5.7. Biodiversity Preservation

The Gazprom Group makes a significant contribution to protecting flora and fauna in its regions of operation. It strictly observes Russian and international environmental laws and invests effort in preserving and recovering natural biosystems.

Biodiversity Preservation Management

Throughout the life cycle of its investment projects, the Gazprom Group assesses and minimizes the risks of adverse environmental impacts on highly vulnerable natural environments and the environments that need to be protected and preserved as a matter of crucial importance.

Focus areas for biodiversity preservation:

  • applying modern technological solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of production operations;
  • continuous environmental monitoring;
  • devising and implementing biodiversity preservation programs both across the companies’ footprint and in other Russian regions.

In 2022, the Group spent RUB 991.44 million on the preservation of biodiversity and designated natural areas along with protection and replacement of fish reserves.

The Gazprom Group’s expenses on biodiversity preservation and protection of designated natural areas, RUB million
Indicator 2020 2021 2022 Change 2022/2021, %
Total, incl.: 533.99 702.70 991.44 +41.1
protection and replacement of fish reserves 133.97 183.82 415.87 +126.2
protection and rational use of forest resources 26.70 248.96 202.35 −18.7

Significant Impacts of Activities, Products, and Services on Biodiversity

The reporting year saw no significant direct or indirect impact of the Group companies’ operations on vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity.

The Group does not keep count of the total number of IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species with habitats in areas affected by its operations due to the large size of the territories where the Gazprom Group operates.

Biodiversity Preservation Measures

To preserve the balance of ecosystems and biodiversity in areas close to the Group’s facilities, construction is suspended during spring nesting season, water intake facilities are equipped with fish protective devices, and overhead transmission lines are equipped with bird protection devices.

Communication lines have specific wildlife passages to facilitate reindeer migration.

The Group monitors designated conservation areas and sites with a special environmental status located on the territories that can be affected by its activities.

In 2022, PJSC Gazprom’s facilities were located in the vicinity or in the following designated conservation areas (DCAs):

  • Anyuysky, Kislovodsky, Losiny Ostrov, Meshchersky, Nechkinsky, Orlovskoye Polesye, Pleshcheevo Ozero, Pripyshminskie Bory, Sochinsky, Ugra, Khvalynsky, Yugyd Va national parks;
  • Klyazminsky, Nadymsky, Priazovsky, Ryazansky, Saratovsky, Severo-Ossetinsky, 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.

In the reporting year, PJSC Gazprom kept supporting the environmental program of recovering and preserving the population of the Amur leopard and Amur tiger in their natural habitat.

The Company joined the program to recover the population of the Amur leopard, the rarest subspecies of the big cat on Earth. In 2022, the Group financed the efforts of environmentalists to identify release sites, catch, monitor and provide veterinary aid to animals, as well as to ensure methodology support and research with respect to the translocation of leopards in the Ussurisky Nature Reserve and adjacent areas.

Environmental Protection in the Arctic

PJSC Gazprom provides financing to projects implemented in the Arctic in collaboration with the Russian Geographic Society. These projects seek to monitor island ecosystems, preserve populations of rare marine mammal species and the polar bear within DCAs in the northeastern part of the Barents Sea.

PJSC 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 Federation. The Program was developed in consultation with leading research institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Arctic National Park Federal State Budgetary Institution, and Marine Mammal Council Regional Public Organization.

In 2022, PJSC Gazprom and Novatek signed a cooperation agreement focused on the sustainable development of the Russian Arctic. The parties will collaborate in environmental protection and monitoring, biodiversity conservation, standardization of environmental safety requirements, and supporting indigenous minorities. Besides, they will join forces in developing hydrogen energy.
As part of the agreement, the companies set up a coordination council.

Protection of Polar Bears

In January 2022, PJSC Gazprom organized another translocation of one-year-old male cubs of the polar bear called Khara and Savey from the Kharasaveyskoye field in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area.

A month before, the animals had strayed into the camp of Gazprom Dobycha Nadym and stayed there for a long time. For the safety of field workers and the animals, the Company decided to catch the cubs and take them away from the settlement. The cubs were immobilized with special veterinary drugs, biosamples were taken, and GPS trackers were fixed on their bodies. Then the company had them transported 100 km away from the industrial site and left at their new home with a three-week food supply.

After only three weeks, however, the animals found their way back to the camp. For their attachment to the site, the workers named them after the natural gas field — Khara and Savey. During their absence, the predators gained weight, and there was no reason to worry about their health. That time the company decided to move them further away to the Gydansky national park 340 km away from the Kharasaveyskoye field. Like the previous time, the cubs got enough food supplies to sustain them during adaptation to a new habitat.

Both translocations engaged field workers, representatives of the environmental authority and Russian scientists. Gazprom Dobycha Nadym settled most of the organizational matters, including provision of resources, land and air transportation, and making special transportation boxes.

The story of Khara and Savey highlights the Company’s absolute commitment to its Environmental Policy and a sincere effort taken by gas producers to preserve local biodiversity and rare species.

Remediation of Disturbed Land and Restoration of Natural Landscapes

Geological exploration, drilling, hydrocarbon production, and the construction and use of pipelines and other production facilities cause land disturbance and pollution. The Gazprom Group follows the required remediation and rehabilitation procedures to put the disturbed or polluted land back into economic use.

The applied remediation methods seek to prevent adverse erosive processes, stabilize landscapes, and restore vegetation and soil. The technology uses the available materials, including secondary ones such as recycled drilling waste, geotextiles and plant growth stimulators. Specially selected of strains of soil microflora help fix the topsoil, including slopes of embankments and structures, while also increasing the speed and intensity of root formation and plant growth. Group companies prevent pollutants from infiltrating the soil along with surface and underground water sources, and combat erosion and other types of soil degradation.

As part of operational environmental control and monitoring, remediated soils are checked for conformity to environmental standards during construction and reconstruction of the Gazprom Group’s facilities. This includes soil, geobotanical, agrochemical and other assessments.

On top of that, PJSC Gazprom takes comprehensive measures to enhance the reliability of pipeline systems, which has a positive impact on the preservation of soils and other components of the natural environment.

Land-related impacts are not an acute environmental issue for the Group, with remediation taking place as necessary and in due time. No accumulation of harm to land resources has been detected.

Disturbed and remediated land across the Gazprom Group, ha
Indicator 2020 2021 2022 Change 2022/2021, %
Lands disturbed during the year 23,837.88 19,809.45 35,597.15 +79.7
including polluted lands 79.41 65.79 75.94 +15.4
Disturbed lands remediated during the year 15,836.39 17,199.40 15,053.12 −12.5
including polluted lands 65.77 78.08 77.19 −1.1

In 2022, more lands were disturbed due to more active wide azimuth surveys, actual overhauls, allocation of sites for construction, expanded areas of production facilities, and field infrastructure development.