Health, Safety, Security and Environment

E-Books: Environmental management in oil and gas exploration and production

4 min read

Awareness of the importance of environmental issues has become more and more central to the thinking of the oil industry and regulators in the last decades. Integration of development and environment, approached in partnership between stakeholders, was the theme of the UNCED Conference in Rio in 1992. Principle 4 of the Rio Declaration captures this challenge:

“In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it”. These guidelines on environmental management in oil and gas exploration and production are based on the collective experience gained by UNEP and the oil industry. They should help meet the challenge of fully integrating the protection of the environment in the regulatory and business processes that control the exploration and production of oil and gas. They can serve as a basis for preparing or improving regulations, policies, and programs to minimize the impact on the environment of these activities.

The document provides an overview of the environmental issues and the technical and management approaches to achieving high environmental performance in the activities necessary for oil and gas exploration and production in the world. Management systems and practices, technologies, and procedures are described that prevent and minimize the impact. The continued sharing of best practices and the application of comprehensive management systems by oil companies and their contractors and suppliers are essential.

The role of government in setting and enforcing regulations is also key to minimizing the potential environmental impact. The trend towards performance-based regulations, rather than the traditional command and control approach, has the potential to stimulate more innovative and effective environmental management in all areas of the world. Consultation with local communities and other legitimate stakeholders is also an essential element of good environmental management.

Environmental Management in oil and gas exploration and protection Book’s cover

Both UNEP and E&P Forum would appreciate feedback from industry and regulatory agencies on the use they have made of this document, and any other guidelines or assistance needed, as input to our programs to further enhance the environmental performance of the oil industry.

The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of environmental issues in the oil and gas exploration and production industry, and of the best approaches to achieving high environmental performance in all parts of the world. It should be noted that it covers only exploration and production activities and does not discuss large scale storage and transportation issues, or downstream processing. Nor does it attempt to cover social development issues in detail, although they are mentioned as important elements in the text, alongside ecological issues. This document provides an overview of key stakeholders in industry and government. It is intended for use by managers in industry and government and, in addition, by other stakeholders, particularly those involved in the consultative process (see Annex 1).


The Environmental Management in oil and gas exploration and produciton Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of the oil and gas exploration and production process
  3. Potential environmental impacts
  4. The regulatory framework, institutional factors, and infrastructure
  5. Environmental management in the oil and gas industry
  6. Environmental protection measures
  • Glossary 55
  • References 58
  • Annexes

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