6.3. Environmental Protection
As part of its sustainable development activities, the Gazprom Group protects water, land and forest resources while also seeking to ensure biodiversity preservation and reduce waste and pollutant emissions.
Environmental protection measures, both mandatory and voluntary, are on a compulsory basis included in cooperation agreements with regional authorities and major investment projects.
In this subsection, PJSC Gazprom and gas business companies mean the list of companies from PJSC Gazprom Environmental Report 2019, page 6–7
In 2019, over 750 people took part in 31 environmental activities carried out as part of the Power of Siberia project implementation, resulting in 27.7 hectares of land cleaned, 13.2 tons of waste collected, and 275 trees and shrubs planted.
At the Svobodnenskoye Gas Pipeline Operation Center, more than 245 young common carp and sturgeons were released into commercial water bodies in the reporting year.
Operational environmental monitoring was conducted at the Lenskoye, Neryungrinskoye, Skovorodinskoye, and Svobodnenskoye Gas Pipeline Operation Centers.
Management of Water-Related Impacts
The main goal of PJSC Gazprom in water resources management is to discharge less water into surface water bodies and improve wastewater treatment.
Efficient water resources management is part of the measures taken to implement the Environmental Policy of the Company, which facilitates, apart from other things, cooperation with local communities, the government, and investors. In water resources protection, the EMS of PJSC Gazprom sets the Corporate Environmental Target for 2017–2019 to achieve a lower share of polluted and insufficiently treated wastewater discharged into surface water bodies as compared to the baseline level of 40.13%. The status of achieving the Corporate Environmental Target is evaluated annually. In 2019, the target was achieved.
The Company continues to implement the “Water of Life” Water Resources Utilization System Development Program of PJSC Gazprom for 2016–2020.
The expected results of the “Water of Life” Program in 2020:
- increasing the share of water purification plants that ensure conformity to the existing sanitary and epidemiological requirements to the quality of potable water from 70% in 2014 to 90%;
- increasing the share of wastewater purified at sewage treatment facilities to match the standard parameters in the total volume of wastewater discharged into water bodies from 60.7% in 2014 to 72%;
- decreasing the water intensity of commercial products manufacturing by 6%;
- increasing the volume of water reused for process purposes by 25%.
PJSC Gazprom’s Comprehensive Environmental Program for 2020–2024 envisages a set of measures to reduce the share of excess discharges into surface water bodies to 4%.
The Gazprom Group companies seek to decrease the negative impact on water resources through such measures as lowering water consumption for production purposes and reducing wastewater discharges into surface water bodies.
In 2019, the Group’s companies received 3,921.41 mcm of water for water supply purposes, which is 8.4% less than in 2018.
Water is withdrawn from the surface and subterranean sources solely in accordance with the effective legislation and pursuant to water use agreements and extraction licenses, without causing any significant impact on the environment. None of the regions of the Company’s production operations are classified as areas with water stress.
Natural sources account for 91% of the Group’s water withdrawal, with the shares of surface water bodies and underground water sources accounting for 97.6% and 2.4%, respectively. The Group’s water consumption structure by types of sources depends upon specific features of production operations and location of the facilities.
Gazprom Group’s water use indicators, 2016–2019, mcm
|Water withdrawn and received, total||4,538||4,523||4,280||3,921|
|including water from natural sources||4,301||4,284||4,065||3,571|
Gazprom Energoholding accounts for 91% of the Group’s total water consumption, while the Group’s gas business accounts for 3.1% (including 1.7% at PJSC Gazprom) of total water consumption.
Gazprom Group’s water resources use indicators, 2016–2019, mcm
|Water used, total, including water used for:||4,449.27||4,421.11||4,180.89||3,863.11|
|household and drinking purposes||39.60||47.25||63.09||54.98|
None of water bodies and related habitats are significantly affected by water discharges and/or runoff due to the operations of the Gazprom Group facilities.
The Group disposes of wastewater pursuant to the Decisions on Granting Water Bodies for Use for Wastewater Disposal Purposes in accordance with Pollutants Discharge Norms.
In 2016–2019, the Gazprom Group reduced its wastewater discharge into surface water bodies by 16%, with partially clean (untreated) water and water partially treated at purification plants accounting for 97.3% of its total discharges into surface water bodies.
