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Preserving natural ecosystems and biodiversity is of economic, environmental and social importance, it builds an efficient habitat, and constitutes a major factor for human health. LUKOIL’s objective is to preserve the diversity of natural biosystems in the regions of its operations and make sure they are utilized in a lean manner that poses no threat to their ability to self-recover.

LUKOIL's activities to preserve the biodiversity are based on the "prevent – mitigate – restore – compensate" principle which underpins its Health, Safety and Environment Policy.

Given the importance of preserving the diversity of species inhabiting our planet, especially high-value ecosystems, the Company undertook a commitment to avoid any industrial operations at World Heritage Sites and in the protected areas classified as categories I to IV by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. At each stage of its projects the Company does its best to balance the impact that its operations may produce, and undertakes various ecosystem conservation projects and activities.

LUKOIL seeks to avoid conducting operations in the habitats of valuable and specially protected plants and animals, in especially sensitive environmental areas, in plant vegetation seasons, during breeding and migration periods of wild animals, or minimize the impact in case it is impossible to cancel operations in certain areas during certain periods; it seeks to prevent creation of permanent and insurmountable obstacles for migration of wild animals in the form of linear structures.

The system of managing and accounting for biodiversity issues in operations of the LUKOIL Group entities is described in the Biodiversity Conservation Leaflet. 

The condition of the affected ecosystems and biodiversity within the sites and water bodies is assessed and monitored at each stage of industrial operations. This effort is undertaken by research and scientific institutions which helps to follow a system-based concept in studying the ecosystems and provides an opportunity to leverage the acquired data for scientific purposes.

At the early stage, the planned projects undergo the environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure. The EIA records the current environmental parameters within the prospective operations site, identifies risks and involves the assessment of the impact the planned operations will produce on the flora and fauna, including the valuable and specially protected species. Following the assessment, measures are developed to prevent pollution, minimize the adverse impact on the natural environment and high biological value sites that are closest to the future industrial facilities. The resulting data are used as inputs in selecting a site for industrial facilities, and project alternatives may be considered as necessary.

All entities of the LUKOIL Group undertake biodiversity preservation measures as part of the Environmental Safety Program. Key measures include:

  • industrial environmental monitoring of natural environmental components;

  • biotic monitoring;

  • monitoring the condition of water conservation zones;

  • introducing fish and bird protection equipment;

  • artificial reproduction of aquatic biological resources and release of baby fishes into water bodies;

  • sedimentary control of minor rivers, including underwater crossings with pipeline systems;

  • planting greenery and improving the area of industrial sites.

Special attention is paid to the preservation of marine and Arctic ecosystems.

In conducting its business the Company follows the Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines issued by the Arctic Council and Performance Standard 6 Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management issued by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The key focus areas in the preservation of marine ecosystems include:

  • optimize the water intake, recycle waste water and reuse drilling mud;

  • constantly control/monitor whether there is any oil film on water (including satellite monitoring);

  • utilize fish protection equipment;

  • make sure the rest conditions are preserved in the designated natural areas;

  • introduce biotechnologies speeding up the natural purification of the marine environment and protecting it from oil contamination (artificial reefs).

UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 seeks to achieve at least a 10% coverage of marine and coastal areas by environmental measures by 2020. This target was achieved in LUKOIL's operations: the environmental and satellite monitoring activities cover 100% of the coastal line within the license areas, the site of the Varandey marine terminal, and 36,171 square kilometers of the marine water area. The satellite monitoring is conducted in the Baltic and Caspian Seas. See the Biodiversity Conservation Leaflet for more details about the scale of ongoing environmental and satellite monitoring activities. 

The Biodiversity Preservation Program is in place in PJSC LUKOIL for the Company's facilities operating in the Russian Artic region. As part of this Program, the entities that have operations in this region develop in-house biodiversity preservation plans, including those dealing with rare species of flora and fauna (indicator species).

The Program includes PJSC LUKOIL's principles and approach to preserving biodiversity as well as the requirements for the preparation of documents, impact assessment and development of measures to preserve biodiversity for the Company's offshore production assets. While developing the Program, the Company used the experience gained while developing fields on the Baltic and Caspian Sea shelf. The "zero discharge" principle is being implemented consistently, including other measures aimed at preserving and restoring the biodiversity of off- and onshore ecosystems. Standards and approaches to environmental safety used by the Company while developing offshore fields have proved to be efficient, and have been commended both by the Russian and international expert community.

In the Astrakhan Region, LUKOIL initiated and provided support in creating a rehabilitation station for the animals affected by oil contamination. The station is fitted out with appropriate equipment and medicines. Also, a mobile rescue station is available for field stabilization and transportation of animals. At the rehabilitation station animals and birds can receive treatment from qualified specialists who are experienced in handling with wild species, including their capture, transportation, keeping in artificial environment, feeding and preparing for reintroduction to natural habitat.

In Russia, LUKOIL is running a joint project for saiga conservation with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The saiga is a variety of the antelope that inhabits the public designated natural areas: Chyornye Zemli nature biosphere reserve in the Republic of Kalmykia, and the Stepnoy regional wildlife reserve in the Astrakhan Region. The population of this animal in Russia experienced a drastic decline: from 800 thousand animal units back in 1950 down to a little over 6 thousand in 2020. In 2020, the saiga was listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation.

As part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and PJSC LUKOIL an Action Plan was approved for saiga conservation and reintroduction in the Republic of Kalmykia and Astrakhan Region for 2020-2024 for the total amount of 30.5 million Rubles.  Actions under the Plan include the cleanup of water wells, accounting for saiga population and providing support to breeding stations.

For more details on the project progress, refer to the corporate Saiga Bulletin.

Soul of the Caspian, a project aimed at studying and preserving Caspian seals, was launched several years ago.

In 2021 a scientific research expedition took place which involved researchers from the Academy of Science and representatives of the Clean Seas Foundation and Astrakhan National Nature Reserve.   A research program was prepared, two expeditions (air/water) were organized, four flights were carried out covering a total route of 2537 km and 1200 square kilometers of the water surface in the Caspian Sea were surveyed. Studies of the seal population conducted near the Malyi Zhemchuzhnyi island show that animals are in good condition.

As part of the artificial reproduction of fish stock, 13 million fries of valuable fish species were released into water bodies in 2021 for the total amount of 200 million Rubles. 

  • Memo on Biodiversity Conservation Activities of LUKOIL Group Entities in 2020