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 environmental management system is certified to comply with the requirements of international standards ISO-14001 and OHSAS-18001 and is described in Section 3.5 on HSE and Social Performance Management.
To enhance the system’s efficiency, Sakhalin Energy uses an approach based on the pattern: planning – implementation – analysis – correction. 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.
Particular attention in this regard is being given to monitoring of contractors’ compliance with requirements of Sakhalin Energy, which includes analysis of documentation and inspections of contractual activities.
The company pays special attention to preventive risk management and environmental impact assessment. In an effort 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 2016, Sakhalin Energy was ranked first in the annual Environmental Responsibility Rating of Oil and Gas Companies in 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 21 leading oil and condensate producers (over 1.5 mln tonnes per year). Sakhalin Energy was the winner in all rating nominations – Environmental Management, Environmental Impact and Information Disclosure / Transparency.
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.
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 control;
- water use and discharge control;
- waste management control.
The company has developed and implements the Air Emissions and Energy Management Standard, Water Use Standard, and Waste Management Standard.
Impact to the 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.
The company uses fuel tanks equipped with fuel vapour recirculation system nozzles connecting the tank with the tanker. This leads to the reduction of volatile hydrocarbon emissions by 90% during the refuelling operations.
In 2016, as part of the air quality protection programme, the company conducted instrumental monitoring of fixed sources at production assets for compliance with established standards for maximum allowable emissions. To reduce atmospheric pollutant emissions, measures were 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 performed inspections and diagnostics of equipment and required repair and maintenance, and used fixed and portable gas analysers.
In 2016, the total gross emissions increased by 5% as compared to 2015. This was primarily due to equipment shutdowns during work to enhance equipment reliability and increase the production of hydrocarbons.
Gross Air Emissions in 2013-2016, thousand tonnes
|Nitrogen oxide (in NO2 equivalent)||4.8||4.1||4.1||4.3|
Specific Air Emissions in 2015-2016, by areas of activity
|Hydrocarbon production (kg/toe)||0.19||0.19|
|Hydrocarbon transportation (kg/thousand t-km)||0.06||0.08|
|LNG production (kg/toe)||0.24||0.25|
Monitoring of air quality at the boundaries of sanitary protection zones showed neither non-compliance with established standards, nor an increase in pollutant concentrations.
Impact on Water Bodies
The company strives to reduce water consumption for production needs and to minimise the environmental impact from wastewater discharge.
Water use included water intake from surface and groundwater bodies on the basis of water use agreements and licenses for subsoil use. To prevent pollution of water bodies and manage water resources in 2016, the company’s structural units monitored compliance with established water use and water discharge limits, and regularly performed laboratory and instrumental quality control of wastewater, surface water and groundwater. Maintenance of water intake and treatment assets and accident prevention activities on water bodies were performed. Groundwater monitoring was 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.
Total water intake has increased due to the increased production of hydrocarbons, but no unit exceeded water intake limits set for 2016. The water disposal level remained the same as in the previous year.
Reduced water disposal on the surface is due to the ongoing company’s activities on redirection of wastewater to water bodies. Only 1% of the waste water was insufficiently treated, 4% of the waste water was treated to minimum standards, and the other 95% met minimum standards without treatment.
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 2013-2016, thousand m3
Specific Water Use in 2015-2016, by areas of activity
|Activity||Water consumption for in-house needs||Disposal of polluted water into surface water bodies|
|Hydrocarbon production (m³/toe)||1||1.1||0.002||0.005|
|Hydrocarbon transportation (m³/thousand t-km)||0.001||0.001||—||—|
|LNG production (m³/toe)||0.24||0.01||0.001||0.005|
The company’s waste management activities in 2016 were aimed at meeting Russian and international requirements, reducing the adverse environmental impact and optimising waste management processes.
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. In December 2016, the manual was approved by the order of the Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology and will be put into effect on 01 July 2017. During the year, the company constantly 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 organised 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 aimed at minimising the environmental impact. 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.
by Hazard Class in 2016
(not including drilling waste),%
Waste Management Indicators (including drilling waste) in 2013-2016, thousand tonnes
|Amount of waste at the beginning of the year (all Hazard Classes)||0||0||0||0.14|
|Waste generated in the reporting year (all Hazard Classes)||154.07||95.87||30.52||36.86|
|Waste used for internal production||0.04||0.01||0.02||0|
|Transferred to other organisations for use and disposal||2.72||2.37||1.81||2.73|
|Transferred to other organisations for burial at landfills, including:||3.6||2.67||2.01||1.63|
|– in the Sakhalin Oblast||3.46||2.52||1.82||0|
|– outside the Sakhalin Oblast||0.14||0.15||0.19||1.63|
|Waste disposed at own assets (burial of drilling waste)||147.71||90.82||26.54||32.52|
|Amount of waste at the end of the year (all Hazard Classes)||0||0||0.14||0.11|
As compared to the previous year, the total volume of waste increased by 21% mainly due to the increased amount of drilling waste generated during the construction of new wells.
