WALSH-Ecuador has conducted more than 300 environmental, social, GIS and archaeological projects over 15 years of operation and many of these projects have been located in highly sensitive areas, such as protected areas, indigenous reserves and the Galapagos Islands. WALSH provides diverse services for clients in various industries including: Oil and gas, mining, transportation, alternative energy, social and archaeological development, and environmental monitoring.
Oil and Gas
Papagayo 3D Seismic ESIA
Awarded Energy Institute Environmental Award, 2004 (London, U.K.)
WALSH-Ecuador developed an ESIA for the largest 3D seismic project to date in Ecuador. The ESIA produced avoided or minimized the clearing of primary forest vegetation in areas within the Yasuni National Park. The client required the opening of highly sensitive areas for helipads, camps and discharge zones. WALSH-Ecuador was involved in complex negotiations with communities for access and produced an innovative EMP to address concerns of stakeholders. Satellite images of the project area were reviewed and different colors revealed areas of secondary vegetation. Most of these areas had been used years ago for seismic projects, and others belonged to clear or natural secondary forest. Over flights confirmed the presence of secondary forest in these previously opened areas and the proposal was accepted and included in the EMP, which almost completely minimized the opening of primary forest in the project area. This project received the Award for Best Environmental Project worldwide in 2004, which was granted by the Energy Institute in London, UK.
Development of Innovative Rainforest "Canopy Bridge" Allowing Movement of Arboreal Animals Across Pipelines located in Ecuadorian Amazon
Awarded World Oil HSE/Sustainable Development Award, 2004 (Houston, U.S.A.)
Based upon WALSH-Ecuador sustainable efforts relating to this project, the Institute of Petroleum, in association with Woods Mackenzie, awarded E & E/WALSH and OXY with the first-place Environment Award for Excellence in the Oil and Gas Industry. WALSH-Ecuador provided environmental services in support of OXY’s development of the Edén Yuturi oil field in northern Ecuador. Environmental services included the construction of Innovative “canopy bridges” which were designed to provide pathways of migration for arboreal mammals, in effort to preserve the forest’s biodiversity while constructing the 135-kilometer pipeline corridor. Bridges were constructed by narrowing sections of the corridor, successfully allowing the movement of arboreal mammals. Bi-weekly meetings were scheduled with the client and contractor during construction to address non-compliance and unanticipated impacts.
Oil Spill Assessments and Contingency Planning
Oil Spill Assessments: WALSH-Ecuador continues to provide reports for internal and regulatory submittals as well as recommendations for remediation activities. Rapid assessments of oil spills during and after clean-up activities will be developed based upon laboratory analysis of collected samples. Spill Contingency Plans: WALSH-Ecuador continues to produce spill contingency plans for pipelines and facilities for various clients as well as provide recommendations for spill contingency equipment. Spill plans and recommendations developed by WALSH will include control point determination and appropriate access routes for project areas.
EIA and EMP for Oil and Gas Development and Production
Walsh-Ecuador prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Plan (EIA/EMP) for Development and Production Phase of the Alto Edén Area in Block 15, for Petroamazonas Ecuador S.A. This study included a field phase to obtain primary environmental and social information, and the written report was completed in a short period of time, given the amount of information collected and processed, to meet the project’s deadline and quality requirements.
Due Diligence of Copper Mine
WALSH-Ecuador analyzed, Social Due-Diligence and Risk Assessment of a copper asset in the province of Imbabura for stakeholders.
Addendum to the EIA and PMA for the New Quito International Airport
WALSH Ecuador prepared the Addendum to the Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Plan of the New Quito International Airport for Corporación Quiport S.A. This addendum was prepared because the environmental authority passed from Metropolitan District of Quito to the Ministry of the Environment. Walsh successfully provided technical and logistical support during this transition process.
Baltra Wind Farm EIA (Galapagos Islands)
WALSH-Ecuador developed EIAs and EMPs for a 10 MW wind farm on Baltra Island (Galapagos Islands) and a transmission line across Santa Cruz to the town of Puerto Ayora. This project required extensive consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders and special mitigation measures within Galapagos National Park.
Biannual Monitoring of Sensitive Ravine Ecosystems
WALSH Ecuador has conducted eight biannual hydrological and biotic monitoring studies in the ravine ecosystems that surround the New Quito International Airport (NQIA), from 2007 to the present. The principle focus of the monitoring studies is to evaluate the water quality and hydrology of the springs fed by groundwater around the NQIA, and the flora and fauna that depend on the ecosystems around these streams. These monitoring studies have identified a potentially endemic species new to science, and a protected area may be established within the New Quito International Airport based on their findings.
Environment, Health and Safety
Environmental Management Plan and Occupational Health and Safety Compliance Oversight
Walsh is currently overseeing environment, health and safety during the construction of the Fuel reception, storage and distribution facility at the New Quito International Airport on behalf of the operator of the facility, Allied Aviation Service, Ecuador. Walsh is responsible for maintaining all appropriate records, submitting monitoring reports to the Airport operator (Quiport) and government authorities, and preparing for audits by government and international lending institutions.