Gazprom Group’s wastewater discharge into surface water bodies, 2016–2019, mcm
|Gas business companies||35.10||33.87||31.80||41.83|
|including PJSC Gazprom||11.69||10.74||9.78||18.89|
|Gazprom Neft Group||0.11||0.12||0.11||0.09|
|Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat||38.39||39.26||39.38||37.99|
The increase in the volumes of wastewater discharged by the Gazprom Group companies into surface water bodies was mainly attributable to wastewater discharged during the construction of the Kaliningradskoye UGS facility.
|Discharges into surface water bodies||3,855||3,905||3,658||3,242|
|including partially clean and partially treated water||3,691||3,782||3,579||3,153|
Information on the total volumes of water discharge, including the wastewater quality and the receiving body, is provided in Appendix
The Gazprom Group carried out a large number of environmental protection activities to boost the efficiency of water use for production and household purposes and improve the wastewater treatment quality. In 2019, the Group put into operation treatment plants with an aggregate daily throughput capacity of 26,660 m3 (70 plants at the Gazprom Neft companies, 5 plants at Gazprom Energoholding, and 70 plants at gas business companies). Out of the total number of the treatment plants put into operation in 2019, 68 purification plants with an aggregate daily throughput capacity of 17,220 m3 were launched at PJSC Gazprom.
In 2019, Gazprom Transgaz Volgograd LLC became one of the winners in the contest for the Vernadsky National Environmental Award in the Social and Environmental Initiatives category. The company presented the Day of Joint Action — Clean Shores project, which aims to rehabilitate natural sites and environments. This spring, its participants cleaned the shores of 15 water bodies and 12 km of waterfronts, removing 68 m3 of waste.
Information on the volume of formation water produced and its use and the volumes of recycled and reused water at the Gazprom Group is provided in Appendix
Land: Preservation and Restoration
By performing geological exploration, construction and repair works and operating wells, pipelines and other facilities, the Gazprom Group affects vegetation and soil.
Adhering to precautionary principles, the Gazprom Group companies use land in ways that ensure preservation and restoration of soils’ fertility and environmental functions. If any damage is made to land, the Group’s companies follow the required remediation and rehabilitation procedures to put it back into economic use, as is provided for by the legislation.
Gazprom Group’s land protection performance, 2016–2019, hectares
|Territory of lands disturbed during the year||27,027.45||42,162.29||25,786.97||22,885.37|
|including polluted lands||71.31||87.33||111.26||73.16|
|Disturbed lands remediated during the year||42,450.24||19,600.05||15,767.52||17,670.50|
|including polluted lands||94.08||89.10||96.13||65.69|
In the reporting year, the Gazprom Group companies disturbed 22,890 hectares of land, 11% less than in 2018. The decrease observed in 2019 was mainly attributable to the completion of a number of construction works at PJSC Gazprom’s facilities. At Gazprom Neft, the area of disturbed lands grew due to gaining legal rights to land plots for the pre-development of the field of Gazpromneft-Yamal LLC, and the construction of cluster pads at Gazpromneft-Orenburg LLC and Gazpromneft-Vostok LLC. The completion of repair and construction works within lands leased in previous periods, including those performed as part of the construction of the Power of Siberia gas trunkline’s facilities, resulted in a 12% increase in the area of land remediated in 2019.
The reporting year saw remediation of 17,700 hectares of lands, including those disturbed or polluted in previous years. The applied remediation methods seek to prevent adverse erosive processes, stabilize landscapes, and restore vegetation and soil.
The Group’s companies take all necessary steps to stop pollutants from infiltrating soils and prevent soil degradation due to erosion or other causes. As part of operational environmental control and monitoring, remediated soils are checked for conformity to environmental standards during the construction and reconstruction of the Gazprom Group’s facilities. This includes soil, geobotanical, agrochemical, and other surveys.
The reliability of pipeline systems under construction is key to land preservation. Gazprom takes systemic measures to improve their reliability, which has a positive impact on the preservation of soils and other components of the natural environment.
Air: Reducing Pollutant Emissions
Reducing pollutant emissions in the atmosphere is a priority environmental target for Gazprom.
In 2019, gross pollutant air emissions from stationary sources of the Gazprom Group companies amounted to 2,862.70 thousand tons, which is slightly lower than in 2018.
The structure of the Group’s emissions is determined by the specifics of the production activities of PJSC Gazprom and other gas business companies. Main pollutants in Gazprom’s gross emissions are hydrocarbons (including methane), carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide. Solid emissions come mostly from Gazprom’s energy segment, while emissions of volatile organic compounds are commonly associated with the Gazprom Neft Group and gas business companies.
The Gazprom Group companies contribute to international, Russian and local programs on plant and animal life protection in their regions of operation.
PJSC Gazprom subsidiaries provide financing to the projects implemented in the Arctic in collaboration with the Russian Geographic Society, including the monitoring of island ecosystems, preservation of populations of rare marine mammal species and the polar bear within the designated conservation areas in the north-eastern part of the Barents Sea.
