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Callon wins recognition for Midland, Texas project

Submitted photo — Callon Senior Operations Engineer Joe Gamberi, at right, holds the Bruno Hanson/Midland College Environmental Excellence Award the company won for its Midland, Texas, project.
Submitted photo — Callon Senior Operations Engineer Joe Gamberi, at right, holds the Bruno Hanson/Midland College Environmental Excellence Award the company won for its Midland, Texas, project.

NATCHEZ — Good business means looking to the future, maybe looking out for your neighbor.

And sometimes, that neighbor notices that you’ve taken the effort.

Natchez-based Callon Petroleum Operating Company recently installed a conventional oil and gas production facility within the city limits of Midland, Texas.

The facility was the first to be permitted in the Pecan Acres 23 Field — located in the Permain basin — after Midland adopted stricter ordinances related to oil production in 2010. Callon’s work and transparency with the city earned it the Bruno Hanson/Midland College Environmental Excellence Award.

The award is named after Bruno Hanson, who pioneered the development of environmentally friendly procedures for the energy industry.

Callon Senior Operations Engineer Joe Gamberi, a Natchez resident who coordinated third-party engineering and did drawings for the project, said the company worked closely with the city to meet their ordinances, as well as with the neighboring landowners and the homeowners association when designing and starting the project.

“We looked at noise, visibility, containment, dust, traffic, greenhouse gas emissions and liquid spill prevention,” Gamberi said. “We did that with the objective of being the best neighbor we could, trying to minimize any environmental impact, any kind of nuisance — we were trying to operate there and not be seen.”

When selecting the site, the company used local topography to minimize its visibility, but also built its well-access system in a way as to allow maximum acreage for non-oilfield development.

“We used available technology that we had, but while we didn’t want to overdesign, we tried to minimize the overall infrastructure footprint on anything,” Gamberi said.

“We incorporated the design of a residential development where within this oilfield you could build residences. They would meet the City of Midland guidelines, you could operate it as an oilfield and you would still meet the residential requirements.”

After working with the local fire chief, fire marshal and oil and gas compliance officers, Callon designed the facility to minimize any kind of impact if a spill should occur and put in place a spill prevention control and countermeasure plan even though it was not required by regulators.

The company likewise installed a system to capture greenhouse gasses that Gamberi said industry observers told him were the best way to control such gasses.

“We put in a lot of safety systems not required by the City of Midland, and we put in prevention plans not required by the Environmental Protection Agency at that location,” he said. “We designed and had new types of protection systems that had not been run (in the Permain basin) very much.”

Just as important was the fact the company was completely open with what it was doing, keeping the City of Midland well informed of what was going on.

“We went through every piece of equipment with them and let them know what we were doing,” Gamberi said. “Our management was transparent with everything.”

When the award was announced, those reasons were all listed by a Midland spokesperson as why Callon would be receiving the award this year.

Gamberi said the project was successful due to a total team effort by Callon’s Natchez, Houston and Midland teams.

“I felt that our company was honored, but I think we went over and beyond because being new out here in the Permain basin, we want to put the right foot forward and do things right,” he said.

“We want to think of other implications down the road.Is what we are doing now gong to affect our neighbors 10 years down the road? We were thinking, this is a long-term installation, what do we need to do to be a good neighbor, to be out of sight out of mind?”