Social and Archaeological Development
Conducted an EIA for 3D Seismic to Minimize Environmental Impacts and Social Conflicts in Colonized Area
A baseline study was executed for a 3-D seismic program in a socially dynamic and conflictive area with land tenure issues. Biological and physical information was collected for this baseline study which helped design a seismic grid, heliport location and base camp location to minimize environmental impacts and social conflicts. The GIS department used Landsat 7 imagery to map 35 indigenous communities and pre-cooperatives, land use and deforestation tendencies, and collected socio-economic data. The data collected from the GIS imagery was provided to the client in order to help seismic contractor plan the execution of the seismic acquisition. The EIA conducted for this project was approved ahead of schedule.
Coordinated an Archaeological Rescue of Pre-Columbian Artifacts in Ecuadorian Amazon
WALSH-Ecuador provided services for an archaeological rescue of a large Pre-Columbian site discovered in the Eden-Yuturi Oil Field. The coordination with constructors and government authorities allowed the rescue to be facilitated quickly to avoid time delays in construction. Over 100 re-constructible ceramic vessels and 150,000 pottery fragments were recovered during the excavation. The archaeological facts were washed, labeled, classified, and analyzed at WALSH archaeology laboratory. Selected reconstructed vessels were given to the Central Bank Museum and a regional museum for display. The discovery of this Pre-Columbian site and findings were published in academic books.
Co-Publisher of an Archaeological book, Ancestral Cuyabeno
Information was provided in chapters for a book from E&E/WALSH archeological rescues conducted in Petroleum Blocks. Re-constructed pottery was supplied from the E&E/WALSH laboratory for photographs and funding was provided for the publication. As a result of providing necessary information and co-publication of this book, relations were strengthened between clients and the National Cultural Patrimony Institute of Ecuador.
International Industry Standard Development
Oil and Gas
Provided Remote Sensing for an Environmental Audit in Oil Field, China
WALSH provided technical support for remote sensing, including the interpretation of Landsat immaging and soil testing for the audit of an oil field in the Shonqdong Province, China. WALSH's client is entered into an oil assets production sharing agreement for this area of 550 km2 which produces 20,000 bpd.
Baseline Environmental Surveys for Three Oil Blocks, Yemen
WALSH-Ecuador developed an ESIA for a petroleum operation in Yemen, in coordination with WALSH headquarters located in Boulder, Colorado. The ESIA produced for this project became a future model for the client’s other worldwide operations.
Environmental Baseline Investigation in Oil Field, Bahrain
WALSH-Ecuador developed an ESIA for a petroleum operation in Bahrain, in coordination with WALSH headquarters located in Boulder, Colorado. The ESIA produced for this project became a future model for the client’s other worldwide operations.
Evaluated Potential Impacts Associated with the Discharge of Produced Water, Australia
WALSH evaluated for a U.S. oil consortium operating in Queensland, Australia, the potential environmental impacts associated with the discharge of produced water to the atmosphere in an area of oil production. WALSH reviewed data from water samples and native soils along with climate data of Queensland. WALSH provided recomendations for practices to mitigate the harmful effects of pumping water to high salinity, sodium compounds to the local soils. These practices include the use of evaporation ponds for salt recovery using gypsum or sulfur corrections or removal to a permanent disposal facility. Other options mentioned included the use of percolation ponds and reinjection of produced water.
Produced an EIA and EMP for a Seismic Aquisition Program, Peru
WALSH conducted an EIA for Mobil and worte an EMP for a seismic acquisition program in Block 78 in the Madre de Dios region in Peru. In conducting the EIA, WALSH assessed the ecology, geology, geomorphology, meteorology, soil, water, air and water quality and analyzed vegetation, fauna, land use, as well as archaeological and socio-economic conditions. The EMP presented a rigorous program to minimize damage during seismis acquisition activities. In addition to writing the EIA and EMP, WALSH conducted environmental monitoring of the seismic contractor. Walsh also provided training and guidance to the staff of the geophysics.
Provided Consulting Services to Reduce Pollutants in Discharged Produced Water, Columbia
WALSH provided consulting services to a U.S. oil company which facilities for the extraction of 200,000 barrels of oil and gas per day in the northeastern region of Colombia. WALSH evaluated the alternatives for the control and treatment of 250 pounds of phenols contained in approximately 30 million gallons of daily discharge produced water into surface waters near the facilities. WALSH evaluated chemical oxidation, biological oxidation by microbes and physical treatment technologies for removal of phenols, hydrocarbons, and oil and grease in wastewater to comply with water standards based on the toxicity estringente. Walsh also mentioned the design of plant operational changes to reduce the amount of pollutants requiring treatment.