Gazprom is implementing the Biodiversity Preservation Program Based on the List of Flora and Fauna Species Being Indicators of Marine Ecosystems Stability in the Arctic Zone of the Russian FederationDeveloped in furtherance of the Order of the President of the Russian Federation following the meeting on effective and safe exploration of the Arctic held on June 5, 2014.. The Program contains PJSC Gazprom’s biodiversity preservation strategy and Actions plans to be carried out in the course of the Gazprom Group’s projects implementation at the Arctic continental shelf of the Russian Federation, at inland sea waters, in the territorial waters, and contiguous zone of the Russian Federation.
The Program was developed with the participation of leading research and scientific institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Arctic National Park Federal State Budgetary Institution, and Marine Mammal Council Regional Public Organization.
The reporting year saw the following activities performed as part of the action plan to implement the Program:
- studies of bacterial plankton, phytoplankton, zooplankton, ichthyoplankton, and benthos;
- ichthyological research;
- observations of marine mammals and bird fauna;
- Atlantic and Pacific walrus studies;
- polar bear studies;
- vegetation studies;
- toxicological research.
Preservation of biodiversity and habitat of rare and endangered plant and animal species is an integral part of the environmental activities carried out by Gazprom. Preventing damage to marine and terrestrial ecosystems is a precondition for the implementation of Gazprom’s projects.
The Company takes action in several areas:
- modern technological solutions are applied to mitigate the environmental impact of the production operations;
- continuous environmental monitoring is performed;
- biodiversity preservation programs are implemented both in the Company’s area of responsibility and in other Russian regions.
In 2019, RUB 451.55 million was allocated for the preservation of biodiversity and protection of designated natural areas, as well as for the protection and replacement of fish reserves.
The Gazprom Group’s OEM programs include environmental monitoring of designated conservation areas or sites with a special environmental status located on the territories potentially affected by the Group’s companies.
In order to preserve biodiversity, construction works are suspended during spring nesting season, water intake facilities are equipped with fish protection devices, and overhead power lines are equipped with bird protection devices. Linear structures are equipped with special passages so that not to hinder reindeer migration.
2019 saw no significant direct or indirect impact of the Group entities’ operations on vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity.
In 2019, Gazprom companies completed a number of environmental projects aimed at replenishing biological resources and restoring fish populations.
In 2019, over 26 million fish of various species were released, including highly valuable species.
Over 1.5 million fingerlings of grayling, Pacific salmon, and Russian sturgeon were released into several commercial water bodies in the Irkutsk, Sakhalin and Tyumen Regions. Of that amount, over 580,000 fingerlings were released into the Krasnoyarka river, over 90,000 fingerlings of Russian sturgeon — into the rivers of the Ob-Irtysh Basin, over 38,000 larvae of peled — into the Aannyaakh river of Vilyuisk Water Reservoir, and over 111,000 fingerlings of peled and grayling and 27,000 fingerlings of sterlet — into the Belaya river in Usolsky District.
Over 170,000 fingerlings of carp were released into the Zeya river, and 118,000 young-of-the-year carps were released into the Bolshoi Milashevsky basin in the Slavyansky District of the Krasnodar Territory.
Under the Preservation of Siberian Sturgeon project in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area — Yugra, the first batch of young sturgeons — 2,000 fingerlings — was released into the Irtysh river as part of the 17th International Environmental Initiative To Save and Preserve.
Sakhalin Energy has been monitoring gray whales since 2002. In 2018, Gazpromneft-Sakhalin joined the monitoring program. Gray whales use the areas in close vicinity to hydrocarbon fields for their summer feeding, and when Sakhalin Energy commenced the construction of its offshore facilities, the offshore pipelines had to be laid 30 km further away, bypassing the areas frequented by the giant mammals. In the mid-80s, about two dozen gray whales belonging, according to scientists, to the endangered Okhotsk-Korean (western) population were discovered. Partially due to the measures taken to reduce the impact, the number of these whales in the area is now almost 300. On the basis of data obtained through many years of monitoring, the International Union for Conservation of Nature changed the status of grey whales west subpopulation in the Red List from critically endangered (CR) to endangered (EN).
To preserve protected animal species and perform works safely, the Company takes a set of measures, such as the setting of corridors and speed restriction for marine vessels, determination of safe distances from marine mammals to be observed, and obligatory presence of observers onboard to mitigate the risk of possible collision.
