8. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT MANAGEMENT

8. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT MANAGEMENT

In its environmental protection activities, the company follows the Russian Federation legislation on environmental protection, taking into account the international standards and best international practices of the oil and gas industry.

The environmental policy of the company is part of the company General Business Principles, Sustainable Development Policy, and HSE and SP Policy and Commitments. These commitments are specifically identified in the HSE and SP Action Plan, standards, procedures and other internal documentation of the company.

The HSE and SP Management System of Sakhalin Energy is certified to comply with the requirements of international standards ISO-14001 and OHSAS-18001 and is described in Section 3.5. HSE and Social Performance Management.

To enhance the system’s efficiency, Sakhalin Energy uses an approach based on the pattern: Plan-Do-Check-Act. Internal and external audits are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s environmental management system. Internal checks of compliance with the requirements of environmental laws and company standards and procedures are regularly conducted at production assets.

Sakhalin Energy also contributes to the development of contractors and suppliers by implementing the We Are One Team principle, sharing its best practices, and monitoring contractors' compliance with its environmental requirements.

The company pays special attention to preventive risk management and environmental impact assessment. In order to mitigate the environmental impact and minimise the risk of environmental pollution, the company implements the monitoring and management system presented in the Section 5.6. Risk Management.

The company implements a wide range of organisational and technical measures aimed at consistent minimisation of adverse environmental impacts and improvement of the competencies of the company’s and contractor’s personnel. In this endeavour, the programmes for in-process environmental monitoring, environmental monitoring, and biodiversity conservation are developed and implemented.

In 2017, as in the previous year, Sakhalin Energy was ranked first in the annual Environmental Responsibility Rating of Oil and Gas Companies of Russia. The rating is given by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of the Russian Federation and CREON Energy, the provider of advisory services to the fuel and energy industries, in partnership with the National Rating Agency and the Project of United Nations Development Program / Global Environmental Facility and the RF Ministry of Natural Resources - The Objectives of Biodiversity Conservation in the Policy and Development Programmes of the Energy Sector of Russia.

The list of rated companies included 22 leading crude oil and condensate producers (over 1.5 mln t per year).

According to its organisers, the purpose of the project is to gather objective and comparable information on environmental impacts. Additionally, publicity associated with this event also leads to improved quality of environmental risks management and mitigation of environmental impacts by the oil and gas industry.

8.1. Industrial Environmental Control

Sakhalin Energy exercises industrial environmental control of its assets to ensure the compliance with legislation on environmental protection, to observe established environmental regulations, and to provide the rational use of natural resources and fulfilment of the plans for minimising the environmental impact.

The company exercises industrial environmental control in the following areas:

  • air emissions;
  • water use and discharge;
  • waste management.

The company has developed and implements the Air Emissions and Energy Management Standard, Water Use Standard, and Waste Management Standard.


8.1.1. Impact on Atmospheric Air


Sakhalin Energy seeks to minimise environmental impact, including by reducing air emissions.

In order to reduce emissions, the company uses gas turbines equipped with low-NOx burners. A system that increases gas turbulence is used on flaring units, which facilitates the gas flaring in a soot-free mode.

To reduce atmospheric pollutant emissions, measures are implemented to improve operational reliability and fail safety of equipment and to monitor compliance with the operating mode of gas turbines. To ensure timely elimination of potential gas leaks at the company’s assets, the company performs inspections and diagnostics of equipment and required repair and maintenance using fixed and portable gas analysers. To assess the impact of greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substances emissions on the atmospheric air, records are kept of the sources of their emission and consumption.

The company conducts instrumental monitoring of fixed sources for compliance with established standards for maximum allowable emissions. Monitoring of air quality is carried out at the boundaries of sanitary protection zones in the areas of the company’s production assets.

In 2017, total gross emissions remained the same as in the previous year. A slight increase in methane emissions was caused by a scheduled shutdown at the PA-B platform and an unplanned shutdown at the LUN-A platform.

Monitoring of air quality at the boundaries of sanitary protection zones of the Prigorodnoye production complex, OPF, and BS 2 showed neither non-compliance with established standards, nor any increase in pollutant concentrations.

Gross Air Emissions in 2014–2017, thousand t

Pollutant

2014

2015

2016

2017

Carbon oxide

4.2

4.1

4.4

4.1

Nitrogen oxide (in NO2 equivalent)

4.1

4.1

4.3

4.3

Methane

1.1

1.0

1.1

1.2

Sulphur dioxide

0.05

0.04

0.03

0.04

Other pollutants

1.15

1.1

0.97

0.8

Total

10.6

10.3

10.8

10.4

Specific Air Emissions in 2015–2017, by areas of activity

Activity

2015

2016

2017

Hydrocarbon production, kg/toe

0.19

0.19

0.18

Hydrocarbon transportation, kg/thousand t-km

0.06

0.08

0.06

LNG production, kg/toe

0.24

0.25

0.23

Measures implemented to improve operational reliability and fail safety of equipment, as well as the monitoring of conformance with the operating mode of equipment made it possible to maintain the specific emission values at the same level as in the previous year even though the company increased its production volumes.


8.1.2. Impact on Water Bodies


The company strives to reduce water consumption for production needs and to minimise the environmental impact from wastewater discharge.

The intake of water from surface and groundwater bodies for domestic, drinking and industrial purposes is carried out on the basis of water use agreements and licenses for subsoil use. To ensure compliance with established standards for maximum allowable discharges of pollutants to water bodies and rational use of water resources, the company carries out monitoring of sewage treatment plants efficiency and quality control of sewage, surface and groundwater, as well as control over compliance with established water use and water discharge limits. Measures are taken to keep water intake and treatment facilities in good order, and monitoring of water protection zones of water bodies is carried out on a regular basis. Groundwater monitoring is performed to identify areas of possible changes in groundwater levels or areas of possible contamination caused by the operation of the company’s production assets.

In 2017, the water use figures remained the same as in the previous year. Reduced water disposal on the surface is due to the company’s ongoing activities on redirection of wastewater to water bodies triggered by changes of applicable regulations. The increase in water consumption to maintain reservoir pressure is due to the intensification of field development in order to increase oil recovery.

Environmental monitoring did not reveal any adverse impact on the water bodies located in the area of the company’s production assets.


