissions from the production of new steel.

“Our industry has come a long way and partnerships like ours with Senex present new possibilities for innovation,” he said.

Oilfield Piping Systems General Manager Tony Chapman echoed Josh’s statements about innovation, saying the partnership between Senex and OPS was extremely important in driving innovation and a reduction in waste.

“The partnership benefits both parties, promoting continuous reviews to identify new opportunities to improve Senex’s performance and reduce their impact on the environment,” Tony said.

“By combining our resources and expertise, Senex and OPS can develop a sustainability strategy to fully recover all steel and polymer products.

“These partnerships have initiated a research project between OPS and the University of Queensland to fully automate the manufacturing process, embedding the latest recycling technology for continued reduction in our environmental footprint,” Tony said.

Outback Contactors Group Director Ethan Howard spoke to the importance of partnering with local businesses to deliver on improved environmental outcomes while supporting local jobs.

“Senex has been a great sponsor helping us grow our company into a profitable business that employs local men and women while helping the environment.

“Our fleet has grown from one truck and ten bins to five trucks now operating more than 250 skip and hook bins across the Southwest region.

“And without Senex, it wouldn’t have been possible,” Ethan said.

Senex Senior Drilling Engineer, Gonzalo Vazques said the partnerships are crucial in strengthening the company’s recycling capabilities and delivering on Senex’s sustainability goals.

“A big focus for us is reducing our emissions produced from manufacturing new steel and diverting waste from landfill where possible.

“Strong partnerships like the ones we have with COHO, OPS and Outback Contractors allow us to lean on their specialist technical skills to deliver on additional reuse, recycling and rehabilitating capabilities outside of our scope,’ he said.

Senex is proud of the work we do to deliver on our sustainability goals and results like these wouldn’t be possible without our industry-leading partnerships.