We subscribe to the precautionary
principle established in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in 1992 and promote sustainable development through our operations.
Our Ghana operations are certified to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System ensuring that the systems and processes which we apply to our key operating asset are consistently maintained. We aim to comply with all environmental laws and regulations in all the countries in which we operate.
Pathway to Net Zero
Supported by our internal Net Zero Task Force and approved by our Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team, we have defined a clear pathway to achieving our Net Zero target.
This comprises of two main initiatives, in addition to ongoing carbon efficiency
projects throughout our operations, as follows:
- Decarbonisation initiatives: the elimination of routine flaring of gas from our Jubilee and TEN fields by 2025, will reduce GHG emissions by at least 40% from a 2020 baseline. The majority of spend linked to these decarbonisation initiatives will be expended before 2025.
- Nature-based solutions: by investing in verified nature-based carbon offset projects initially in Ghana, we will offset hard to abate GHG emissions.
Tullow supports the goals of the Paris Agreement of 2015, namely to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Managing the risks posed by climate change is fundamental to our business strategy of responsibly managing our operations, safeguarding people, assets, the environment and financial performance.
Tullow has committed to becoming a Net Zero Company by 2030 on our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions on a net equity basis through a combination of decarbonising our operated assets in Ghana, our non-operated assets in Gabon and identifying nature-based solutions to offset our hard to abate emissions. Additionally, we are prioritising decarbonisation of our operations with a target to reduce emissions across our portfolio by at least 40% by 2025 on a net equity basis against a 2020 baseline.
In creating our pathway to Net Zero, the primary focus will be on our operations in Ghana, where we have the greatest ability to influence the decarbonisation efforts. Our Net Zero commitment directly supports UN SDG 13, Climate Action.
Our detailed plans for achieving Net Zero and managing climate risks to our business are laid out in our second annual Climate Risk & Resilience Report, prepared in line with the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. This report provides an in-depth description and analysis of our approach in the following areas.
Our governance of climate change and climate-related risks: Our Board of Directors holds accountability for our management of climate-risk and is supported by three of the four Board Committees, our Senior Leadership Team, managers throughout our operations and specialist consultants.
Our strategy for managing climate-related risks: In line with our belief that fossil fuels will remain part of the global energy mix for some time, and that oil and gas resources must be developed and produced responsibly, we have committed to and defined a pathway to achieve Net Zero by 2030, supporting our host countries in benefitting from the responsible development of natural resources wealth. We continued to test the resilience of our portfolio against International Energy Agency scenarios: the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, Announced Pledges Scenario, Stated Policies Scenario and the Sustainable Development Scenario. As a predominantly oil producing company with no downstream assets, the key financial risk for our business remains oil price.
Our assessment of climate-related risks: Tullow considers climate-related risks and opportunities as an upstream exploration and production company with limited exposure to impacts in the downstream and distribution aspects of the oil and gas sector. However, we continue to examine the interconnection of climate-related risks and other risks identified through our enterprise risk management processes, so that we can be best positioned to address these interrelated risks appropriately.
Our metrics and targets, and performance progress: In 2021, we saw an increase in absolute emissions, directly correlating to production levels. In 2022 and 2023, as we advance a critical element of our plan to achieve Net Zero, the elimination of routine flaring, we expect to see a step-change reduction in GHG emissions.
Tullow is committed to transparent disclosures of our emissions on both an operated and net-equity basis, and we continue to report Scope 3 emissions from our non-operated portfolio as we work to better understand the emissions from our value chain. This year we have enhanced our Scope 3 emissions reporting to include emissions associated with waste generated in operations, business travel, transportation and distribution, and employee commuting resulting in an increase in our total Scope 3 emissions. However, the equity share of emissions from our non-operated portfolio in 2021 has decreased to 202,787 tCO2e (318,271 tCO2e in 2020), due to reductions in flaring on assets in our Gabon portfolio as well as divestment of assets in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
For details of our Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the years 2017-2021, please see our Sustainability Performance Data workbook, which can be downloaded here.
An essential step on our pathway to Net Zero is the elimination of routine flaring on our operated facilities in Ghana, which we have committed to achieve by 2025. Our effort to progress towards our goal of eliminating routine flaring by 2025 is on course. Implementation of the changes necessary to eliminate routine flaring will require shutdowns at appropriate times for both Jubilee and TEN FPSOs to allow for various modifications to key equipment and other system upgrades. These activities will therefore need to be aligned with planned FPSO maintenance shutdowns to avoid disruption to production. We fully expect to implement all necessary activities to eliminate routine flaring from both FPSOs by 2025.
At our Jubilee field: Routine flaring elimination and also flare reduction rates will be achieved through (1) re-motoring and re-wheeling of large gas compressors (2) execution of FPSO capacity expansion project. In 2021 two new larger compressor electric motors were successfully installed, with the remaining four motors to be installed in 2022. In 2021, our planned Jubilee FPSO shutdown was deferred in order to prioritise the urgent completion of critical asset integrity work. Overall, the compressor upgrade project and capacity expansion project are planned to be completed during 2023.
At our TEN field: Routine flaring elimination and flare reduction rates will be achieved through modifying facilities to allow re-routing of low-pressure separated gas, from a multi-functional separator vessel, away from flare and instead into the low-pressure gas compression system. Work on this initiative will start in early 2022 and be completed during a planned maintenance shutdown in 2023.
On our Non-operated assets: We are working with the operators of our non-operated assets to identify decarbonisation initiatives and have already eliminated routine flaring on Ezanga, Echira and Turnix in Gabon. The gas is now exported or utilised for power generation. An additional abatement project is due to be sanctioned in 2022 at Simba, which will redirect gas to Tchatamba to reduce flaring.
