Environment

Overall objective: To protect the environment and conserve biodiversity

We recognise the potential impacts of our business on the environment. Our Health, Safety and Environment Policy sets out our commitment to conduct all business activities in a responsible manner. In setting our CR priorities, our objective is to protect the environment and conserve biodiversity. In 2018 key issues in this area included those related to: Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Effluents and Waste and Biodiversity.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (“GHGs”)

GHGs associated with energy use and with flaring are a key area of potential impact.

In 2018, we continued to monitor our emissions and disclose them in accordance with industry requirements and standards and participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (“CDP”).

GHGs reported

SOCO counts emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), all of which are produced during consumption. For simplicity, the results of all three have been reported as a single parameter – carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The other three greenhouse gases categorised under Section 92 of the UK Climate Change Act, hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorcarbons (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), are not closely associated with the petroleum industry. The total emission of these gases is therefore expected to be small and has not been calculated.

Emissions scope

Reported Scope One direct emissions comprise direct GHG releases from combustion activities (for example, gas flaring operations and fuel gas/diesel use to generate power or for vehicle use). Reported Scope Two indirect emissions comprise those arising from generation of electricity supplied by the national grid in the UK and Congo (Brazzaville). No Scope Three emissions (indirect emissions created in the value chain) are reported.

Reporting boundary

SOCO reports GHG emissions from its operated projects, joint operated projects and associated corporate/administrative activities on an overall and equity share basis. The former is the total emissions generated by those projects. The latter is calculated pro-rata to SOCO’s ownership and interest (equity share). Verified emissions from 2013, reported in 2014, form the base year against which emission trends over time are reported.

Methodology

SOCO applies the expectations set by the ISO 14064-1 standards in terms of Relevance, Completeness, Consistency, Transparency and Accuracy which are endorsed by IPIECA and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative and the Part 7 of The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. Emission factors for GHG calculations were taken from UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting (BEIS, 2018) and EEMS, 2008, Atmospheric Emissions Calculations; and for the calculation of fuel gas consumed and flared in Vietnam, the emission factors were calculated based on the carbon content of gas analysed at TGT field (TGT, 2014) and CNV field (Vietnam Petroleum Institute, 2016).

CO2 equivalent is based on the 100-year Global Warming Potential of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) emitted. Factors used are those of the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

For 2018 we have used the normalised figure to be tonnes of GHG per 1,000 tonnes of oil produced by equity share in order to align with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (“IOGP”) benchmarks.

Key sources of our emissions are from the gas fuel used to generate power on our offshore production sites and for flaring in Vietnam. The level of CO2e emissions for 2018 represents a 12.5% increase against the overall emissions reported in 2017 and a 12.5% increase of those attributable to SOCO, based on their equity share. There has been no operational activity in Congo (Brazzaville) this year, emissions in Vietnam have increased in particular due to compressor issues at TGT in Block 16-1.

During 2018, an increase in flaring occurred in Vietnam due to inefficiencies in the gas compressors located on the FPSO on TGT. Tests have identified an increase in low specific gravity gas being produced primarily by a third party well, that access the FPSO through the TIA.

Tests continue and the results are being used to design the most effective solution to both reduce the current flaring to previous levels and to minimise future compressor outages. Engineering studies have commenced to develop a solution and reduce the flaring.

In 2018, 29 tonnes were flared for every 1,000 tonnes of production on a gross basis (not equity share adjusted).

Activity data pertaining to GHG emissions by the HLHVJOC is reported to SOCO. RPS Energy assisted with data collation and GHG emissions calculations. Verification was undertaken by a different division of RPS (RPS Planning and Development) which has maintained appropriate independence from SOCO and RPS Energy during verification using its established approach to conflict of interest management.

Energy use from grid electricity was 100,638 kWh in 2018. SOCO’s 2015 Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (“ESOS”) Audit in compliance with the UK ESOS Regulations 2014 remains valid and SOCO has arrangements in place to meet the new 2019 ESOS deadline.

Effluents and waste

In 2018 we maintained our record of zero oil and chemical spills throughout our operations.

Water is extracted offshore when we extract oil and gas. In Vietnam, the (produced) water is separated and cleaned and discharged to the sea. In 2018 we had 4,928,679 cubic metres of produced water. In Vietnam, the produced water oil content average over 12 months was 31.45 ppm in Block 16-1 and 31.95 ppm in Block 9-2. We meet or exceed national standards and seek to use our influence to ensure alignment with international standards.

Waste is generated from offshore drilling including cuttings, used oil and other materials. We work to recycle as much non-hazardous waste as possible. We have a third party contract for the disposal of hazardous waste, with a reporting system into the specific Vietnamese authorities for checking, audit, and approval.

Some freshwater is used in operations. In 2018 this amounted to 23,209 cubic metres. It is used to provide potable water supporting operations.

Biodiversity

Our Biodiversity and Conservation Policy commits us to meet the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992). We identify whether a project is located in modified, natural or critical habitats, or a legally protected or internationally recognised area; and whether the project may potentially impact on, or be dependent on, ecosystems services over which SOCO has direct management control or significant influence. In Egypt, the El Fayum concession borders the multiple use management area and the natural protectorate area of Lake Qarun which includes important bird areas. It is adjacent to the Wadi El Rayan protected area which includes the Wadi Al-Hitan World Heritage Site. In Vietnam, Blocks 125 & 126 are approximately 50km off shore to the Nha Trang Bay Protected Area and the Thuy Trieu Marine Protected Area. As per our policy, SOCO does not operate in any UNESCO designated World Heritage Site and ensures that activities in buffer zones around these sites do not jeopardise the Outstanding Universal Value of these sites. Comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (“ESIAs”) are undertaken for any new project prior to any operational activities using international standards and in consultation with local stakeholders. We are committed to developing site-specific biodiversity action plans (“BAPs”) in the event that operational sites are within sensitive areas, incorporating country-specific strategies and action plans and working in association with external advisers to ensure that best practice conservation priorities are achieved.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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