As compared to 2015, the volume of waste disposed in landfills decreased by 19%. The volume of waste transferred for use or treatment increased by 50% as a result of actions taken to minimise the production of waste and search for the most effective ways to recycle and treat it.
Since it was temporarily impossible to dispose of waste at the Sakhalin Oblast landfills, the company disposed of waste at landfills of other regions.
Waste accumulated as of the year end will be transferred for disposal at landfills furnished in accordance with the requirements and included in the state registry of waste disposal sites.
Стремление компании к эффективному использованию энергоресурсов отражено в политике, стандартах, обязательствах компании по управлению сжиганием газа на факельных установках и управлению энергопотреблением.
The company’s commitment to the efficient use of energy is reflected in the policy, standards, the company’s obligations for gas flaring management on flaring units and energy management. Energy saving and energy efficiency activities are carried out under the company’s programme for continuous improvement (up to 2016—the Operational Excellence programme, see section 4.3. Continuous Improvement Programme) and production processes optimisation.
The company’s assets were built using advanced technologies. All production assets have their own self-contained power supplies.
Natural gas is the main source of energy for the company. Diesel fuel is used as a standby resource, with low-sulphur fuel preferred. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Korsakov infrastructure assets are power-supplied from the central electrical networks but generate their own energy for heat supply. The energy consumption balance is shown in the table.
Energy Consumption Balance of the Company in 2013-2016, mln GJ
|Primary energy generated||867.8||864.92||846.85||868.06|
|Primary energy sold, including:||758.39||754.16||790.36||807.92|
|– energy transferred to the Russian party||51.42||53.58||38.61||39.12|
|Primary energy consumed, including:||58.89||58.45||58.26||58.74|
|– energy direct consumption*||56.93||56.59||56.45||56.95|
|– primary energy acquired||1.96||1.86||1.81||1.79|
|Secondary energy acquired/consumed||0.12||0.12||0.11||0.12|
* Generated from the natural gas produced.
Energy consumption in 2016 for each area of activity is shown in the chart - Energy Consumption in 2016, by areas of activity -,%.
The slight increase in direct energy consumption is associated with the increase in hydrocarbon production, and thus commodity transport work. Specific indicators of energy consumption during LNG production and production of hydrocarbons were improved in 2016 as compared to the previous year.
Energy Consumption in 2016, by areas of activity, %
The LNG plant is the main energy consumer. Upgrading of cooling heat exchangers performed during scheduled maintenance in 2015 and 2016 improved the performance of the LNG trains while maintaining the same level of energy consumption.
Specific Energy Consumption in 2015-2016, by areas of activity
|Hydrocarbon production (GJ/t of hydrocarbons produced)||0.71||0.68|
|Hydrocarbon transportation (GJ/thousand t-km)||0.14||0.16|
|LNG production (GJ/t of LNG produced)||4.01||4.00|
Sakhalin Energy assets are highly energy efficient and meet international standards. In 2015-2016, specific energy consumption by the company’s assets producing hydrocarbons was equal to 0.68 GJ/t of hydrocarbons produced. The value of this indicator for hydrocarbon-producing assets was 1.4 GJ/t of hydrocarbons produced in 2015, according to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.
The LNG plant leads the ranking of LNG plants in the Shell Group. The Prigorodnoye production complex is a champion in terms of reliability, energy and production efficiency. Good results can be achieved by gas liquefaction technology with double mixed refrigerant. Due to the low temperature, this process consumes considerably less energy to cool the gas. Heat released during the liquefaction of natural gas is used for other processes.
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.
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. These are performed in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Guidelines for Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API). 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).
GHG emissions increased in 2016 related to the increase in hydrocarbon production and, consequently, the increase in the volume of transportation by pipelines.
GHG Emissions in 2013–2016, mln tonnes of СО2 equivalent
|Direct emissions (scope 1)||3.502||3.518||3.699||3.708|
|Indirect emissions (scope 2)||0.006||0.006||0.005||0.008|
GHG Emissions in 2016, by areas of activity, %
Specific Emissions of GHG in 2015–2016, by areas of activity
|Hydrocarbon production (t СО2 eq./t of hydrocarbons produced)||0.054||0.05|
|Hydrocarbon transportation (t СО2 eq./thousand t-km)||0.008||0.01|
|LNG production (t СО2 eq./t of LNG produced)||0.242||0.242|
In 2016, the company continued implementing the action plan aimed at the gradual cessation of using ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by 2020 in accordance with the Montreal Protocol requirements.