Consolidated Figures of Water Use in 2014–2017, thousand m3

Parameter

2014

2015

2016

2017

Water intake, including:

27,991.58

29,489.71

30,160.90

30,050.94

─    from surface sources

27,094.88

28,225.09

29,260.99

29,228.98

─    from underground sources

300.78

310.19

329.32

326.27

Water consumption, including:

27,432.14

28,573.81

29,631.45

29,593.53

─    for production needs (not including consumption for reservoir pressure maintenance needs)

22,344.33

22,126.72

22,750.15

22,520.46

─    for reservoir pressure maintenance needs

4,765.14

6,104.22

6,505.06

6,689.23

Water discharge, including:

23,003.41

23,212.21

23,439.71

23,163.00

─    into surface water bodies

22,803.91

22,988.01

23,317.13

23,047.10

─    on the surface

169.72

193.56

92.43

86.54

Specific Water Use in 2015–2017, by areas of activity

Activity

Water consumption for in-house needs

Disposal of polluted water into surface water bodies

2015

2016

2017

2015

2016

2017

Hydrocarbon production, m3/toe

1.0

1.1

1.0

0.002

0.005

0.004

Hydrocarbon transportation, m3/thousand t-km

0.001

0.001

0.001


-

-

LNG production, m3/toe

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.001

0.005

0.006

Specific water consumption indicators remained the same as in the previous year. The increase in the specific discharge of insufficiently treated wastewater is due to intensive flow of natural stormwater into the treatment facilities caused by meteorological conditions.

Only 1% of the wastewater was insufficiently treated, 2% of the waste water was treated to minimum standards, and the other 97% met minimum standards without treatment.


8.1.3. Waste Management

In 2017, the company’s waste management activities were aimed at meeting Russian and international requirements and optimising waste management processes in order to reduce the adverse environmental impact.

Most of the company’s waste is classified as low-hazard (Hazard Class IV and V); it is mainly drilling waste and solid domestic waste.

To prevent an adverse environmental impact, drilling waste was injected through special disposal wells into deep underground horizons with necessary insulating formations to ensure their full containment and safe disposal. This technology was included into engineering manual ITS-17 2016 “Disposal of Industrial and Consumer Waste” as the best available technology for waste disposal associated with oil and gas production. The manual was approved by order of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology No. 1885 of 15 December 2016 and put into effect on 1 July 2017. During the year, the company continuously monitored the injection process and took all reasonable measures to reduce the volume of drilling waste. In the area of underground drilling waste disposal assets, to confirm the elimination of its adverse environmental impact, the company continued monitoring of the sea water condition in the bottom layer, sediment and benthic communities.

At the production assets, waste is collected separately for subsequent disposal, treatment and reducing the amount of waste transported to landfills; timely removal of waste is performed; the company conducts inspections of waste storage sites.

All Hazard Class I-III waste is transferred to licensed contractors for disposal or treatment. All Hazard Class IV-V waste is sent to specially equipped landfills that conform to the Russian requirements. The company searches for cost-effective methods of management of Hazard Class IV-V wastes in order to reduce the proportion of waste disposed at landfills.

Waste Breakdown by Hazard Class in 2017 (not including drilling waste), %



Waste Management Indicators (including drilling waste) in 2014–2017, thousand t

Parameter

2014

2015

2016

2017

Amount of waste at the beginning of the year (all Hazard Classes)

0

0

0.14

0.11

Waste generated in the reporting year (all Hazard Classes)

95.87

30.52

36.86

36.58

Waste disposed during internal production

0.01

0.02

0

0

Transferred to other organisations for disposal and treatment

2.37

1.81

2.73

3.47

Transferred to other organisations for burial at landfills, including:

2.67

2.01

1.63

1.66

─    in the Sakhalin Oblast

2.52

1.82

0

0.21

─    outside the Sakhalin Oblast

0.15

0.19

1.63

1.45

Waste disposed at own assets (burial of drilling waste)

90.82

26.54

32.52

31.41

Amount of waste at the end of the year (all Hazard Classes)

0

0.14

0.11

0.15

In general, waste generation volumes remained at the same level as in 2016. A slight reduction in the generation of drilling waste was due to a decreased drilling intensity at the LUN-A platform in comparison with the previous year.

The volume of waste transferred for disposal or treatment increased by 27% as a result of actions taken by the company to minimise waste generation, to segregate and to search for the most effective ways to recycle and treat waste. In 2017, the company resumed waste disposal at the landfills of the Sakhalin Oblast in accordance with the existing capacities.


8.1.4. Energy Production and Consumption

The company is striving to use energy resources efficiently, and this is stated in its policies, standards, and commitments on gas flaring and energy management.

Energy saving and efficiency improvement efforts are organised under the company’s Continuous Improvement programme (see Section 4.3. Continuous Improvement Programme).

The design of company’s assets incorporates the latest technological advances. All production assets use independent power supplies.

Natural gas has the biggest share in the energy mix of the company. Diesel fuel is used for backup, and low sulphur diesel is preferred. The power supply for the company’s infrastructure in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Korsakov comes from the public electrical grid, while the energy for heating is generated independently at the assets. Energy consumption balance is shown in the table below.

Energy Generated and Consumed in 2014–2017, million GJ

Parameter

2014

2015

2016

2017

Primary energy generated

864.92

846.85

868.06

910.28

Primary energy sold, incl.:

754.16

790.36

807.92

858.07

─    provided to Russian party

53.58

38.61

39.12

39.83

Primary energy consumed, incl.:

58.45

58.26

58.74

59.29

─    direct energy consumed*

56.59

56.45

56.95

57.49

─    primary energy purchased

1.86

1.81

1.79

1.80

Indirect energy purchased/consumed

0.12

0.11

0.12

0.12

* Generated from produced natural gas.

2017 energy consumption breakdown by activity is shown in the diagram. A slight growth in direct energy consumption is related to increased hydrocarbon and LNG production. However, there is a downward trend in energy intensity of all company’s activities, providing proof that energy is used efficiently.

Energy Consumption in 2017, by areas of activity, %



Sakhalin Energy’s assets have high energy efficiency compliant with relevant international standards. E.g. in 2016-2017, energy intensity of the company’s assets was at 0.64–0.68 GJ/t hydrocarbons produced. The data from the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers indicate that the average 2016 energy intensity among the international oil & gas companies was 1.4 GJ/t hydrocarbons produced.

Sakhalin Energy’s LNG plant remains the world leader in reliability, production performance and energy efficiency.


Energy Intensity in 2015–2017, by areas of activity

Activity

2015

2016

2017

Hydrocarbon production, GJ/t hydrocarbons produced

0.71

0.68

0.64

Hydrocarbon transportation, GJ/Kt-km

0.14

0.16

0.15

LNG production, GJ/t LNG produced

4.01

4.00

3.85

Sakhalin Energy’s LNG plant is the largest energy consumer in the company. The operational improvements and cryogenic heat exchanger modifications at the two liquefaction trains in 2015 and 2016 have enabled an increase of the installed production capacity. Another plant modification project was executed in 2017: wind screens installed around the air coolers of the LNG trains. This helped reduce the impact of hot air circulation caused by crosswind on the cooling process and enabled additional LNG production capacity improvement while energy consumption grew insignificantly.


8.1.5. Greenhouse Gas and Ozone-Depleting Substance Emissions

Russia signed the Paris Agreement in 2016. According to this agreement, each party defines its own contribution to global climate change prevention and takes internal measures to adapt to the changes and achieve the goals.

