LUKOIL HSE Policy for 21st century sets forth obligations for the rational use of natural resources (including water), and is aimed at:
• Minimizing impacts from business activity, including a reduction in the use of water resources.
• Decreasing the dependence of production facilities on possible external negative factors, including natural ones (droughts, the drying up of reservoirs, the contamination of underground springs).
The objectives achieved under the "Fresh Waters" sub-program include:
• The rational use of water resources
• Preventing the contamination of surface bodies of water with highly mineralized formation waters
• Reduced discharges of contaminated wastewater into surface bodies of water
Main activities include the construction, renovation, and technical retooling of water treatment and wastewater purification systems. On an annual basis organizations from the electrical energy sector carry out maintenance work to optimize the operation of boiler equipment and heating networks. In 2018, RUB 3 billion was allocated to implement such measures, and it is planned to earmark around RUB 7 billion more in 2019–2021.
The total indicators of water withdrawal and water consumption in Russia are significantly influenced by electrical energy sector entities (whose consumption amounts to around 62%). These are major consumers of water used in steam generation and to cool thermal power plant equipment. The availability of these assets is a distinguishing feature of LUKOIL's business model compared to other oil and gas companies.
Oil and gas extracting entities use water primarily to maintain formation pressure. The share of the business segment in water utilization for LUKOIL Group is around 28%. Entities within the processing and sales business segments together consume around 10% of total water consumption in LUKOIL Group.
Specific water consumption remains relatively stable in all business sectors. At electrical energy sector entities this indicator has been falling, due to measures taken to decommission obsolete equipment. In particular, in 2018 the consumption of make-up1 water for the needs of the LLC LUKOIL-Astrakhanenergo heating network was reduced, and the withdrawal of water from the Kuban by LLC LUKOIL-Kubanenergo declined, thanks to the implementation of an investment project to upgrade sluice gates.
After use in production processes, water is sent to treatment facilities. Established levels of wastewater quality are observed as part of in-process environmental monitoring by both in-house laboratories and accredited third-party independent laboratories.
Major measures taken to improve wastewater quality at oil and gas extraction entities included the construction of wastewater treatment facilities at the Yareganeft oil and mines division of LLC LUKOIL-Komi (сommissioning is scheduled for 2020).
- For more information see Sustainability Report
The basic principle applied in marine works is "Zero discharge," which prohibits the discharge into the marine environment of any waste generated as a result of production activities. All waste is collected in sealed containers, which are then taken ashore for neutralization and disposal.
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The main measures of the environmental safety program in Russia in relation to pollutant emissions into the atmosphere comprise:
• Upgrading and constructing new generation facilities at electrical energy sector entities that are equipped with improved automated systems to regulate fuel combustion processes and heat losses and minimize emissions of pollutants
• Replacements or upgrades according to the principle of utilizing the best available technology and equipment at industrial facilities
• Use of emission trapping and treatment systems
Our main approach to the management of industrial waste consists of applying the latest technologies that reduce waste generation, preventing excessive build-ups of waste at LUKOIL Group entity facilities, placing waste at specialized facilities that meet modern requirements, and the timely and safe disposal of waste.
According to the respective environmental hazard classification, most generated waste is attributed to Class 4 (low-hazard) or Class 5 (nonhazardous), and is mostly recycled.
The share of hazardous waste (hazard classes 1 and 2) that contain substances that are dangerous to people's lives and health and can cause irreparable changes to environmental systems amounts to 0.01% of the total volume of generated waste; such waste is subject
to mandatory disposal. Hazard Class 3 (moderate) waste includes a portion of oil-containing waste (with an oil product content in excess of 15%). This comprises around 10% of the total volume of generated waste.
The Company has switched to a sumpless well-drilling concept, according to which generated drilling waste is not stored/landfilled at the drill sites, but is sent for use or neutralization, which ensures that the key performance indicator for waste-handling is met.
We pay careful attention to the quality of waste disposal works carried out by contractors, and monitor their operations as part of concluded contracts: waste-handling methods, the state of the in-process control system, and the availability of the necessary resources to fulfill contractual obligations are verified. LUKOIL Group entities are continuously expanding their level of interaction with contractors in order to improve the quality of their work.
Land rehabilitation works are performed at sites that have become contaminated with oil due to failures in the oil production infrastructure, or due to other incidents. The rehabilitation of contaminated land is carried out in all territories where the Company operates. In view of the climatic conditions of operations in Russia (chiefly the northern latitudes), the necessary rehabilitation cycle of a contaminated site takes at least two years. In 2018, 50.3 hectares of land were transferred to the state commission. As a result of completing all rehabilitation stages, including the microbiological stage, the content of oil products on this land was reduced to safe levels.
The balance sheets of a number of oil production and processing entities accumulated large volumes of mainly oil-containing waste during the period before privatization and/or the acquisition of respective enterprises by LUKOIL Group (pre-privatization [“old”] damage). At its own initiative the Company disposes of such waste at its own expense (except for LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas AD, where
respective activities are financed by the state). The volume of pre-privatization waste is declining each year.