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 puts great effort into preserving biodiversity in reliance on the "prevent – mitigate – restore – compensate" principle.
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 our projects we do our best to balance the impact that our operations may produce, and undertake various ecosystem conservation projects and activities.
The Company 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.
Assessing the Condition of Natural Ecosystems
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.
Measures aimed at Biodiversity Preservation
All the LUKOIL Group entities undertake biodiversity preservation measures as part of the Environmental Safety Program. Key measures include:
preventing adverse impact on the biodiversity;
industrial environmental monitoring of natural environmental components;
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.
Сохранение морских экосистем
In conducting our business we follow the Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines issued by the Arctic Council; Performance Standard 6 Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management issued by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Specific measures are planned and taken as part of the Environmental Safety Program of the LUKOIL Group entities.
The key focus areas in the preservation of marine ecosystems include:
optimize the water intake, recycle waste water and reuse drilling mud;
constantly monitor whether there is any oil film on water;
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.
Scope of Environmental Monitoring Activities
Baltic Sea Caspian Sea Barents Sea Year when monitoring was commenced 2003 1997 2008 Length of coastal line, km In 2003 – 82 km (ornithological observations). In 2020, the coastal monitoring activities covered 148 km - 25 Water area, sq. km 5,600 30,328 243 Monitoring frequency
In 2003 – two expeditions
In 2020 – seven coastal, six nearshore (cutter), one comprehensive, eight ornithological, and one ichthyological expedition
Two expeditions every year One expedition every year
Biodiversity Preservation in the Arctic Region
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 (LUKOIL-West Siberia, LUKOIL-Komi, and the Varandey Terminal) develop in-house biodiversity preservation programs, 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 in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. 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.
Animal Rescue Center
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.
Preservation of Rare Fauna Species
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.
The Action Plan for Saiga Conservation and Reintroduction (Restoration of the Population) within the said areas was developed to implement the project. The project's key target performance indicator is the increase in saiga population over the project life cycle.
For more details on the project progress, refer to the corporate Saiga Bulletin.