The company shares the concern about the global climate change problem and annually measures and controls GHG emissions. Emissions from both production and non-production assets of the company are taken into account, both direct and indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electric energy. Greenhouse gases include the following substances: carbon dioxide, methane, dinitrogen monoxide, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC).

In 2017, increased production of hydrocarbons and LNG resulted in a slight growth of greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is a tendency to a reduction in specific greenhouse gas emissions for all areas of the company's activities owing to measures taken to increase production efficiency.

 

GHG Emissions in 2014–2017, million t of СО2 equivalent

Parameter

2014

2015

2016

2017

Direct emissions (scope 1)

3.518

3.699

3.708

3.740

Indirect emissions (scope 2)

0.006

0.005

0.008

0.008

Total

3.524

3.705

3.716

3.748

GHG Emissions in 2017, by areas of activity, %



Specific Emissions of GHG in 2015–2017, by areas of activity

Parameter

2015

2016

2017

Hydrocarbon production, t СО2 eq./t of hydrocarbons produced

0.054

0.050

0.048

Hydrocarbon transportation, t СО2 eq./thousand t-km

0.008

0.010

0.009

LNG production, t СО2 eq./t of LNG produced

0.242

0.242

0.231

Structure of GHG Emission Sources in 2017, %



The company's assets use equipment (air conditioners, refrigerating equipment) containing ozone-depleting substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol. In 2017, the company continued to implement the action plan aimed at the gradual replacement of this equipment with new and cessation of using ozone-depleting substances (ODS) as required by the Protocol.

8.1.6. Utilisation of Associated Gas in Production

The company strives to reduce associated gas flaring to a minimum. Associated gas produced at the PA-A and PA-B platforms is transported via offshore pipelines to the shore. PA-A and PA-B gas is transported to the northern gas transfer terminal, and excess gas goes to OPF, where it is mixed with LUN-A gas for further transportation to the LNG plant and the Southern Gas Transfer Terminal. A part of the associated gas is used as fuel for production assets.

Currently, the company does not re-inject associated gas into the reservoir.

The company has included targets for associated gas utilisation in the Reservoir Management Plans for the PA-A, PA-B, and LUN-A platforms. The actual associated gas utilisation in 2017 was 97.0%.



 

Utilisation of Associated Gas during Production in 2017, %




8.1.7. Environmental Protection Costs and Payments for the Negative Impact

To comply with the international and Russian legislation requirements, Sakhalin Energy implements environmental conservation measures. The current cost of implementation in 2017 was 3,145 mln roubles.

The Sakhalin Energy environmental conservation activities are controlled by the state authorities at federal and regional levels, including:

  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation;
  • Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospoterbnadzor);
  • Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency;
  • Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor);
  • Amur Water Basin Committee of the Federal Water Resources Agency;
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Sakhalin Oblast.

In 2017, regional state control authorities conducted no inspections.

Payments for Adverse Environmental Impact in 2014–2017, thousand roubles

Parameter

2014

2015

2016

2017

Air emissions

11,516.884

4,931.253

987.595

898.409

Discharges into water bodies

166.208

91.602

29.045

72.008

Waste disposal

684.210

13,263.975

1475.297

180.882

Total

12,367.302

18,286.830

2,491,937

1,151.299

A significant decrease in the amounts of payments in 2015–2017 is due to the confirmation of the fact that no adverse impact is caused by the disposal of drilling waste in deep underground horizons, based on the results of environmental monitoring conducted by the company in the areas of waste disposal sites, as well as due to changes in legislation in 2017 regarding the exemption of users of natural resources from paying fees for the disposal of solid municipal waste at landfills.

The share of payments exceeding the standards in the total payment for the adverse impact was 36%, which was mainly due to the absence of disposal limits of Hazard Class 4–5 waste at the landfills, as well as the exceeding of discharge limits for some pollutants in the waste water from OPFC temporary treatment assets.

Current Environmental Costs in 2017, %



8.2. Environmental Monitoring and Biodiversity Conservation

The environmental monitoring and biodiversity conservation programmes are carried out to assess the condition and restoration of the environment in the areas of the company’s production assets, to identify signs of the current impact, and to develop actions to mitigate it, if necessary. The implementation of environmental monitoring in the potential impact zones during the operations phase ensures Sakhalin Energy's compliance with the requirements of the State Environmental Expertise for in-process environmental monitoring and local monitoring, while the implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) fulfils the company’s obligations with respect to impact mitigation, development and implementation of measures aimed at protecting both rare and endangered species and environmentally significant and vulnerable biotopes.

In 2017, the Biodiversity Working Expert Group of the Ecological Council under the Sakhalin Oblast Governor, founded on the initiative of the company in 2008, continued its activities. The organisation, which includes representatives of all oil and gas companies operating in Sakhalin, is currently developing the Business and Biodiversity concept in practice. In 2017, two sections were formed within the Biodiversity Working Expert Group in order to ensure the implementation of the Sakhalin Oblast Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. Their tasks are to protect marine mammals and the Sakhalin taimen respectively.

In 2017, specialised organisations were involved in environmental monitoring and biodiversity preservation activities, carried out in the following areas:

  • soil cover;
  • river ecosystems, including habitats, communities, and individual valuable and protected species;
  • flora and vegetation;
  • wetlands;
  • protected species of birds, including the Steller's sea eagle;
  • marine environment and biota in the area of impact from the company’s offshore production assets;
  • ballast water control in the Aniva Bay coastal area near the Prigorodnoye production complex;
  • gray whales and other protected species of marine mammals.

The results of the local environmental monitoring and biodiversity conservation measures have confirmed that the company is minimising the impact of its production activities on the environment through its environmental protection management system, which includes risk assessment, and prevention and prompt mitigation of identified risks.

8.2.1. Soil Monitoring

The system of regular soil monitoring allows identification of tendencies towards possible changes. The monitoring programme involves assessing, at certain intervals of time, the soil condition along the route of the onshore pipelines, at the infrastructure assets, and within the areas around the Prigorodnoye production complex and OPF.

Soil landscape monitoring includes:

  • obtaining data on physicochemical and agrochemical characteristics of soils;
  • analysing the content of pollutants in soils in the territories of the Prigorodnoye production complex and OPF.

In 2017, soil cover monitoring was carried out on the territory of the Prigorodnoye production complex and in its potential impact zone (Korsakov District), and in the area around Booster Station 2 (BS 2) (Poronaisk District).

The territory of the Prigorodnoye production complex is characterised by man-made gleic soil with heavy and dense particle-size distribution and occasional rubble, except for the natural meadow-bog soils in the floodplain of the Goluboy Stream. The analysis of soils for the content of a wide group of potential ecotoxicants shows that their condition is satisfactory. The values​ of petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals and detergents in the soils of the production complex are lower than those that are permissible (or indications in baseline soils) by several orders of magnitude, or are below the detection limit using standard methods.