We plan to address our residual, hard to abate emissions through the implementation of a diversified portfolio of nature-based carbon offset projects, initially in Ghana. These are likely to include a mix of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) projects with some afforestation / reforestation (ARR) initiatives. Our selection of carbon offset projects is guided by Tullow’s long-term commitment to Ghana, the carbon potential of the projects, and our desire to create Shared Prosperity through socio-economic benefits for communities while supporting biodiversity and preserving critical habitats.
This year we appointed Terra Global, a global leader in sustainable forest and agriculture program development, to advise on the selection of suitable projects for financing and
implementation. Terra Global will assist with the identification of potential initiatives that support Ghana’s National REDD+ strategy and other natural resource management and rural development policies. Tullow, Terra Global and the Ghana Forestry Commission have agreed modes of collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding to identify ecological zones for offset projects. It is expected that the feasibility phase will be completed in the first quarter of 2022, with investment decisions and implementation to follow in 2022 and 2023. The integrity of any project is of the utmost importance and we intend to register projects under leading standards such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard (CCBS).
Through our collaboration with Terra Global and the Ghana Forestry Commission, we target to deliver, by 2030, a portfolio of projects that will generate a minimum of credits to offset 600,000 tCO2e annually.
Our selection of carbon offset projects will depend on the outcomes of carbon feasibility studies to be conducted by Terra Global covering carbon potential, land tenure status, and needed stakeholder interventions. The Ghana Forestry Commission, through its National REDD+ Secretariat housed at the Climate Change Directorate will also collaborate in the identification and analysis of potential projects.
We continue to drive carbon efficiencies through our operations as far as possible, and this can be seen in the reduction in Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions recorded over the past four years (reduction of 82% in 2021 compared to 2018). However, our overall emissions performance is impacted by our continued need to support gas disposal through flaring. Our pathway to Net Zero which commits to the elimination of routine flaring will deliver at least a 40% reduction in total Scope 1 and 2 emissions (net equity basis) by 2025. In the meantime, our Scope 1 emissions correlate to production and associated flaring levels, driving a further temporary increase in 2021 until gas handling projects are completed on Jubilee and TEN.
We make every effort to minimise the environmental impacts of our water withdrawal and waste generated by our operations. We support transparent disclosure of our performance on managing these two key areas of impact.
Reducing water consumption
This year we have enhanced our disclosures in compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting standards. We have expanded a number of environmental reporting metrics, including how we report on our water withdrawal, discharge and total consumption. As a result, we can demonstrate more clearly the total volume and source of water we require to support our operations. In 2021, more than 68% of our water withdrawal was from seawater, with zero withdrawal from surface water sources or areas of water stress.
In addition to enhancing our disclosures on water consumption, we have also expanded our reporting metrics associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste following the GRI standards. We can now more clearly measure and disclose our waste handling performance, with a new focus on energy recovery in addition to the volume of waste that we recycle, reuse or treat.
Managing waste in Tullow Ghana
At Tullow Ghana, we have continued to implement a rigorous programme of waste segregation and waste management, aiming to reduce waste at source and recycle wherever possible. In particular, all wood and fibre waste is recycled, and we have aimed to reduce plastic waste by eliminating single-use plastics from our offices and offshore operations. In practice, safety protocols during the pandemic have constrained our ability to entirely eliminate single use plastics. However, plastic waste generated is fully recycled to make pavement blocks and other goods.
Tullow is committed to protecting the biodiversity of the regions in which we operate, and we strive to minimise negative impacts on biodiversity at the planning, exploration, development, operations and decommissioning phases of our activities. Additionally, we undertake environmental initiatives to regenerate and preserve our natural assets.
As we exit exploration or development operations in our host countries, we comply with applicable laws and regulations covering restoration and decommissioining as well as our own environmental management requirements. Our objectives are to leave operational sites with no negative impacts on biodiversity or other environmental implications. We maintain a highly skilled team to manage potential impacts from all phases of our activities in line with industry best practice and national regulations, ensuring that:
- Potential for oil or gas leaks is eliminated by plugging and abandoning wells
- All surface infrastructure is removed and responsibly disposed of in accordance with As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) principles
- No potential snagging hazards are left on the seabed
- Restoration is completed and accepted by land owners, land users, community leaders and regulatory agencies.
This year we completed the demobilisation of our onshore seismic crew in Côte d’Ivoire. The project had commenced in mid-2019 but due to the pandemic all field operations were suspended in early 2020, and the full repatriation of our international crew achieved by mid-2020. During this period of cessation in operations a comprehensive assessment of subsurface prospectivity was undertaken, incorporating the newly acquired seismic data, resulting in the decision to terminate the acquisition and hence demobilise the project. The demobilisation phase involved the restoration of three camps, final impact assessment and restoration along survey lines including associated crop compensation payments to crop owners - necessitating a comprehensive stakeholder engagement and management process.
In Suriname we permanently plugged and abandoned the Goliathberg Voltzberg North 1 exploration well. Pre-drill benthic habitat surveys plus pre and post-drill subsea surveys with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) were undertaken to meet regulatory requirements. These operations were undertaken without a Lost Time Incident.
In 2021, we continued to progress decommissioning activities in Mauritania following cessation of activity in non-operated areas in 2014, and in the United Kingdom, following cessation of drilling activity in 2018. Operations were somewhat delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 but are planned to continue during 2022 in line with all safety protocols.