Structure of GHG Emission Sources in 2016, %
In October 2016, specialists of Sakhalin Energy took part in a workshop on GHG emissions organised by Shell.
Shell experts presented the Group strategy on GHG management and key measures to reduce emissions. They highlighted the objectives and stages of GHG emission management planning and enterprise energy efficiency improvement, provided an overview of the information system for real-time monitoring of emissions and enterprise energy efficiency, and shared their successful experience in introducing this system in the Shell companies.
The participants became acquainted with the basic steps of development of GHG emission management and energy efficiency improvement plans. At the workshops, they worked out the ways of prioritizing measures aimed at reducing GHG emissions. The main selection criteria of priority measures include commercial appeal, implementation deadlines, and efficiency.
Specialists of Sakhalin Energy told about the company’s experience in GHG emission management, and provided examples of projects implemented to reduce emissions and improve the energy efficiency of the company’s assets.
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 2016 was 96.3%.
Utilisation of Associated Gas during Production in 2016, %
Environmental Costs and Payments for the Adverse Impact
To comply with the international and Russian legislation requirements, Sakhalin Energy implements environmental conservation measures. The current cost of implementation in 2016 was RUB 2,922 mln.
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;
- Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency;
- Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor);
- Federal Water Resources Agency;
- Amur Water Basin Committee of the Federal Water Resources Agency;
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Sakhalin Oblast.
In 2016, regional state control authorities conducted no inspections.
Payments for Adverse Environmental Impact in 2013–2016, RUB thousand
|Discharges into water bodies||127.1||166.208||91.602||29.045|
The share of payments exceeding the standards in the total payment for the adverse impact was 43%, which was mainly due to the absence of disposal limits of Hazard Class 4–5 waste at the landfills of Primorsky Krai, as well as the exceeding of discharge limits for some of the wastes during commissioning of OPF Front-end compression.
Current Environmental Costs in 2016, %
Environmental Monitoring and Biodiversity Conservation
Sakhalin Energy implements a number of local environmental monitoring and biodiversity conservationprogrammes in order to determine the condition of the environment, to assess the impacts of production assets, and to develop measures for eliminating or mitigating such impacts.
The necessity to implement these programmes is caused by the company’s objectives, such as:
- to manage risks;
- to ensure compliance with the Russian legislation and best international practices.
In 2016, 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;
- 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 steps taken by Sakhalin Energy in accordance with the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) ensure that the company fulfils its commitments to minimise impacts on biodiversity and the environment.
In 2016, 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 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.
The system of regular soil monitoring allows identification of tendencies towards possible changes.
The monitoring programme involves assessing 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 monitoring includes:
- obtaining data on physicochemical and agrochemical characteristics of soils in the areas of land remediation and in adjacent territories;
- analysing the content of petroleum products and benzo(a)pyrene in soils around the Prigorodnoye production complex and OPF.
In 2016, soil monitoring was conducted at the pipeline route sections within farmland and on the sites within a 4 km area around the Prigorodnoye production complex and OPF; a total of 55 test sites.
The composition of the soils in the right of way within the farmland differs slightly from that of the soils in the adjacent areas. Plants grew well in the right of way, and their productivity is often higher than in the adjacent farmland.
The soils around the Prigorodnoye production complex are in good condition, with an increased content of organic matter for black bog soils, relatively low content for raised bog soils, and low content for brown forest soils.
Bog soils with similar typical characteristics predominate in the areas adjacent to OPF; acidic and strongly acidic pH reactions were observed in lowland and upland bog soils, respectively. To the south of OPF and in some individual areas northwards, there are brown forest soils with low humus content and a strongly acidic pH reaction. On the whole, the values of soil parameters determined reflect the processes of soil formation in these areas.
Benzo(a)pyrene, a key indicator of potential contamination, was not detected in layer 0–25 cm at the monitoring sites around the Prigorodnoye production complex. The average content of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soils of the area potentially affected by the Prigorodnoye production complex was 119 mg/kg in layer 0–5 cm and 16 mg/kg in layer 5–25 cm; in the soils around OPF the content was 79 mg/kg in layer 0–5 cm and 52 mg/kg in layer 5–25 cm, which is many times lower than the maximum allowable level of 1,000 mg/kg.
According to the 2016 monitoring results, the soil characteristics around the company’s assets were close to the baseline indicators of the relevant soil types. The monitoring in 2016 did not reveal any land contaminated with oil and petroleum products as a result of work in the territories of the company's assets.
As of the end of 2016, the area of disturbed land was 58.3 ha, including 51.9 ha disturbed in 2016 due to preparatory work and surveys as part of the development projects.