The soils beyond the territory of the Prigorodnoye production complex (in the 4 km potential impact zone) are characterised by an increased content of organic matter for black bog soils, relatively low content for raised bog soils, and low content for brown forest soils.

The soils around BS 2 are acidic, with a low concentration of nitrogen and, in most areas, phosphorus. The high content of potassium is probably due to the proximity of the Sea of Okhotsk, whose salts are brought by the wind and penetrate the soil from the atmosphere (the so-called phenomenon of salt impulverisation).

The content of petroleum hydrocarbons as the main ecotoxicant in the soils (in the 0–25 cm layer) in the potential impact zone of the Prigorodnoye production complex and BS 2 was 26-319 mg/kg and 117-311 mg/kg respectively, which is considerably below the permissible level (1000 mg/kg). Benzo(a)pyrene, a key indicator of potential contamination, was not detected in the 0–25 cm layer at the monitoring sites around the Prigorodnoye production complex and BS 2.

The monitoring in 2017 did not reveal any land contaminated with oil and petroleum products as a result of work in the territories of the company's assets.

At the end of 2017, the area of​disturbed land was 74.12 ha, including 15.78 ha disturbed during 2017 in connection with the preparatory and exploratory work as part of the development projects.

8.2.2. River Ecosystems Monitoring

During the implementation of the Sakhalin-2 project, the river crossing of more than a thousand water bodies located in the area from Chayvo Bay in the north to Aniva Bay in the south were completed.

While preparing for work execution and during the construction, the company conducted baseline studies and operational monitoring of all crossing areas of water bodies. For the operations phase, a comprehensive observation programme was developed to monitor the most environmentally significant and hydrographically complex water bodies, which allows the company to monitor any changes, to identify critical areas, to develop and take timely corrective measures.

River ecosystem monitoring comprises several areas: the monitoring of the quality of surface waters and bottom sediments, the monitoring of benthos, and the monitoring of the ichthyocomplexes in the model watercourses. The monitoring of river ecosystems quality primarily recognises the nature and specifics of potential impact on the aquatic ecosystems during the operation of pipeline and infrastructure facilities operation. In addition, the monitoring allows to identify the possible reverse impact from natural factors on the infrastructure assets within the Sakhalin-2 project.

The monitoring of river ecosystems includes:

  • determination of hydrological and hydrochemical characteristics of streams;
  • assessment of bottom sediment condition in river beds;
  • identification of hydromorphological changes (river bed and bank erosion in the areas of pipeline route crossings);
  • assessment of benthic community and abundance (ground species);
  • assessment of area and quality of potential Pacific salmon spawning areas;
  • assessment of ichthyocomplexes in model watercourse.

In 2017, the monitoring of hydrological and hydrochemical characteristics and condition of bottom sediments was implemented at 24 water bodies crossed by the pipelines, as well as in the area of potential impact from OPF at the Vatung River, and in the area of the Prigorodnoye production complex at the Mereya River and the Goluboy Stream. In the course of work under the special programme, at the request of oversight bodies, a study was conducted of the Nabil River (with a nameless tributary) and the Nayba River, whose under-river crossings were performed using the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method.

Monitoring was performed during three hydrological seasons: spring floods, summer low water, and autumn high water. Sampling was carried out at two cross sections—the upstream baseline (with no impact from the company’s infrastructure assets) and downstream monitoring sections.

On most investigated river-crossing sites (from the upstream to the downstream cross sections) no significant horizontal or vertical deformations of river beds were found. The crossings are in satisfactory condition, and no damage to utility lines was found. Additional surveys were conducted at the sites where river bed deformations had been detected, in order to draw up design documentation for future repairs.

The physicochemical properties of surface water met the regulatory criteria in all periods of the monitoring. The physical and chemical properties of the surface water at the upstream and downstream cross sections of each watercourse changed equally, and had similar quantitative and qualitative characteristics.

Seasonal variations in concentrations were observed for suspended substances. In the autumn period, the amount of suspended matter was higher than in summer, both for the upper and lower cross sections of the watercourses. The oxygen regime of the surface water was within the standard limits during all monitoring periods. The exception was the Gornaya River, where the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the autumn period was the lowest — 2.7 mg/dm3 at both cross sections.

Of all the biogenic substances analysed (ammonium ions, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates), the content of nitrates varied most significantly: their values were higher in autumn than in summer. During the entire monitoring period, the highest concentration of nitrates was recorded in the Tikhaya River in the autumn period.

None of the monitored watercourses contained readily oxidizable organic matter specified by the BOD5 index.

Of all the studied metals, concentrations of iron and copper showed the highest variability. In most of the watercourses, the content of these metals exceeded the corresponding MAC standards. Elevated concentrations of iron and copper is a natural phenomenon, characteristic of the surface waters in Sakhalin.

The monitoring did not reveal surface water contamination with oil products. All measurement values were insignificant and in line with MAC standards. The highest concentration of petroleum products (0.074 mg/dm3) was recorded at the upper (baseline) section of the Seredka River in the summer period.

The content of petroleum products in bottom sediments did not significantly change from season to season. The measurements of their concentrations made at the upper sections were the same as those made at the lower ones.

The particle size distribution of bottom sediments in all of the watercourses was heterogeneous in all seasons and was mainly dominated by the particles with a diameter of 10 mm and more. The share of these particles in the summer and autumn periods was more than 50% of the total mass.

Benthos monitoring studies in streams continued in 2017. The analysis of habitat conditions (such as bed type, current speed, sediment type, depth), quantitative and qualitative indices of macrozoobenthos showed that the variability of the composition, state and structure of bed communities between the baseline and control sections of the watercourses under study is due to natural variability, in particular the heterogeneity of biotopes and hydrologic-hydrochemical indicators at monitoring stations.

In 2017, ichthyological studies were carried out in the Val River basin. In the course of the work, 29 stations were completed in the main channel, 8 — in the tributaries of the river, and 2 — in the adjoining lakes. In total, 19 species of fish from nine families were identified in the Val River, watercourses and reservoirs in its basin. The family of salmonids was represented by the largest number of species: all four species of the Pacific salmon (genus Oncorhynchus) reproducing in the rivers of Sakhalin, three species of the Arctic salmon of the genus Salvelinus, and the Sakhalin taimen. The family of cyprinids was represented by four species; the remaining families were represented by one species each. The habitat of large specimens of the Sakhalin taimen in the Val River in the feeding period is limited by the main river bed in its upper reaches, where there are suitable biotopes for it: relatively deep areas with a large number of shelters and absence of fishing pressure on the part of amateur fishermen and poachers. The juveniles adhere to the middle course of the river, where they reside on long stretches and pits with aquatic vegetation. When comparing the results of the studies carried out in 2011–2017, it was found that the number of the Sakhalin taimen had been declining in all the monitored watercourses. If the current trend persists, this species will soon be under the threat of extinction.

