UK North Sea operations green slightly

Companies producing oil and gas in the UK North Sea are continuing to slowly improve their collective environmental performance, according to a new report from the UK Offshore Operators' Association. The report assessed the 'overall environmental performance' of 30 oil companies operating on the UK Continental Shelf.


LONDON�Companies producing oil and gas in the UK North Sea are continuing to slowly improve their collective environmental performance, according to a new report from the a UK Offshore Operators' Association.

The report, Balancing Needs�UKOOA 2000 Environmental Report, assessed the "overall environmental performance" of 30 oil companies operating on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) based on data for 1999 covering discharges, emissions and waste linked to oil and gas operations offshore.

Among the findings of the study was the fact that atmospheric emissions of CO2, CO, NOx, sulphur dioxide, methane, and volatile hydrocarbons all fell in 1999, while the amount of flared natural gas dropped by just over 100,000 tonnes.

Other figures contained in the report included: accidental oil spills resulting from offshore operations dropped slightly from 376 incidents involving 137 tonnes in 1998 to 372 involving 119 tonnes last year, and that levels of oil in produced water have been "further reduced" to 21.67 ppm. UKOOA noted that despite the total amount of produced water having risen with the number of installations offshore in the UK North Sea, the actual amount of oil discharged to the sea with this water is falling.

There has, said UKOOA, also been a "marked" reduction by offshore operators of unclassified chemicals in favor of those covered by the UK government's Offshore Chemical Notification Scheme�from 14,702 tonnes in 1998 to 5,449 tonnes last year.

UKOOA President Dave Smith said the report was a further step toward "meeting the need for open and honest communication on the industry's environmental performance."

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