River Ecosystems Monitoring
During the implementation of the Sakhalin-2 project, the under-river crossings 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. Due to the specific properties of the water bodies, a watercourse monitoring and control system has been developed which allows to track any changes, detect critical points and develop and take corrective measures in a timely manner.
The monitoring system includes monitoring of the quality of surface waters and bottom sediments, monitoring of river communities, and monitoring of the ichthyocomplexes a model watercourses. The monitoring of river ecosystems quality primarily recognises the nature and specifics of potential impact on the water bodies during the operation of pipeline and infrastructure facilities operation. In addition, the monitoring allows to identify the possible reverse impact from aquatic ecosystems on the infrastructure assets within the Sakhalin-2 project.
The monitoring of river ecosystems includes:
- determination of hydrological characteristics of streams;
- determination of hydrochemical characteristics of water;
- 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 communityand abundance;
- assessment of area and quality of potential Pacific salmon spawning areas;
- assessment of ichthyocomplexes in model watercourse.
In 2016, the monitoring of surface waters and bottom sediments was implemented at 26 watercourses 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 Goluboy Stream.
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 damaged utility lines were found. Engineering surveys were conducted at the sites where river bed deformations were identified 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 water was odourless in all the studied streams. The transparency of water in almost all watercourses was more than 30 cm, apart from a few samples taken during spring high water.
The pH of the water was neutral. The physicochemical properties of the surface water at two cross sections, upstream and downstream, of each watercourses were changing with equal tendency and had equal quantitative and qualitative characteristics.
The oxygen regime of the surface water was within standard limits during all monitoring periods.
The content of all the studied biogenic substances (ammonium ion, nitrates, phosphates) did not exceed MAC standards.
The majority of watercourses were clean in terms of the content of highly oxidising matter specified by BOD5 (biochemical oxygen demand for five days) values. The majority of BOD5 values were less than 2.0 mgÎ2/dm3, except for the Maly Takoy River and the Ai River. In the Maly Takoy River during spring high water the BOD5 was 6 mg/dm3 in the baseline cross section and 5 mg/dm3 in the monitoring cross section. In the Ai River, the BOD5 values were equal for both cross sections and were 5 mg/dm3 during spring high water. The exceedance of this rate was probably caused by human-induced pollution sources located upstream.
Of all the studied metals, concentrations of iron and copper had the highest variability. In most of the watercourses, the content of these metals exceeded the relevant MAC standards, which is typical for surface waters of Sakhalin. According to Sakhalin Rosgidromet, concentrations of iron may reach more than 3.0 mg/dm3 in the northern rivers of Sakhalin and more than 1.0 mg/dm3 in the central and southern rivers. This is due to the impact of such natural factors as chemical erosion of rocks, accompanied by their mechanical disintegration and dissolution, and transfer of significant amounts of iron and copper along with subsurface flow, which is one of the major nutrient sources for the surface waters in Sakhalin. According to 2016 monitoring data, interseasonal transfer of iron and copper concentrations in the cross sections upstream and downstream of the point where the pipeline crosses was equal and continued with a steady trend. Concentrations of iron and copper in upstream and downstream sections of watercourse were commensurable to each other (for instance, in the Severnaya Khandasa River, the concentration of iron was 1.02 and 0.81 mg/dm3, and the concentration of copper was 0.019 and 0.015 mg/dm3 in the baseline and monitoring cross sections, respectively).
During 2016 monitoring, no pollution of surface water by petroleum products was detected. All measured concentrations were stable and in line with MAC standards. The particle size distribution of bottom sediments in almost all of the watercourses was heterogeneous in all seasons, and was dominated by particles with diameter of 10 mm and more.
Benthos monitoring studies in streams continued in 2016. The analysis of quantitative and structural indicators of macrozoobenthos along with the analysis of environmental characteristics (such as bed form, current speed, bed type, and depth) showed that in the studied watercoursesthe variability of composition, condition and structure of bed communities in the baseline and monitoring cross sections was caused by natural processes, in particular by the diversity of biotopes and hydrological and hydrochemical characteristics at the monitoring stations. The total abundance of zoobenthos varied in a wide range from 8 to 1,040 individuals/m2.
In the summer and autumn of 2016, ichthyic faunas were monitored in the basin of the Pilenga River and its tributaries. 20 stations in the main channel and 11 stations in the tributaries were observed. It was identified that the ichthyic fauna of the river was dominated by the boreal piedmont and boreal plain ichthyic faunal communities, populating mostly the main bed of the river. Representatives of the arctic freshwater community, the closest in terms of ecological characteristics, occupy both the main watercourse and the studied tributaries. 12 species and subspecies of fish from five families were found.