As the projected number of humpbacked salmon in 2017 was low, commercial fishing in Aniva Bay was not carried out. Despite the total ban on fishing, the number of spawners in all the rivers flowing into Aniva Bay was the lowest since the beginning of monitoring in the 1960s and, according to preliminary estimates, did not exceed 3% of the optimal filling of spawning grounds. In 2015, this value was not high either, and was estimated at 5%. However, spawners coming to Goluboy Stream was in line with average perennial values.

For most of 2017 the estuary zone of the Goluboy Stream was filled with sand deposits as a result of heavy storms, which in turn served as an additional obstacle to the passage of spawners from sea water into the stream. In 2017, the filling of the spawning area in the Goluboy Stream was estimated as “occasional”, which, in general, corresponds to the average filling of rivers flowing into Aniva Bay. During the monitoring, no spawning tubercles or other traces of spawning were found in the Goluboy Stream. According to the data obtained in the other watercourses flowing into the Bay, the time of spawning migrations of hunchback salmon spawners was close to the average value for the rivers of Tonino-Anivsky Peninsula.

The outcomes of the River Ecosystems Monitoring in 2017 did not reveal any impact of the Sakhalin Energy assets on the quality of surface waters, their flora and fauna.

8.2.3. Flora and Vegetation Monitoring

Sakhalin Energy implements the Environmental Monitoring programme for vegetation cover, which allows assessing the current vegetation condition and timely respond to any adverse environmental impacts from the operating assets.

The Monitoring programme includes the following objectives:

  • to control the condition of vegetation on the areas adjacent to the company’s assets;
  • to evaluate and forecast natural and man-induced changes/successions in the plant communities;
  • to control the state of rare and protected species of plants, lichens, and mushrooms;
  • to control the restoration of vegetation within the rights-of-way and generate recommendations for additional works required in some areas.

In 2017, vegetation monitoring was conducted in the area of the Prigorodnoye production complex, along the onshore pipelines, and around OPF at a distance of 6 km from Lunsky Bay.

The monitoring results show that the species composition at the sample sites around the production assets is stable. Insignificant variations in the number of trees in certain areas are due to natural causes, such as death of old trees and undergrowth ageing. The subordinate layers, i.e., shrub and grass-shrub, are in good condition. The species composition of layers at all the sample sites surveyed has not changed. The natural habitat of Sakhalin Ephippianthus (a protected species), located south-west of OPF, has not been violated.

The vegetation cover along the onshore pipelines in the northern and central parts is preserved in good condition. In 2015–2016, considerable areas of larch forests along the right-of-way in the Korsakov District, which is in the southern part of the pipelines, were exposed to the windfall reaching as far as 100 m into the forest. As a result, the habitats of a number of protected species such as the Japanese angelica tree, the spikenard, and the butterfly orchid were disturbed. At the same time, the plants of the protected species successfully vegetated, and no external signs of oppression were identified. The shrub and grass-shrub layers in these areas remain in good condition.

The company has developed and is currently implementing measures to conserve the undergrowth of woody plants on the border of the right-of-way in order to mitigate the effects of marginal impacts.

The vegetation cover at most sites around the Prigorodnoye production complex remains unchanged. The minor fluctuations in the number of trees are due to natural causes. The habitats of 11 protected species in these areas have not been violated. Marked traces of windfall were identified in the area of dark coniferous forest adjacent to the power line north-east of the production complex. Damage had been made to the areas of protected species such as epiphytic lichens, namely menegazzia terebrata and lobaria pulmonaria. The species composition of the shrub and grass-shrub layers in these areas remains unchanged.

Some epiphytic lichens in the area of potential impact of the company assets are still affected to a certain degree by the change in the microclimatic conditions (stronger lighting and wind, dusting caused by soil denudation), which occurred during the construction of the company assets. On the other hand, almost all of the sample sites showed sprouts of thalluses, which suggests the restoration of the lichen cover.

More than 85% of the surveyed sites on the right-of-way showed good growth of vegetation, which forms a dense grass canopy on many of them. Individual lightly overgrown areas still persist on steep slopes and in some areas in the northern districts of the island, which is due to the lack of fertility on sandy and clay soils. Despite this, even these areas show positive dynamics: vegetation is gradually reinstated on the right-of-way.

8.2.4. Wetlands Monitoring

Wetlands are especially important and vulnerable ecosystems of Sakhalin Island. Their importance is due to their water protecting and water regulating features. The Sakhalin-2 pipelines cross about 200 boggy areas (including peat bogs), almost half of which are represented by sparse birch and larch, as well as alder and larch woodlands. Sakhalin Energy regularly monitors the restoration of natural bog vegetation in the potential pipeline impact zone. This approach is due to the risks of possible violation of the hydrological regime, draining or swamping of the territory, irreversible transformation of the bog lands, and reduced water inflow into rivers and streams.

The objectives of the Wetlands Recovery Monitoring programme, which is implemented by the company, include:

  • to monitor wetlands recovery processes within the right-of-way and adjacent areas after the construction;
  • to monitor the condition of vegetation and soil cover in the adjacent areas;
  • to assess all potential adverse impacts on wetlands resulting from onshore pipeline operations;
  • to develop impact mitigation measures.

In 2017, 22 wetland areas were surveyed along the entire pipeline route. The surveyed areas belong to the category of acid bogs characterised by poor mineral nourishment of peat soils, acidic environment, and a peculiar plant species composition. Particular attention is given to the species composition of the vegetation so that it will be possible to identify, in a timely manner, cases of invasive species on the right-of-way.

It has been noted that the degree of grass cover reinstatement on the right-of-way is good. Recovery of natural wetland ecosystems can be observed on the right-of-way in 14 wetland areas, which account for 63% of the territory. In other areas, vegetation is further reinstated with species typical for the vegetation cover of adjacent wetlands, as well as species not typical of these ecosystems. This process is characteristic of the initial stages of disturbed vegetation recovery. In some areas of the right-of-way, recovery of moss, lichen, and shrub covers is observed. For some parts of the right-of-way, actions were developed to normalise the hydrological regime of adjacent wetland ecosystems.

The natural habitat of Pogonia Japonica (a protected plant species) is not violated, and the plants are in good condition. The 2017 monitoring season did not identify any aggressive invasive species on the right-of-way at the crossings of wetland ecosystems.

Generally, monitoring of the wetlands in the right-of-way shows that their recovery goes with slow but sustainable pace.

8.2.5. Monitoring of Protected Bird Species

During the pre-construction stage of the Sakhalin-2 project, a detailed study of the bird species was conducted along the entire projected pipeline, which made it possible to identify key areas with a high diversity of rare and protected bird species, which are the indicator objects of monitoring. Based on these data in 2017, routine monitoring of rare bird species included in the Red Books of Russia and the Sakhalin Oblast Red Books was carried out at five sections of the overland pipeline with a total length of 219 km, and around OPF in a radius of up to 4 km.

