Environmental performance in 2012: report published

Environment performance indicators – 2012 data report, published in December, summarises information on exploration and production (E&P) activities carried out by contributing OGP member companies in 2012.

Forty-three member companies working in 78 countries worldwide contributed data for the report. This includes 40 of the 41 companies that contributed data in 2011 plus three companies participating for the first time.

These data represent oil and gas wellhead production in the region of 16.6 billion BOE. This represents about 32% of 2012 global production sales (BP Energy Review 2013). However, coverage is uneven, ranging from almost all known production in Europe to 8% in the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

The report aggregates the information at both global and regional levels, expressing it within six environmental indicator categories:

  • Gaseous emissions
  • Energy consumption
  • Flaring
  • Aqueous discharges
  • Non-aqueous drilling fluids retained on cuttings discharged to sea
  • Spills of oil and chemicals

In summary, the report shows that:

  • Reported Greenhouse Gas /GHG emission rates were 160 tonnes of GHG per thousand tonnes of hydrocarbon production, a 1% increase compared with 2011 data.
  • Compared with 2011 data, normalised emission rates increased for Methane/CH4 (7%) and Nitrogen Oxides/NOX (5%) while a 2% reduction was shown for Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds/NMVOC (4%). Normalised Carbon Dioxide/CO2 emissions and normalised Sulphur Dioxide/SO2 remained virtually unchanged.
  • Average energy consumption in 2012 was 1.4 GigaJoules of energy for every tonne of hydrocarbon produced; a 9% reduction on 2011 figures.
  • Flaring rates have continued to reduce. In 2012, 13.9 tonnes of gas was flared for every thousand tonnes of hydrocarbon produced (15.7 tonnes in 2011 and 16.0 tonnes in 2010).
  • Compared with 2011 data, the average concentration of oil in produced water discharged increased in 2012 by 14%. The average quantity of oil discharged per unit of hydrocarbon production increased by 10%. These variations reflect a change in the companies reporting data for oil and produced water discharges.
  • 20,523 tonnes of non-aqueous base fluids were retained on drill cuttings discharged to sea in 2012.
  • Of these discharges, 89% contained Group III base fluids (which pose a minimal threat to the marine environment) and 4% contained Group II fluids (low toxicity mineral oils). The remaining 7% were uncategorised. There have been no reports of discharges of Group I fluids (diesel based and conventional mineral oil based fluids) retained on cuttings since the reporting of NABF by Group I, II and III classification began in 2003.
  • Participating companies reported 1,680 oil spills greater than 1 barrel in size in 2012. This resulted in a normalised spill rate of 0.8 oil spills per millions tonnes of hydrocarbon production; compared to 1.5 in 2011.
  • A total of 9,483 tonnes of oil were released in reported oil spills greater than 1 barrel in size. The quantity of oil spilled per unit of hydrocarbon production fell to 4.8 tonnes per million tonnes production, 40% lower than the rate for 2011 but 6% higher than the rate for 2010. Deep Water Horizon figures were not included as it is the subject of on-going multi-district litigation.

Copies of the report are freely available here.

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