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Water is one of the planet’s most precious resources, which is why we actively manage its use

We have operations in many different countries and the availability of water in areas where we work can vary greatly. That’s why it’s important to look at local conditions, such as water stress and scarcity, in order to manage our impact.

Water use


Water is required for drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other upstream production processes, and it is an essential component in refining, petrochemical and biofuels production.


We use non-fresh water, such as seawater, in our oil and gas production and treated wastewater at some of our refineries.

Water use – graphic

How we evaluate water risk

Each year we review water risks in our portfolio, considering the local availability, quantity, quality and regulatory requirements.


We estimate that around half of our major operations withdraw fresh water in areas where its availability is considered stressed or scarce. These operations account for 21% of our total freshwater withdrawals.


In our gas operations in Oman – an area where the availability of fresh water is extremely scarce – we use saline water from a local underground aquifer. We desalinate the water and use it for drilling and hydraulic fracturing, as well as for washing and other domestic uses. We continue to look for ways in which we can reduce our demand, such as reusing treated wastewater.


In 2017, we saw increases in our freshwater withdrawal, consumption and wastewater volumes primarily due to increased production in our upstream operations and refineries.