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Q1. What are the main environmental concerns associated with oil and gas production?
The main environmental concerns are related to air emissions, including greenhouse gases from energy production, flaring and fugitive emissions, cold venting, and oil storage and loading. Other environmental concerns include discharges to sea namely produced water, chemicals and oil spills. Finally, hazardous wastes and cuttings also represent environmental threats.
Q2. What are the provisions used to ensure a minimal negative impact on the environment resulting from petroleum activities?
To ensure a minimal negative impact on the environment and to safeguard quality and safety standards, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) requires the documentation of environmental baseline conditions before the start of petroleum activities, this is followed up with continuous environmental monitoring, reporting and auditing.
Furthermore, analyzing the impacts resulting from offshore petroleum activities, both at a strategic policy level (Strategic Environmental Assessment - SEA) and at the individual project level (Environmental Impact Assessment - EIA), are required by law.
Finally, the regulations stipulate the adoption of best international practices in quality, health, safety and environmental management including preparedness to respond to emergencies and oil spills that contribute to ensure a minimal negative impact on the environment resulting from petroleum activities.
Q3. What is the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)?
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an impact assessment tool, strategic in nature, and applied to higher level decision making processes that focus on policies, plans and programs rather than projects. An SEA for the offshore petroleum sector in Lebanon was completed in 2012 in compliance with the requirements of the OPRL. Its objective is to ensure that the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the petroleum sector are well assessed and mitigated for prior to the commencement of activities. Click here
for more info on the SEA conducted study.
Q4. What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?
The EIA is an assessment and planning tool that analyses the environmental and social impacts of individual projects, providing alternatives as well as mitigation measures to reduce these impacts. Under the OPRL and the PAR, right holders are required to submit specific EIAs at multiple stages throughout petroleum activities.
Q5. Do we have a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP)?
A National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) is currently being undertaken in close cooperation with relevant stakeholders. It will address oil spill risk assessment; prevention; preparedness; response and management while detailing the chain of command including the institutional and the organizational structures for response.
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