The study covered areas from the south to the north in the Dolinsk, Makarov, Tymovsk and Nogliki Districts. In accordance with the research guidelines, the surveys were carried out in the nesting period (May and June), when the birds are easiest to notice. As a result of route surveys, 932 individuals of 23 rare bird species were observed along the pipelines. In the process of the study, a number of factors were assessed, such as the state of their habitats, long-term population dynamics, species composition and abundance, distribution over the territory, and demographic parameters. Thus, 12 species of birds were recorded at the monitoring site in the Dolinsk District, 8 species — in the Makarov and Tymovsk Districts each, 8 and 9 species — on two sites in the Nogliki District respectively. In all the years of the monitoring programme, a total of 43 rare and protected bird species have been identified along the pipeline route. For the purposes of the study, the Japanese snipe, the mandarin duck, the cinnamon sparrow, the rustic bunting, the Siberian spruce grouse, the Japanese quail, the hobby falcon, owls, and sea eagles were selected as key monitoring species. Of the rare migratory species, in 2017 the buff-backed heron was observed in the northern part of the pipelines for the first time during the monitoring programme, and two Japanese white-eyes were identified in the Dolinsk District.

The monitoring of the Japanese snipe has shown that its number continues to grow in the southern and central parts of the island. The meadow vegetation on the reclaimed right-of-way provided additional nesting opportunities for this species. The settlement of the Japanese snipe in the north of the island (Nogliki District), registered in previous years, was confirmed in 2017.

The number of golden bunting in the vicinity of the pipelines in Tymovskaya Valley remains at the level of 1–8 pairs; 7 breeding pairs were identified in 2017. This site is also the nestling area of the Japanese quail. The cinnamon sparrow and the mandarin duck are regularly encountered at the sites in the Makarov and Dolinsk Districts. Nesting pairs of the rustic bunting with reduced numbers across all geographical range were registered at the two sites in the Nogliki District. The settlement of the Siberian spruce grouse remains stable along the pipeline segment near the Vazi River.

In the area near OPF, such species as the hawk owl and the northern pygmy-owl have been noted to reside. The numbers of owls corresponded to the natural population dynamics. The monitoring of the Siberian spruce grouse and rare owls around OPF showed that the territorial distribution of the species remains the same as in the previous years. According to the results of long-term monitoring until 2014, inter-annual fluctuations in the number of the Siberian spruce grouse (2.2–2.4 pairs per 1 km2) were insignificant, while the observation in 2016 shows a decrease in the abundance of the species to 1.6–1.8 pairs per 1 km2. This may have been caused by the fact that the birds were deprived of several lek areas as a result of linear facilities construction by an outside organisation through the habitat of this species.

The results of the 2017 monitoring show that the operation of the Sakhalin Energy production assets had no adverse impact from company’s assets on the protected bird species.

8.2.6. Steller's Sea Eagle Monitoring

Steller's Sea Eagle is the world's largest fish-eating bird of prey. It is endemic to the Russian Far East and has a localised habitat and small population. This species is listed in the Red Books of different levels: International Union of Conservation of Nature, Russia (IUCN), and Sakhalin Oblast. This determines the need to develop and implement special protection measures within the framework of the Sakhalin-2 project.

The main objective of the programme for monitoring Steller’s sea eagle populations in the north-eastern Sakhalin is to obtain reliable data on the key factors influencing the long-term dynamics of the population of the indicator species (Steller’s sea eagles and white-tailed eagles) within the control zone and the potential project impact zone. The human-induced impact and efficiency of measures to mitigate it are assessed based on comparative analysis of the above data.

Monitoring is conducted in Nogliki District within the 2 km corridor along the onshore pipelines route, within the 3 km zone around OPF boundaries, and in the control zone at a distance of up to 2 km from the northern part of Lunsky Bay shoreline.

During the field study of 2017, 185 nests were inspected and their status was determined; two individuals of the white-tailed eagle and 106 individuals of Steller’s sea eagle were identified. It was also revealed that in 2017 eagles bred in 15 nests located just a few dozen metres from the pipelines: there were 2 chicks per nest in 9 nests, and 1 chick per nest in another four. This indicates the effectiveness of the measures taken to mitigate the impact and suggests that the species can adapt to living in proximity to man. Two nests were ruined by bears, and the chicks died. All in all, 22 chicks flew the nests in the area near​the infrastructure facilities.

In the control zone, 3 of the 11 active nests were ravaged by bears. In 3 nests, there were 2 chicks per nest, and in 5 nests — 1 chick per nest. A total of 11 chicks flew the nests. The average size of the brood in the monitored area near the pipelines was 1.7 chicks, and in the control zone — 1.4 chicks.

In 2017, like in previous years, birds did not attempt to breed in the area surrounding OPF, which is due to the remoteness from feed areas and unoccupied breeding grounds near the coast.

The condition of the nesting pool of Steller’s sea eagles and white-tailed eagles in the impact zone, as well as in the northern part of the Lunsky Bay (control zone), can be characterised as good and satisfactory. These nests account for: 66% of all nests located in the pipeline impact area, and 74% of all nests in the control zone near Lunsky Bay. In the OPF impact area, 50% of all nests are either in good or in satisfactory condition.

The analysis of variations in nesting site occupancy in the control zone and the pipeline impact area in 2004–2017 indicates a continuing downward trend in the number of nesting (breeding) eagle pairs, which is probably typical of the whole population of eagles inhabiting the north-eastern coast of Sakhalin, and is not a specific feature of the territory under consideration.

8.2.7. Marine Environment and Biota Monitoring

In 2017, the company continued annual expedition surveys under the comprehensive regular marine environment monitoring programme in the areas of potential impact of the Sakhalin-2 offshore production assets.

Survey findings were received for the PA-A, PA-B, and LUN-A offshore platforms areas, the wellheads of abandoned exploration wells and subsurface assets for drilling waste in the Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye fields, as well as the oil export terminal and the LNG loading jetty in the port of Prigorodnoye in Aniva Bay.

Based on the comparative analysis of the 2017 survey results and the long-term data, the following conclusions were made about the current state of the marine environment and biota in the zone of potential impact of production assets.