Gazprom Neft successfully completed the first expedition under the Narhwhal: Legend of the Arctic project. Part of the company’s large-scale Time of the Arctic program, this environmental project helped study the condition of the narwhal population in the western sector of Russia’s Arctic Zone, determine the number and distribution area of the species, and develop a conservation program for their habitat. Up to now, there has been no comprehensive research of the narwhal. New data obtained during the expedition will allow scientist to develop a program for further study of narwhals and their habitat in the high-latitude Arctic.
To preserve biodiversity in the northern-latitude areas of its operations, the Group uses bird protective devices. Suspension insulators are equipped with polymeric covers, and their cross-arms are grounded.
Since 2004, Sakhalin Energy has been studying the population of the Steller’s sea eagle in the areas of its production activities and has been protecting these birds of prey starting from the construction stage of its facilities. For the duration of the nesting season and the period when nestlings begin flying, the company established buffer zones where operations and movement of vehicles were prohibited. Zones of this kind are also used now during the repair works at the facilities.
Helicopter routes are set to avoid any harm to nesting sites. Bioengineering initiatives proposed by scientists are also in place to preserve the bird population, including artificial roost sites and nesting tree protection measures. To assess the efficiency of the activities carried out, the current monitoring results are compared against the data obtained in previous years, as well as against the values of the same type observed in the control area which is not affected by the production facilities.
Impact on Designated Conservation Areas
The Gazprom Group’s facilities are located, inter alia, in or near environmentally vulnerable and designated conservation areas (DCA). In this regard, mention must be made of the below territories:
- Anyuysky, Kislovodsky, Losiny Ostrov, Meshchersky, Nechkinsky, Orlovskoye Polesye, Pleshcheevo Ozero, Pripyshminskiye Bory, Sochinsky, Ugra, Khvalynsky, Yugyd Va national parks;
- Klyazminsky, Nadymsky, Priazovsky, Ryazansky, Saratovsky, Severo-Osetinsky, Kurgalsky, Utrish state nature reserves and federal reservations;
- some regional DCAs.
The Group performs its activities in DCAs in full compliance with the national environmental protection legislation and land use terms and conditions specified for a relevant DCA.
Gazprom Transgaz Stavropol LLC developed a unique environmental project for the creation of a virtual 3D tour of the Strizhament state nature reserve. The tour is designed primarily for people with disabilities. The project became the first-degree winner in the Environmental Education, Awareness and Culture category of the EcoWorld international environmental competition established by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
Among other things, the Corporate Environmental Targets for 2017–2019 seek to reduce the share of waste sent for burial. In 2019, this target was achieved.
The activities are governed by the Master Plan for Production and Consumption Waste Management at PJSC Gazprom’s Facilities in Various Regions of Russia. To reduce the share of waste sent for burial, the Group optimizes its waste treatment activities adapting them to regional specifics and leverages the best available technologies in waste disposal and neutralization.
The Master Plan addresses the following key challenges which have an impact on the environmental management system of PJSC Gazprom, including waste treatment:
- challenging environmental situation in some regions of Russia as a result of a considerable man-caused impact on the environment;
- location of the Company’s production capacities in areas with harsh natural and climatic conditions (the Far North, Eastern Siberia, Far East, sea shelf) with no waste treatment infrastructure available;
- regulatory amendments which introduce considerable changes into waste treatment legislation, as well as into standards and norms set out for the negative environmental impact.
PJSC Gazprom’s priority areas of waste management activities are as follows:
- achieving maximum beneficial use of generated waste through waste recovery and recycling for subsequent use in the production process;
- introducing the best available technologies or zero waste solutions to minimize waste generation in the course of PJSC Gazprom’s core activities.
In 2019, the Gazprom Group companies produced 3,337.08 thousand tons of waste, which is 6.1% less than in 2018, as Gazprom Energoholding replaced coal with natural gas in its fuel mix, thus reducing the generation of Hazard Class V bottom ash waste by 22%.
Gazprom Energoholding, Gazprom Neft, and PJSC Gazprom account for 50%, 36% and 8% of total waste generated, respectively.
|Total waste generated in the reporting period||4,289.81||4,130.29||3,555.09||3,337.08|
|Hazard Class I||0.21||0.27||0.21||0.24|
|Hazard Class II||8.81||0.75||0.78||0.83|
|Hazard Class III||102.11||94.26||84.82||154.59|
|Hazard Class IV||1,036.46||1,294.65||1,200.48||1,293.21|
|Hazard Class V||3,142.22||2,740.36||2,268.80||1,888.21|
For more details on generation and handling of production and consumption waste by the Gazprom Group see Appendix
At the Gazprom Group, most of the waste are bottom ash waste of Gazprom Energoholding (solid coal combustion products generated by TPPs), as well as drilling waste and oil sludge mainly generated by oil and gas production and processing facilities.