During the monitoring, it was found that the river bed has undergone significant changes due to past cyclones in autumn 2015: it has become straighter; the current speed has increased; the hiding places in the form of snag pits and stretches have disappeared. These factors could cause the low abundance and biomass of fish in the river. In the main river bed, the concentration of predatory fish, such as Dolly Varden, White char and Sakhalin taimen, remained only in some places. Pacific salmon were not found in 2016.
In 2016, Pacific salmon migration and reproduction monitoring was continued in Goluboy Stream, which in the downstream flows through the territory of the Prigorodnoye production complex. The timing of spawning migration of pink salmon spawners in the stream was close to the average indicators for the rivers of the Tonino-Anivsky peninsula. The spawning area in Goluboy Stream were less populated than the long-term average annual level for thiswatercourse, but more populated than the average level for the rivers in Aniva Bay. The fish density values varied from 15 to 40 individuals/100 m2; the total estimated number of humpbacked salmon spawners that entered the watercourse in 2016 was 2.5 thousand individuals.
The outcomes of the River Ecosystems Monitoring in 2016 did not reveal any impact of the Sakhalin Energy assets on the quality of surface waters, their flora and fauna.
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 2016, monitoring was conducted in the area of the Prigorodnoye production complex on the Aniva Bay coast, around OPF at a distance of 6 km from Lunsky Bay, and on the sites of protected species monitoring located along the onshore pipelines route.
The results of the monitoring show that the species composition at the sample sites around the production assets is stable. In particular, there is no decrease in the number of individual species in the tree layer. 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.
Some epiphytic lichens are still experiencing a certain impact associated with the change in the microclimatic conditions (stronger lighting and wind, dusting caused by soil denudation) occurred during the construction of the company’s assets. On the other hand, almost all of the sample sites showed rudiment young thalluses alongside with the older thalluses, which indicates the restoration of the lichen cover. 12 protected lichen species are included in the Monitoring Programme to control their habitat condition. The results of the 2016 Monitoring Programme indicate that all habitats of protected species are in satisfactory condition.
The studies of habitats and condition of 18 protected species of vascular plants, three of which are on the IUCN Red List (Chosenia Arbutifolia, Sakhalin Spruce, and Japanese Yew), indicate their good condition. The only exception is one local area in the Mereya River floodplain, where individual Sakhalin Spruce trees were found to be distressed due to soil waterlogging in the previous years. The corrective actions taken to improve the soil hydrology in the specified area have prevented the development of the process.
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 are located mostly on steep slopes and in some areas in the northern parts of the island.
This is due to insufficient soil fertility in sandy and clayey areas, but a positive trend has also been observed there.
Wetlands are especially important and vulnerable ecosystems of Sakhalin Island. Their importance is due to their water protecting and water regulating features.
The peculiarities of the Sakhalin wetlands include the prevalence of oligotrophic bogs, the rich peat deposits (up to 8 m), and the large quantity of slightly decomposed plant residue in mineral intermediate layers between the layers of peat.
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 operates in such areas and carries out regular monitoring in compliance with international standards. This approach is due to the following risks: a possible violation of the hydrological regime, draining or swamping of the territory, irreversible transformation of the marshes, the reduction of 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 2016, 30 wetland areas along the entire pipeline route were surveyed. 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 in all the areas. Recovery of natural wetland ecosystems can be seen on the right-of-way in 20 of 30 wetland areas, which amounts to 67%. In other areas, vegetation is reinstated with species typical for the vegetation cover of adjacent wetlands, as well as species not typical of these ecosystems. This 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. The survey did not reveal any flooding or draining of the territory as a result of violation of the hydrological regime, which would definitely have impacted on the vegetation.
It has been observed that the condition of the protected plant species (Pogonia Japonica and Dicranum Drammondii moss) found in the surveyed areas is good. The 2016 monitoring season did not identify aggressive invasive species at the crossings of wetland ecosystems.
Generally, monitoring of the wetlands in the right-of-way shows that their recovery goes with the expected speed.
Monitoring of Protected Bird Species
Early in the Sakhalin-2 project development, broad-range studies of birds were undertaken at the sites of future construction, which helped define the focus areas for monitoring bird populations and communities.
Rare and protected bird species were selected for focused monitoring out of the abundant and diverse bird fauna of Sakhalin. Surveys in 2016 covered the Prigorodnoye area and Chayvo Spit near the pipeline landfall.