  • The stable state of the marine biota communities (benthos, plankton) and their favourable habitat is confirmed by the presence of dominant species typical for these waters, rich species diversity with high biomass indicators, and the number of species that correspond to the baseline values.
  • Benthic communities are characterised by high natural variability of quantitative and qualitative indicators. Their distribution is not related to the location of production assets, but is instead determined by the type of bottom sediments. As it was established, there is no decrease in biomass or change in the dominant species relative to the distance from the facilities. Both in the vicinity of the facilities and in the baseline areas, the structure of benthos included several characteristic faunal groups — sea urchins, bivalves, polychaete worms, and crustaceans.
  • Hydrochemical characteristics of the water near offshore production assets, including pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, phenols and detergents, were within the baseline value range for these sea areas and complied with the standards established for water bodies extensively used for commercial fishery.
  • Concentrations of chemicals (phenols, detergents, petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals) in bottom sediments were distributed unevenly due to the specific geological features of the region and the distribution of different types of soil. Overall, concentrations of pollutants in bottom sediments varied within baseline ranges typical for these offshore areas and were mainly lower than the values causing initial biological effects at the organism and marine ecosystem community levels.
  • There was no occurrence of petroleum hydrocarbons and methane near the wellheads of abandoned exploration wells.
  • Baseline concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in the near-bottom layer and bottom sediments at the boundaries of drilling waste disposal did not exceed the established limits. The structure of benthic communities corresponded to the long-term values.

Overall, the 2017 data indicate that environmental standards are observed at the company project assets, and operational activities do not affect the quality of sea water, bottom sediments, and the condition of marine biota inhabiting the offshore field areas of the water areas of Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye fields of north-eastern shelf of Sakhalin Island, as well as the areas of the port Prigorodnoye in Aniva Bay.

8.2.8. Ballast Water Control

Every year, over 200 standard oil and LNG cargoes have been loaded to oil and gas tankers arriving to the Prigorodnoye asset mainly from the ports of Asia Pacific Region.

The ballast water taken at the port of departure may contain dangerous marine invasive (alien to the local environment) organisms, which, under favourable conditions, can adapt to the local environment, and dangerous aggressive invasive species able to disturb the balance of the ecosystem of Aniva Bay.

Sakhalin Energy has developed a package of preventive measures to ensure ballast water management, which is based on international and national regulations and best international practices. Currently one of the most effective measures to prevent the introduction of alien species is the exchange of ballast water on the high seas. This method is imperative in accordance with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (Convention), which was adopted in 204. This requirement was enshrined in the corporate Ballast Water Management Policy in 2009 prior to start of large scale hydrocarbons transportation. Russian Federation ratified the Convention in 2012, and since September 2017 ballast water of ships shall be controlled by all the countries and carriers according to the Convention.

The ballast water monitoring and control of each tanker to be loaded in Prigorodnoye port includes:

  • checking vessels’ logbooks for ballast water exchange in deep waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan;
  • express analysis of physicochemical characteristics of ballast water.
  • planktonic organisms sampling.

A vessel is only allowed to commence discharging ballast water in the area of the port and loading of hydrocarbons when exchange of ballast water is confirmed. In addition to this, environmental, taxonomic and biogeographic analysis of organisms found in ballast tanks is carried out.

The research results indicate that regardless from occasional finding some species not common to Aniva Bay, any dangerous invasive species in ballast water of ships calling at Prigorodnoye port are absent.

The effectiveness of preventive control measures is proven by results of annual offshore environmental monitoring of the flora and fauna of Aniva bay. Plankton samples are taken every month from April through November; bottom species are sampled in autumn.

As a result of long-term monitoring, scientists have obtained new data on the flora and fauna of Aniva Bay. There have been over 600 species of phytoplankton, over 90 forms of zooplankton, about 40 species of ichthyoplankton and 160 species of benthos identified. Also recorded are new species of seaweed and animals which were never recorded in Aniva Bay, but are local inhabitants in view of biogeographic and environmental characteristics.

No protected species of flora and fauna have been observed during the environmental monitoring of water area of Prigorodnoye port.

8.2.9.Gray Whale Monitoring

Gray whales arriving at the shores of Sakhalin for feeding have a high conservation status in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and the IUCN Red List. This species forms feeding aggregations in the area off the north-eastern coast of the island in the immediate vicinity of Sakhalin Energy's offshore production assets. In this regard, the company pays much attention to the monitoring and conservation of gray whales. Other protected cetaceans such as the bowhead whale, the North Pacific right whale, the fin whale, the Curvier’s beaked whale, the harbour porpoise, as well as pinnipeds such as the Steller sea lion can also be observed in the vicinity of the company’s offshore assets. In accordance with the Marine mammals protection plan, the company takes into consideration risks from industrial activities and takes timely measures to mitigate such risks with regards not only for endangered species, but for all marine inhabitants. In 2017 Sakhalin Energy in close cooperation with Sakhalin-1 operator continued implementing the Integrated Monitoring programme near the north-eastern coast of Sakhalin Island. During the photographic identification of gray whales, new research methods that provide for the use of modern technical means such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, were applied during the field work. Owing to these methods, high-quality photos were obtained, which helped to identify important body parts of whales. The use of drones provides ample opportunities to study the natural behaviour of whales, to make a more accurate estimate of their number in groups, and to determine mother-calf pairs. An important advantage of using drones is the possibility to record animals at a close range without disturbing them.

Following the 2017 field season, 9 calves were identified. Updates have been made to the Sakhalin photo catalogue, where the total number of registered individual whales has now increased to 283 individuals.

In addition to field studies, considerable efforts were made to make an interdisciplinary, multicomponent analysis of the data collected over the past years, and to prepare publications about research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The Monitoring programme is currently the main source of new knowledge about gray whales arriving to the coastal waters of Sakhalin Island for feeding. Much factual data on the biology and ecology of this unique species of marine mammals has been collected over the period of the programme. It vividly shows that the distribution of whales in feeding areas did not vary significantly during the whole period of the study; the number of individuals in the aggregation is increasing, and its reproduction rate is stable. A study was conducted to research the composition, distribution and variability of the communities of gray whale food organisms. In addition, data on the variation of natural and anthropogenic noises in feeding areas was obtained and then used to ensure that production noises do not exceed safe levels. Satellite tagging and comparison of photo catalogues made it possible to prove that ‘Sakhalin’ or ‘western’ gray whales migrate to the breeding grounds of the ‘eastern’ aggregation, which is also confirmed by the data of genetic studies. The findings of the study showed the need for a scientific reassessment of the historically defined general population structure of the Pacific gray whales.

The long-term monitoring clearly demonstrates the successful coexistence of the companies’ production facilities and the gray whales feeding aggregation in the waters of the north-eastern Sakhalin and confirms the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

8.3. Pipeline Right-of-Way Maintenance

Currently, regular monitoring and geotechnical surveys are in place on RoW. Their results are recorded in order to have relevant actions taken.

The list of RoW monitoring actions for 2017 included:

  • helicopter fly-overs and photoshooting;
  • river crossing surveys;
  • river surveys based on geomatics principles;
  • monitoring of river hydrological characteristics;
  • surveys of geological hazards, cover thickness;
  • plant growth and soil local monitoring;
  • groundwater surveys;
  • satellite surveys of the pipeline RoW;
  • boggy areas surveys.

