Why is this important?
Oil spills are a critical environmental issue for our industry. Stakeholders with major concerns relating to potential impacts stemming from spills include:
- Government authorities: potential breaches of environmental regulations
- Employees and contractors: potential health and safety issues arising from accidents and damage to the environment and society
- NGOs/NPOs: potential damage to the environment and society
- Communities: damage to the surrounding environment
- Shareholders: direct financial losses due to the remediation costs and reputational risk
We constantly implement spill prevention and control measures, to prevent the impact on the environment, on our reputation and financial stability of OMV Petrom.
HSSE – Health, safety, security, and protection of the environment have the highest priority in all our activities. We aim at preventing spills and appropriately managing the response in case of occurrence.
We monitor the number of major spills, minor releases, quantities spilled. We aim to prevent and reduce oil spills and leakage in our operations at sea as well as on land. Appropriate spill prevention and control plans that account for specific business conditions have been put in place.
The OMV Petrom’s Environmental Management Standard requires that spills of substances causing harm to the environment shall be prevented and in the event of occurrence they shall be appropriately managed. Hydrocarbon spills are assessed and cleaned up immediately after their occurrence in accordance with specific procedures governing spill remediation. Leaks are repaired in a timely manner and based on the risk and feasibility of repair during operation. We employ performant clean-up and remedial measures; we ensure that the affected land is further suitable for its initial intended use.
We rely on third-party support for capping and containment, surface clean-up, and emergency management.
We approach remediation measures in line with the relevant legal requirements, which include clean-up (e.g., by excavation and clean earth filling), restoration, rehabilitation, and/or replacement of damaged environmental receptors.
We also rely on natural attenuation (recovery) based on the respective decision of the environmental authorities. Provisions are recognized in our accounts for the liabilities related to spills and cover cleaning and remediation costs.
In the event of a very large oil spill in offshore, when considerable amounts of equipment and expertise may need to be mobilized, we use international specialized service providers to support an effective oil spill response.
For spill prevention, please see the “Process Safety” chapter.
In order to strengthen our response to and reduce the environmental impact of oil spills, we continued to perform emergency drills, including pollution scenarios, for example in Assets Muntenia Vest, PEC Turnu and Petromar, training on our Pollution Prevention Plan was delivered to the relevant employees.
Appropriate spill prevention and control plans for specific business conditions are in place to assist personnel at our sites dealing with a spill by clearly setting out the responsibilities for actions necessary to stop and contain the spill and to mitigate its effects. This includes techniques for preventing the spill from moving beyond the immediate site, collecting the spilled substance and contaminated material. Clear communication and coordination protocols are set out in the local plans, particularly where national or international response resources may be required. To strengthen our response to and reduce the environmental impact of oil spills, we perform emergency drills, including pollution scenarios.
Offshore, the response strategy aims to minimize the probability of such risks and maximize readiness to provide timely remediation measures in the unlikely event of an oil spill, so an offshore oil spill prevention and contingency plan is in place.
In 2021, we recorded two major hydrocarbon spills (no major hydrocarbon spill in 2020). A total of 2,140 minor releases occurred in 2021 (2,267 minor releases occurred in 2020). Total hydrocarbon spillage was 48,761l (2020: 31,908 l).
One major spill occurred in Upstream due to pipeline integrity failure and the second one in Downstream due to roll over of a fuel track belonging to a hauler. Details on the two major hydrocarbon spills and intervention actions are provided below:
- Level 3 hydrocarbon spill in Asset Muntenia Vest, Park 24 Cocu – due to a pipeline integrity failure, 140 l of crude oil and 300 l of produced water were released in the environment. This resulted in the pollution with crude oil traces of 5 m2 of land and 1,800 m length on water of Valea Scroafei and Cotmeana rivers. The pipeline was isolated by shutting down the relevant wells and retention dams were installed for preventing the crude oil to further spread down the river. The crude oil was recovered with vacuum trucks and fed back into the technological flow. The contaminated soil was removed from the affected area and transported to the bioremediation plant. Fertile soil was brought to fill the cleaning gap. The spill response was performed according to Emergency Response Plan – Accidental Pollution scenario (Plan for prevention and interventions in case of accidental spills and failures) available at Asset level. The environmental authorities were announced in both situations and they followed these incidents to closure.
- Level 3 hydrocarbon spill in Downstream: hauler fuel truck heavily hit a concrete road divider and rolled over. 5,900 l of gasoline and 11,800 l of diesel spill occurred after tanker inner walls broke and compartment 4 lid was damaged after hitting the light pole. Around 20 m2 of land is estimated to be polluted. The environmental authority requested a preliminary investigation to determine the magnitude of contamination and appropriate measures, with deadline at beginning of 2022.
Our 2021 results are presented in the Performance in Detail – Environmental Performance section in this report.
Continued effort in the reduction of number of spills.
Improve integrity to prevent loss of containment, our actions are summarized in the Process safety section of the report.