Management of biodiversity issues
Contribution to SDGs
We understand that any industrial activity impacts the natural environment to some extent. Our objective is to identify the sources of the most significant impact, monitor them, and take remedial action when necessary. Our refineries and most of our gas stations are located in highly populated areas where natural ecosystems have been irreversibly altered over many decades. That is why we focus on the principal biodiversity risks from hydrocarbon exploration and production activities and the operation of transportation systems, especially in offshore projects.
In these activities we are guided by the Arctic Council’s document, the Guidelines for Oil and Gas Companies on the Arctic Shelf, and Performance Standard 6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In view of the importance of the Earth’s biodiversity conservation, especially in the ecosystems of high value, the Company has committed not to conduct operations in any of the World Heritage sites and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Protected Areas of categories I–IV. At each stage of a project, we strive to balance any impacts that our operations might have and implement a variety of projects and activities to preserve ecosystems. We seek to avoid conducting work in habitats of valuable and highly protected plant and animal species or to minimize such impact where it cannot be avoided.
The state of affected ecosystems and biodiversity in the territories and water areas is assessed or monitored at every stage of operations. Our partners and contractors include more than 50 research and environmental organizations, ensuring a scientific approach to ecosystem studies and the ability to use the data for scientific and remedial purposes.
Based on the results, measures are designed, among other things, to preserve rare and endangered animal species and their habitats. Activities implemented in most Group entities are part of the ESP. Preserving ecosystems in the Arctic (the Barents Sea, part of the onshore territory in the Komi Republic, the Nenets Autonomous Area, and the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area) is of particular concern.
Ecological monitoring of marine ecosystems
The specifics of using the environmental management system in offshore projects — in addition to the “zero discharge” technology — are environmental and satellite monitoring of the production facilities and conditions in the affected area. These monitoring methods are a voluntary initiative of LUKOIL Group entities. We regularly monitor a wide range of parameters in areas which may be impacted by our operations, including the condition of marine and coastal ecosystems and the biodiversity around our production sites.
There are lists of indicator species typical to ecosystems and indicative of their sustainability for all offshore projects.
The components of ecological monitoring include studies of atmospheric air, meteorological conditions, sea waters, bottom sediments, and marine biota Biota comprises all living organisms. . Vessel surveys, time-lapse shoreline and coastal monitoring, stationary observations, and bottom station studies are parts of the monitoring process. LUKOIL was the first to use bottom station monitoring.
Satellite monitoring helps detect contamination from oil spills and predict drift directions of oil patches (including the time it takes for an oil patch to reach natural objects), and measure water temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll content. Such surveys take place every month, and from 10 to 70 images are taken depending on the time of the year.
Other types of monitoring (e.g. geodynamic, engineering and environmental monitoring) are also used to identify anomalies, toxic pollution, and significant deviations in the characteristics of ecosystems based on the specifics of local conditions.
We use mathematical, statistical, and analytical methods to assess the anthropogenic impact on the marine environment, including comparison with the historical background (prior to the construction of LUKOIL facilities) and the parameters of offshore areas furthest from the Company assets and other production sites. Sample analysis and measurement techniques are performed as required by state standards. At the suggestion of our partners and contractors, we introduce new research, data processing, and analysis methods.
The comprehensive approach applied makes it possible to identify contamination sources, receive information on chronic pollution in a timely manner, and respond accordingly. Monitoring results are published on the website as reviews.
No significant impact of our industrial facilities on the state of the marine environment which would require a response has been detected during the observation period The longest observation period of the Baltic Sea is 17 years. . The ecosystems’ self-restoring capacity can naturally compensate for one-time and short term damage resulting in loss of phyto- and ichthyoplankton, fish, and algae during construction of wells and seawater withdrawal. There were no production impacts that significantly changed the habitats of birds and animals and affected their populations. The natural environment components are in a satisfactory condition and although there were local instances of increased content of pollutants in bottom sediments and seawater near LUKOIL production sites, no long-term contamination was detected.
Endangered species protection
Vagit Alekperov, President of PJSC LUKOIL, supported the initiative of WWF Russia to include measures for the conservation of saiga antelope biodiversity into the LUKOIL Group Environmental Safety Program. In 2020, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and PJSC LUKOIL signed a cooperation agreement to implement measures under the federal project “Preservation of Biodiversity and Development of Ecological Tourism” of the national project “Ecology.” The agreement adds implementation of measures for saiga conservation to the current corporate program for biodiversity conservation.