Based on outcomes of RoW monitoring, a RoW maintenance plan has been developed.

Repair and maintenance of the RoW were completed in December 2017, as planned. Work was performed at 3 plots and included eliminating the consequences of natural erosion as well as repairing existing anti-erosion structures.

No pipeline damage occurred in 2017.

For two water crossings and one landslide which became active a special subcontractor completed bank protection repair and right-of-way stabilisation. Under 2017 programme activities design engineers completed required surveying and started to develop plans to mitigate the impact of landslides. It is planned to finalise in 2018 landslide mitigation activities started in 2017 and stabilising activities on new landslide site, as well as repair of two existing bank protection sites.

8.4. Oil Spill Prevention and Response Preparedness

8.4.1. General Information

Oil spill prevention and oil spill response (OSR) preparedness are the top priorities for Sakhalin Energy. The company applies a complex approach to addressing this important mission.

The company has established a Crisis Management Team and an Emergency Coordination Team that are on duty 24/7 to coordinate the response in emergency situations.

The company has developed the OSR Plans for all onshore and offshore assets, all necessary approvals and expertise were obtained from appropriate State Agencies.

The company has concluded contracts for OSR services to be provided by the professional emergency response teams of CREO, Ecoshelf and Sakhalin branch of the Rosmorrechflot Offshore Rescue Service for offshore assets.

Also, own certified Non-Professional Emergency Response Teams (NERTs) have been established at Sakhalin Energy production assets.

The OSR vessels are continuously on standby near the offshore platforms and in Prigorodnoye port, having OSR equipment.

The number and volume of oil spills have decreased significantly in recent years, with only 24 emergency oil spills totalling 118.5 litres reported between 2010 and 2017 versus 21 emergency spills releasing 3504.46 litres of oil in 2008−2009.

In 2017, there was no crude oil and/or petroleum products spill from the company’s assets. The total hydrocarbons produced is over 496 MMbbl in 1999−2017, the total hydrocarbons spilled is 26.5 bbl, that is less than 0.000006%.

None of the project-to-date crude oil and/or petroleum product spills from the company’s assets can be defined as an “emergency situation”.

Global practices of providing response to large-scale emergencies have proven that an effective response to major oil spills is possible subject to an integrated application of mechanical and non-mechanical technologies. Namely, using dispersants and burning allow significantly mitigating the environmental damage, reducing the time to be spent on oil spill response, and rescuing unique wildlife species. Sakhalin Energy has conducted surveys that allow the company together with mechanical method of responding to emergency oil spills to use dispersants and burning in emergencies.

All basic Incident Command members receive Level I and II OSR programme as well as Level I (ICS-100) and II (ICS-200) Incident Command System training. Level I of the programme is basic and is designed for regular rescuers and emergency responders, while Level II is designed for training supervisors, team leaders, and oil spill responders. Key Incident Command members completed Level III training for Asset Managers, Department Heads, Crisis Managers, and ER Coordinators. They are issued Level III Incident Command System (ICS-300) certificates.

In order to increase the personnel’s OSR level and improve their practical skills, the company regularly conducts practical and theoretical training sessions, drills and exercises of various levels, including periodic corporate exercises.

An integrated emergency oil spill response drill took place in Piltun-Astokhskoye field and Prigorodnoye production complex in June and August 2017.

According to observers, the company and contractors acted in a well-coordinated and effective manner during the drill. The objectives of the drill were fully realised. As a follow-up to the drill, recommendations were developed and appropriate measures were taken to improve the OSR systems. The analysis of the drills and exercises conducted by the company showed it to be fully prepared to respond in the event of an emergency oil spill, whether offshore or onshore.

8.4.2. Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation

Oil spills can cause serious harm to coastal and marine fauna. Coastal bays and lagoons temporarily or permanently inhabited by birds and other wildlife species, many of which are protected species, as well as rivers and wetlands, are especially vulnerable to oil spills. Animals affected by the impact of crude oil and petroleum products need prompt and proper rescue actions, including capturing, rehabilitation, and subsequent release into the wild. This task can be carried out only by properly trained staff.

In keeping with its commitment to biodiversity preservation and in line with the international best practices, Sakhalin Energy has been training personnel under the Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation programme since 2005.

The programme was developed in cooperation with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the International Bird Rescue Research Centre (IBRRC), taking into account Sakhalin’s ornithologic fauna and severe climate. The programme provides for the participation of all employees of the company and contractors, involved in oil spill response.

In addition to oil spill response plans, a number of corporate documents were developed as part of the programme, the main one being the Oiled Wildlife Response Plan, which identifies the necessary resources and procedures for coordinating actions between corporate units and external entities.

Since 2011, the first in Russia and the only one in Pacific Region Sakhalin’s rehabilitation centre for oiled wild animals has been operating in the territory of the Prigorodnoye production complex.

To implement the programme, the company installed specialised equipment in the central and northern parts of the island, at OPF near Lunsky Bay, and at the pipeline maintenance depot (PMD) in Gastello.

As part of the programme, one of the regular large-scale training courses was held in October 2017. It was attended by 29 people from 10 organisations, who had an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and practise skills of repelling, capturing, cleaning, and subsequent rehabilitation of birds. This time, employees of other oil and gas companies operating in the region, representatives of government agencies, veterinary services and non-profit organisations joined in the training.

All in all, more than 300 people from 25 organisations operating in Sakhalin have been trained through the programme over the years. Trainings in repelling, capturing and rehabilitating oiled animals have also become an integral part of Sakhalin Energy’s corporate culture.

In December 2017, Sakhalin Energy took the first place at the People Investor 2017: Responsible Investment forum in the Environmental Efficiency category for its oiled animals rescue programme.

8.5. Sanitary Protection and Safety Zones

To ensure the safety of the population and according to Federal Law No. 52-ФЗ On the Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare of the Population of 30 March 1999, a special-use area, i.e. a sanitary protection zone (SPZ), was established around assets and production sites that may impact human habitat and health. The size of such a zone is set to mitigate the impact of pollution on the atmosphere, keeping it in line with health standards and acceptable health risk levels.

The sanitary protection zone boundaries confirmed by the Chief State Medical Officer of the Russian Federation for the Prigorodnoye production complex, OPF, and BS 2 were not changed in 2017.

The onshore main pipelines run in the same right-of-way and are clearly designated with special signs. A safety zone is established along the entire pipeline route and its boundaries are clearly marked with signs.

A safety zone was established for the main pipelines to prevent any possible damage to them.

This zone is mandated by the Rules for Main Pipelines Protection, approved by Ruling No. 9 of Gosgortekhnadzor (currently, Rostekhnadzor, the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological, and Nuclear Supervision) of the Russian Federation, dated 22 April 1992. The safety zone along the pipelines transporting oil and natural gas is a strip of land extending 25 m on either side of the pipeline.

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