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Environmental monitoring

The industrial environmental monitoring system was deployed at offshore and transportation facilities, and allows to assess their environmental impact in a timely manner. The innovation of the industrial environmental monitoring system is focused around comprehensive observation of the natural and natural-anthropomorphic environments at each stage of the object's life cycle (through satellite acquisition, underwater observations from bottom survey and geophysical stations, and measurements made at and near the industrial facilities).

The Company's objective is to improve the industrial environmental monitoring performance relying on the methods of engineering diagnostics and remote work site monitoring and considering the situation in their coverage area. To this end the industrial environmental monitoring system is continuously perfected and complemented with new types of monitoring. The application of various monitoring techniques was voluntarily initiated by the LUKOIL Group entities. The research efforts are regular and cover a broad range of environmental parameters.

Apart from the "zero discharge" technology, another specific feature of utilizing the environmental management system as part of offshore projects, is the use of various monitoring tools.

At the Baltic Sea, the information on environmental condition is acquired by a subsea seismic station, bottom observatories, a hydrophysical station, specialized marine vessels, and by hydrometeostations and weather stations mounted directly on the oil platform. The environment is monitored at the Curonian Spit, in Klaipeda, Baltiysk, and Pionerskiy.

At the Caspian Sea comprehensive environmental surveys have been conducted in the areas of prospective and existing industrial operations since 1997.

Particular attention is paid to the Arctic zone. Starting 2008, the Company has regularly monitored the environmental media in the area that is presumably exposed to the operations of the Varandey Terminal (the onshore tank battery and petroleum export terminal) in the Barents Sea, specifically it controls both offshore and onshore landmarks, mammals and birds in the areas adjacent to the terminal.

The environmental monitoring components include atmospheric air surveys, meteorological surveys, surveys of marine water, bottom sediments and marine biota. The surveys utilize seaborne investigations, periodical waterside and coastal observations, fixed and bottom station observations. Lists of indicator species characteristic of the ecosystems and indicating their stability were composed for all the offshore projects.

Satellite monitoring allows to identify pollutions resulting from oil spills and to make predictions as to the drift direction of oil slicks (including how long it will take for the oil slick to reach any natural sites), measure the water temperature, salinity and chlorophyll content. The information is acquired on a monthly basis with 10 to 70 images taken every month depending on seasonal fluctuations.

Given the local specifics, other monitoring techniques may be leveraged (for example, geodynamic, engineering and environmental) that help to identify anomalies, toxic pollutions, and significant deviations in the ecosystem characteristics.

Mathematic, statistical, and analytical techniques are used to assess the man-made impact on marine environment, including comparison against the historical background (prior to the construction of LUKOIL's facilities) and parameters of marine areas that are the farthest from the Company's and other industrial facilities. The procedures for analysis of samples and measurements are performed in accordance with state standards. The utilized system-based concept allows to identify pollution sources, promptly acquire information on long-term pollution, and respond thereto as appropriate.