In 2019, the Gazprom Group brought onstream 10 waste neutralization and recycling facilities with a total annual capacity of 93.96 thousand tons, including 9 facilities at the Gazprom Neft Group and one facility at PJSC Gazprom (waste thermal treatment facility at Gazprom Energo LLC). OJSC Tomskgazprom put into operation one landfill site with an annual capacity of 0.23 thousand tons for the disposal, neutralization and dumping of industrial, household and other waste.
The Gazprom Group companies pay close attention to the environmentally safe treatment of oil-contaminated waste.
In the reporting year, the Group produced 216.55 thousand tons of oil-contaminated waste (with the Gazprom Neft Group accounting for 90% of this volume), which is marginally (1.5%) less than in 2018.
In 2019, a total of 291.35 thousand tons of oil-contaminated waste (including 74.67 thousand tons present at the beginning of the year, 216.55 thousand tons generated, and 0.13 thousand tons received from other entities) were in circulation at the Gazprom Group’s facilities. Of this total volume, 65% of waste was handed over to specialized organizations for utilization, neutralization, and safe dumping.
Environmentally safe disposal of drilling waste during the construction and operation of wells is a top priority for the Group’s oil and gas production companies.
Gazprom Group’s drilling waste generation and handling trend, 2016–2019, thousand
|Drilling waste generated||752.12||947.60||748.00||887.85|
|Received from other business entities||0.00||0.00||9.14||61.83|
|Treated at the enterprise||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Recycled at the enterprise||121.34||86.84||0.00||0.00|
|Neutralized at the enterprise||9.75||5.14||1.27||0.00|
|Handed over to third parties, total, including:||561.34||731.29||688.88||790.43|
|Placed at own storage facilities||2.37||6.80||0.00||61.83|
|Disposed at own waste burial facilities||77.00||49.76||59.28||57.03|
In 2019, a total of 1,065.9 thousand tons of drilling waste (including 116.2 thousand tons present at the beginning of the year, 887.9 thousand tons generated, and 61.8 thousand tons received from other entities) were in circulation; of this total volume, 74% (790.4 thousand tons) of waste was handed over to specialized licensed organizations for recycling and neutralization, as well as for safe dumping.
During the pre-development of fields in the challenging natural and climatic conditions of the Far North, the Gazprom Group actively implements design solutions to mitigate the impact of drilling operations on ecosystems. The Group develops and uses low toxic drilling muds and pit-free drilling method for the construction of wells. The drilling waste recycling technologies that produce mineral construction materials for general construction works in the course of field pre-development are increasingly being used.
Transportation of Hazardous Waste
Waste is transported and handed over to third parties for subsequent use, neutralization, or dumping by the forces of specialized organizations licensed for these activities.
The weight of wastes of Hazard Classes I–V transported by the Gazprom Group companies in Russia totalled
Prevention of and Response to Oil Spills
Adhering to the precautionary principle, the Gazprom Group organizes the activities to be carried out to prevent oil spills. The Group also has in place a system of efficient measures for oil spill response.
Gazprom Neft continues the implementation of its targeted pipeline reliability program, including the Clean Territory project. The program includes the measures required to assess, monitor, forecast, and extend the operational life of pipeline systems, as well as to perform preventive replacement of pipeline sections proceeding from the results of their diagnostics.
2019 saw 3,939 km of pipelines diagnosed, 110km reconstructed and replaced, 6,325 km monitored for corrosion, and 4,238 km treated with rust preventers as part of the Clean Territory project.
Oil spill management and response bodies are also in place at Gazprom Neft. Volunteer emergency response teams are maintained in constant readiness at all production facilities. Members of crisis and emergency management units — the Crisis Response Team and the Emergency Situations (ES) Coordination Team — are on duty on a 24/7 basis. The Duty Dispatcher Service operates on a 24/7 basis. To prepare the staff for emergency situations of various categories, classroom trainings, drills and emergency response exercises are held regularly with the participation of the representatives of state executive bodies. Each year, the Gazprom Neft Group conducts a wide variety of oil spill response drills and exercises across its production facilities.
Gazprom’s policy designed for application in the event of oil spills at ice-resistant offshore platforms seeks to:
- protect the lives and health of the employees and local communities;
- stop an oil spill at its source;
- contain an oil spill as fast as possible and as close to its source as possible;
- make the best use of oil spill containment and response resources and manpower; mobilize additional resources, manpower, material resources and financial resources;
- minimize environmental damage and avoid causing more damage than an oil spill when addressing it;
- minimize waste generation;
- compensate for environmental damage from oil spills.