A. “We conduct detailed environmental and social assessments when planning our projects to identify impacts that could arise from our activities. We then take measures to address them. For example, at our Tangguh expansion project in Indonesia, the planned location of a new offloading facility and the route of a nearshore pipeline for our liquefied natural gas plant were identified as being close to mangrove habitat. We therefore took measures such as moving the location to the western side of the site and using horizontal drilling for the pipeline to avoid the habitat.”
After 15 years operating and 350 million barrels of oil equivalent produced, BP and partners have successfully decommissioned the Miller platform in the central North Sea. Hear from the team who delivered this complex project.
We work hard to understand environmental and social sensitivities in the areas where we operate with the aim of avoiding, minimizing and mitigating any potential impacts.
The way in which our operating sites around the world manage their environmental and social impacts is set out in our operating management system (OMS). This includes requirements on consulting with stakeholders who may be affected by our activities.
To continue to improve the way we manage potential impacts and our environmental performance, we are further integrating the requirements of the ISO 14001 environmental management standard into our OMS.
During the initial planning stages of our major projects, we complete a screening process to identify potential environmental and social impacts. These may include impacts on sensitive areas and freshwater resources, as well as the prevalence of bribery and corruption in a host country, local employment and community health and safety.
We use the results to identify actions and mitigation measures then and implement these in project design, construction and operations. For example, as part of our exploration activities in São Tomé and Príncipe, we are using underwater sound recorders and an autonomous vehicle to understand the distribution and movement of marine mammals. The outcomes of this can inform planning for potential future activities.
At our major operating sites, we review performance each year and set local improvement targets. These can include measures on flaring, air emissions and the use of water.
Many of our sites operate for several decades and we aim to manage environmental and social impacts throughout their lifespan. In Indonesia, when we began planning our liquefied natural gas plant in 2002, we set up an independent panel to monitor our progress. The Tangguh Independent Advisory Panel continues to review our performance in areas such as human rights, security and governance.
We consider environmental factors, such as the reuse of materials and appropriate disposal, when closing down a site. For example, we undertook the demolition of four tanks weighing 300 tonnes each at a site of a former refinery in the Isle of Grain in the UK. The site was close to a special protected area for bird habitat and we took measures so that the area was not impacted. In addition, nearly 99% of the steel was recovered for recycling.
We are also working with our partners to incorporate environmental factors into decommissioning projects in the North Sea. For example, removal of the Miller platform was completed in 2018, with around 40,000 tonnes of material, mainly steel, moved onshore – enough steel to build the Eiffel Tower four times over. Up to 97% of the materials will be reused or recycled.