Since 2003, 147 Red Book bird species, 28 of which are listed in the Sakhalin and Russian Federation Red Books, were sighted in the Prigorodnoye area. Special attention was given to the Japanese snipe, an indicator species. The long-term monitoring has shown the abundance of this species to have recovered and stabilised after the Prigorodnoye construction was finished. The land reclamation activities resulted in the expansion of nesting biotopes for this species (due to new meadow areas). Over 110 nesting sites (15-20 breeding pairs / 1 sq. km) were recorded within 4 km of the LNG plant in 2016. Several pairs were sighted nesting on the LNG plant site.
The following protected species were sighted on the Aniva coast and at Lake Mereya during the migration period: Bewick’s Swan, Whooper Swan, Far Eastern Curlew, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Black-winged Stilt, Great Egret, Little Egret and Long-billed Murrelet. The Prigorodnoye area has become home to synanthropes, such as Tree Sparrow, Northern White-rumped Swift and Black-backed Wagtail. Gulls and cormorants are using the near-shore loading assets for resting.
Over the monitoring period, the overall list of the Chayvo Spit bird species has expanded to 193 species, including 34 regionally protected and 10 Red Book species.
During the 2016 nesting season, 89 bird species were sighted on the Chayvo Spit, including 13 rare or protected species. The bird monitoring is primarily focused on the following four nesting species: Steller's Sea Eagle, Sakhalin Dunlin, Aleutian Tern and Long-toed Stint.
The yearly surveys of the Sakhalin dunlin colony have shown very slight fluctuations of its abundance. Low breeding success was observed in years with harsh weather conditions and high fox predation. The nesting conditions for Sakhalin Dunlin were favourable in 2016, with 80 nesting pairs reported by experts.
Long-term monitoring showed there is no stable nesting community of Aleutian Tern at the Chayvo Spit. Within the monitoring area, the number of Aleutian Terns tends to increase in the second half of the nesting season due to expulsion of some individuals from the other coastal areas. In view of the above, the Aleutian Tern abundance varies from year to year in a wide range, with no permanent nesting sites available. During the monitoring period, this species’ abundance numbers varied from 120 to 2167 individuals in different years. A total of 310 Aleutian Tern individuals were registered in 2016, with 60 defined nesting sites.
The Long-toed Stint has been sighted in the monitored area every year. Similar to other areas in the north-east Sakhalin, its abundance is low, but stable.
In 2016, a nest of another protected species was first sighted in the pipeline landfall area. It was the Red-necked Phalarope, with the southern edge of its range known to be bordering on the north-east Sakhalin coast.
The results of the 2016 monitoring show no adverse impacts on the protected nesting and migratory bird species from the operation of the Sakhalin Energy production assets.
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 (IUCN, Russia, and Sakhalin Oblast). This determines the need to develop and implement special protection measures within the framework of the Sakhalin-2 project.
The North-Eastern Sakhalin Sea Eagle Population Monitoring Programme was developed and has been implemented since 2004. The main objective of the Programme 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 reference area 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. The North-Eastern Sakhalin Sea Eagle Population Monitoring Programme was developed and has been implemented since 2004. The main objective of the Programme is to obtain reliable data on long-term variations in the main parameters of the indicator species (Steller's Sea Eagle and White-Tailed Eagle) within the control zone and in the area of potential impact. Based on comparative analysis of these data, the man-made impact and the effectiveness of measures to mitigate it are assessed.
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 Lunsky Bay shoreline.
In 2016, four individuals of White-Tailed Eagle and 129 individuals of Steller's Sea Eagle were identified during the field studies. The eagles bred up five younglings in the area of potential impact, and eight younglings in the territory adjacent to Lunsky Bay.
The condition of eagles' nesting pool within the impact zone and the control zone can be considered to be good. Within the pipeline impact area, 75% of all nests were in good or satisfactory condition, within the control zone of Lunsky Bay—79%.
During the ten-year period, there were no significant changes in the condition of Steller’s Sea Eagles nesting pool at the monitoring sites.
The analysis of variations in nesting site occupancy within the monitoring zone and the pipeline impact area in 2004–2016 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.
Marine Environment and Biota Monitoring
In 2016, Sakhalin Energy continued the regular marine environment and biota monitoring programme within the area of potential impact from the company’s offshore production assets.
As part of the 2016 integrated expedition survey, the monitoring programme covered the PA-A, PA-B, and LUN-A offshore platform areas, the wellheads of abandoned appraisal wells and subsurface assets for disposal of drilling waste in the Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye fields in the Sea of Okhotsk. Environmental surveys also covered potential impact areas of the oil export terminal and LNG loading jetty in Prigorodnoye port of Aniva Bay.
The studies produced data on benthos and plankton communities distribution, their habitat conditions both in the area of potential impact from assets and beyond, in the baseline areas. The 2016 monitoring resulted in the following main conclusions:
- Hydrochemical characteristics, including petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, phenols and detergents near offshore production assets were within the baseline value range for these sea areas and complied with the standards established for the water bodies of commercial fishery importance.
