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Vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and climate change
Feb 16, 2021

For Ecopetrol it is essential to recognize the vulnerability to variability and climate change to which people, infrastructure and potential impacts to operations and the environment are exposed. Taking into account that for each region the climatic dynamics is different, the vulnerability and risk analysis was carried out to define measures in order to increase resilience and compatibility with the climate.

The adaptation in Ecopetrol is based on the following components:

Climate vulnerability and climate risks

       
         
         
         
         
         

Ecopetrol defined a methodological model for the formulation of the Climate Variability and Change Adaptation Plan (PAVCC), which considers the different climate dynamics and particularities of the regions where the company has operations. For the analysis of physical risk due to climatic variables, the methodology of the Comprehensive Climate Change Management Plan of the Mines and Energy sector * was adopted.

The physical risk for Ecopetrol is relevant, especially due to climate variability phenomena (acute risks) such as the ENSO phenomenon (El Niño Southern Oscillation), taking into account the presence of the company in a large part of the national territory. The impacts identified by the materialization of these risks are the following:

 

  • Reduction in water supply mainly in the Andean and Caribbean regions.
  • Restrictions in the supply or collection of water.
  • Conflicts over the use of water resources.
  • Descent in the levels of the Magdalena and Cauca rivers mainly.
  • Increase in temperatures, solar radiation and heat waves that can favor the occurrence of forest fires and illnesses in workers.
  • Flooding of facilities.
  • Overflow and obstruction of facilities and infrastructure.
  • Breakdown of transport infrastructure due to road collapses.
  • Access restrictions due to flooding, landslides or road collapses.
  • Failure of electrical network infrastructure due to flooding.

 

The risk levels of climate variability and change in Ecopetrol's licensed areas:

Climate variability

Level risk Hazards

Water shortages

Fire forest Flooding Mass movements
Very High 0% 0% 0% 0%
High 7% 45% 1% 12%
Moderate 39% 43% 28% 53%
Low 54% 13% 71% 35%
Very Low 0% 0% 0% 0%

Climate change

Level risk Hazards

Water Shortages

Fire forest Flooding Mass movements
Very High 0% 0% 0% 0%
High 7% 35% 4% 15%
Moderate 60% 49% 16% 62%
Low 33% 16% 73% 23%
Very Low 0% 0% 7% 0%

Regional plan for adaptation to climate variability and climate change (cv and cc)

Risk = f (Threat (Exposure), Vulnerability)

Vulnerability = f (Sensitivity, Adaptive Capacity)

* Ecopetrol adopts the RCP 6.0 (Representative Concentration Pathways) scenario in accordance with the PIGCCMME and TCNCC, which implies a stabilization of Greenhouse Gas emissions after 2100.

To know the methodology of Physical risks of the climate, click here

Regional plan adaptation

The company has 6 plans for Adaptation to Variability and Climate Change that cover the six regions of the company (Central, Catatumbo, Oriente, Orinoquía, Cartagena Refinery and Sur), built based on climate variability scenarios (phenomenon of El Niño and La Niña) and the 2011-2040 Climate Change scenario of the Third National Communication on Climate Change, which made it possible to establish the vulnerability of operations and infrastructure considering operational indicators of sensitivity and adaptive capacity (See Table below).

Ecopetrol has identified adaptation measures based on the following approaches:

Actions for the management of the climate variability and climate change

Water resource management

Objective

Reduce vulnerability to climate variability and change due to water shortages and flooding

Adaptation measures

Type

Water use efficient programs

Operational

Prevention plans for obtaining water from secondary sources

Technology

Plan production considering the climatic variable (occurrence of climatic variability phenomena) to anticipate and take preventive actions for water shortages or floods.

Operational

Develop a dynamic water management model that articulates supply needs and includes cost-effective alternatives in the occurrence of an extreme weather event (drought).

Operational Technology

Have a portfolio of reuseand disposal alternatives that reduce pressure on water resources.

Operational Technology

Alert monitoring associated with official IDEAM information, which allows permanent monitoring of climatic variables, especially in seasonal rainy or drought seasons that coincide with the occurrence of extreme phenomena.

Operational

Maintenance and cleaning campaigns in the priority water bodies for operation, to reduce the materialization of suspensions for the discharge of discharges in rainy seasons.

Operational

Actions for the management of the climate variability and climate change

Restoration and conservation of natural capital

Objective

Reduce vulnerability in strategic ecosystems for operations through conservation, restoration and recovery

Adaptation measures

Type

Identify strategic ecosystems for the protection of supply sources, to implement recovery, protection and / or conservation projects.

Ecosystem

Promote activities to restore vegetation cover that increase the retention and regulation capacity of water resources in flood events, in areas close to operations.

Ecosystem

Promote the identification, structuring and implementation of Climate-Based Solutions.

Ecosystem

Establish conservation agreements that contribute to the care of the ecosystems of strategic supply sources for the operation.

Communities

Identify and implement alternatives based on nature that contribute to the regulation of water resources to reduce vulnerability in events of drought, flood and mainly fires.

Ecosystem – Technology

Actions for the management of the climate variability and climate change

Climate-resilient infrastructure

Objective

Reduce the vulnerability of Ecopetrol facilities due to the impacts generated by extreme weather events

Adaptation measures

Type

Identify the facilities where overflows and / or spills are caused due to an increase in the precipitation regime, to evaluate the adequacy of the storage and conduction systems.

Infraestructure

Implement engineering works to reduce incidents due to overflows and / or overflows in operating areas, caused by rainfall.

Infraestructure

Carry out maintenance to the infrastructure that may be compromised by landslides or mass removal events, affecting the stability of the operation.

Operational

Optimize the risk and incident management tool, including events associated with climate variability that most affect the infrastructure (flood, mass removal, fires) in order to have reliable information for the development of physical security plans associated with climate.

Technology

Actions for the management of the climate variability and climate change

Weather compatible operation

Objective

Expand and strengthen operational activities to address the effects of climate variability and change.

Adaptation measures

Type

Generate spaces for education and training to strengthen the conceptual bases on issues of variability and climate change

Operational

Increase the capacity to understand and assess climate information, for which the inclusion of monitoring is required in:

  • Status and capacity of the catchment points and discharges of bodies of water • Monitoring of the hydrological and climate prediction bulletins of IDEAM, which indicate the probabilities of behavior of the climatic variables in daily, biweekly and monthly frequencies
  • Review of the official alert system for extreme events in scenarios of variability and climate change

Operational

Actively participate in the Municipal Councils for Risk Management and Climate Change

Operational

Include in the Emergency and Contingency Plans (HSEQ), actions for events of variability and climate change

Operational

Provision of equipment for the attention of events caused in the environment.

Operational

Prepare and report action plans to respond to the controls of the probability of occurrence of extreme weather events (El Niño and La Niña phenomena) and business risk "Inadequate management of Climate Change and Water "

Operational

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