- Concentrations of chemicals (phenols, detergents, petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals) in bottom sediments were distributed unevenly due to specific features of the regional geology and distribution of different types of sediment. Overall, concentrations of pollutants in bottom sediments varied within baseline ranges typical for these offshore areas and were lower than the values causing initial biological effects at organism and marine ecosystem community levels.
- There was no occurrence of petroleum hydrocarbons and methane near the wellheads of abandoned appraisal wellheads.
- No exceedance of baseline concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in the near-bottom layer and bottom sediments was identified at the boundaries of drilling waste disposal.
- Benthos and plankton communities were typical of these water areas and demonstrated a stable rich diversity of species with high quantitative values comparable with the baseline.
Overall, the 2016 data show that there is no influence of operational activities on sea water quality, bottom sediments and the condition of marine biota inhabiting the offshore field areas.
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 from the ports of Asia Pacific Region.
The ballast water taken at the port of departure may contain dangerous invasive (alien to the local environment) organisms, which, under favourable conditions, can adapt to the local environmental conditions and disturb the delicate 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.
According to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments adopted in 2004, the exchange of ballast water on the high seas is one of the effective measures to prevent the introduction of alien species. This requirement is enshrined in the corporate Ballast Water Management Policy introduced in 2009.
The ballast water monitoring and control of each tankerto 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.
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 8-year research results indicate the absence of dangerous invasive species in ballast water of ships calling at Prigorodnoye port.
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.
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, North Pacific Right Whale, Fin Whale, Curvier’s Beaked Whale, Harbour Porpoise, as well as pinnipeds such as Steller Sea Lion can also be observed in the vicinity of the company’s offshore assets. In accordance with the principles of sustainable development, the company believes that risks to marine mammals arising from industrial activities must be considered and mitigated in a timely manner; not only for endangered species, but for all marine inhabitants.
In 2016, as in previous years, Sakhalin Energy in close cooperation with Sakhalin-1 operator continued implementing the Integrated Monitoring Programme near the north-eastern coast of Sakhalin Island. The full scope of acoustic monitoring, survey of structure and variety of benthic community and hydrological characteristics was performed. Scientists carried out a census and studies of the distribution of gray whales, as well as photographic identification of individuals. They also took tissue samples (biopsies) from 19 whales for genetic studies.
During the 2016 field season, 14 new calves and one adult whale, which had not been previously recorded, were identified in the waters around Sakhalin. Updates have been made to the Sakhalin photo catalogue, where the total number of registered individual whales has now increased to 274.
Multi-year studies show that the number of whales is increasing, and the reproduction rate is stable. These results have allowed the experts from the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP) to draw the following conclusion, "...Sakhalin gray whale population has been increasing by 3–4% annually, and has grown from an estimated 115 individuals in 2004 to 174 individuals (excluding calves) in 2015, according to the latest assessment of the population".
2016, G. Martin-Mehers, the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel: Stories of Influence. Publication of IUCN, WWF, IFAW.
Similar conclusions have been drawn by government and oversight bodies. "Over the past ten years, the number of the Western Gray Whales, whose feeding area is in the waters of the Russian Far East, has recovered rapidly."
Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, 2016.
The data on the increase in the number of the Sakhalin gray whales served as the basis for its conservation status revision. In accordance with the Draft Order On Approval of the List of Objects of Fauna Listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Excluded from the Red Book of the Russian Federation developed by the RF Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection in 2016, the gray whale has been transferred from Category 1 (Endangered Species) to Category 2 (Threatened Species) (Draft Order is available on the MNR website).
Much factual data on the biology and ecology of this unique species of marine mammals has been collected over the period of the Gray Whale Monitoring Programme. The data obtained significantly improved the understanding of the state of the Sakhalin feeding aggregation of gray whales and its habitat. In turn, this contributed to the development of effective measures to minimise risks and ensured successful co-existence of the company and the gray whales.
As part of the IX International Conference Marine Mammals of the Holarctic in 2016, representatives of Sakhalin Energy took part in a round table on biodiversity conservation during offshore fields development. The company’s representatives shared best practices to reduce the impact on marine mammals during project implementation with the conference participants representing the Russian oil and gas industry. In the nearest future, the company and scientists plan to focus on interdisciplinary, multi-component analysis of the data obtained, and to publish the research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Small Mammal Monitoring
Small mammals include murine rodents and shrews. They are an essential component of natural ecosystems. Due to their biological properties such as high population and fertility, short life, and quick population renewal, small mammals are excellent models for ecological studies, widely used as marker species to evaluate industrial pollution. Their response to industrial emissions can be observed in changes in morphological and demographic parameters, and in disruption of community structure.
Regular monitoring of the small mammal communities is implemented near the Prigorodnoye production complex (since 2008) and the onshore processing facility (since 2009). To obtain qualitative data, the survey methods are in place, and long-term records are implemented strictly at designated time periods and in the same areas. Around each production asset, the monitoring is conducted at six permanent sites: three test sites, located within the potential impact zone, and three control sites, located at a distance from the assets where direct impact on the environment is eliminated. The results are analysed with consideration for long-term repeated fluctuations of the small mammal population and the natural change in their community structure.
In 2016, four species of rodents (Northern Redback Vole and Grey-sided Redback Vole, Korean Field Mouse, and Long-tailed Birch Mouse) and two species of shrews (Laxmann's and Slender shrews) were found within the monitoring zone at the Prigorodnoye production complex. The population of all above species was naturally low. Among all rodents, Grey Redback Vole dominated at the monitoring sites. The abundance of Laxmann's and Slender shrews was approximately the same.
In 2016, the monitoring of four species of rodents and five species of shrews was conducted near OPF. High abundance of Redback and Grey-sided Redback Voles was noted. The abundance of shrews was at the medium level; the most common species were Laxmann's, Long-clawed, and Slender shrews. Occasionally Eurasian Least and Large-toothed shrews were found.
Comparison of quantitative, morphometric and propagation indicators and population dynamics of the small mammals indicator species between the test and control sites revealed no strong indication of the impact from the company’s assets on their abundance. Changes in community structure were observed both at test and control sites and were due to natural causes.
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.
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 2016 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 2016, as planned. Work was performed at 17 plots and included eliminating the consequences of natural erosion as well as repairing existing anti-erosion structures.
No pipeline damage occurred in 2016.
For two water crossings and one landslide which became active a special subcontractor completed bank protection repair and right-of-way stabilisation. Under 2016 programme activities design engineers completed required surveying and started to develop plans to mitigate the impact of landslides. It is planned to finalise in 2017 landslide mitigation activities started in 2016 and stabilising activities on new landslide site, as well as repair of two existing bank protection sites.
Oil Spill Prevention and Response Preparedness
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 OSR Plans have been developed, approved by State Ecological Expertise and duly deployed at all of the company’s assets.
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, 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.
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 2016 versus 21 emergency spills releasing 3504.46 litres of oil in 2008−2009.
In 2016, the total amount of crude oil and petroleum products spilled was just about 0.01 litre.
The ratio of the total hydrocarbons spilled (26.54 bbl) to the total hydrocarbons produced (ca. 451 MMbbl in 1999−2016) 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 allows 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 based on the results of which a package of documents was developed and approved by government authorities that allow the company to use dispersants in emergencies. The company is implementing burning − yet another non-mechanical method of responding to emergency oil spills.
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. 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. The OSR drills are conducted regularly.
An integrated emergency oil spill response drill took place in Piltun in June 2016.
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.
Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation
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 with the International Bird Rescue Research Centre (IBRRC), taking into account Sakhalin’s flora, fauna, and severe climate. In 2009, the Oiled Wildlife Response Plan was developed to prevent and rescue animals contaminated with oil and petroleum products and to identify resources and procedures to coordinate actions of corporate and external entities.
As part of its integrated Oil Spill Response Plan, the company developed the Wildlife Rehabilitation Site Implementation Manual (hereinafter—the Manual). In 2011, the Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Site was established on the territory of the Prigorodnoye production complex. In the end of 2016, it remained the only one of its kind on Sakhalin and in Russia at large.
The Manual includes general recommendations and guidelines for the deployment and use of equipment, assets, and infrastructure needed to put into operation the wildlife rehabilitation site at the Prigorodnoye production complex.
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.
To implement the Programme, the company installed specialised equipment in the central and northern parts of the island, at the onshore processing facility (OPF) near Lunsky Bay, and at the pipeline maintenance depot (PMD) in Gastello.
In June 2016, the company conducted large-scale comprehensive oil spill response training exercises in the area around the Piltun-Astokhskoye field. A separate block of the exercises was devoted to practising actions to forecast the potential impact of a spill on seabirds and marine mammals, and to the sequence of decision-making in the rescue operation and evaluation of the necessary amounts of material and human resources.
Every year, employees take a training course in capturing, transportation, and rehabilitation of animals harmed by oil spills, which is held by the company as part of regular OSR exercises. During the training in 2016, employees gained knowledge and practised skills of repelling and capturing birds. The company maintains a database of trained personnel who are able to provide aid in case of emergencies on Sakhalin. Since 2006, 270 employees have completed the appropriate training.
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.
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 2016.
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.