Tatneft: 20 years of environmental programs
Ravil Gareyev, Anatoly Petrov
In September one of Russian oil majors, the Tatneft Company, will mark its 60th jubilee. This year the company will also have another anniversary as 20 years have passed since Tatneft adopted its first five-year environmental program in 1990. Another five-year program followed which surpassed the first one by the result. Now the flagship of the industry of the Republic of Tatarstan will consolidate the achieved results in the framework of the third long-term program up to 2015. Head of Tatneft’s technological anti-corrosion and labor safety department Ravil Gareyev and his deputy Anatoly Petrov told VIP-Premier about environmental achievements during the years.
Tatneft’s environmental programs have been existing for 20 years however that does not mean the company has been protecting the nature for the same time. The work began in 1971 when the company issued the first order to protect the environment in the coming five years. There were four such orders and in 1990 they were replaced by environmental programs. In those times the orders introduced mid-term nature protection events and could be also called programs in the wide meaning of the word.
The 1990 program mostly aimed at determining nature protection guidelines. The company had to identify priorities, perfect technologies, and calculate the efficiency of planned events. All the tasks were fulfilled.
The second program developed the first one and its basic aim was to determine and introduce most efficient technologies and technical means to fulfill nature protection tasks. In five years Tatneft considerably mounted production capacities for oil slime refining and entrapping of light hydrocarbon fractions. The accomplished work was immense and created the basis for further environmental achievements of the company.
Due to the two programs Tatneft succeeded to comply with environmental requirements in oilfield development by the end of the past millennium. Besides, it perfected all the necessary technologies, eliminated bottlenecks, and accomplished all the plans.
Tatneft’s environmental programs have been existing for 20 years however that does not mean the company has been protecting the nature for the same time.
At present the third long-term environmental program of Tatneft for 2000-2015 is in force. It comprised nature protection measures in 34 priority guidelines. The main aim is to keep the environment in the areas of company activities at the acceptable level and minimize pollution to background level that existed before oilfield development began. The only and the main task today is to keep the situation at the minimal normative level which the company achieved.
The task is not easier than decreasing pollution. On the contrary, it is more difficult as it demands constant control of the environment and quick elimination of any deviation from the norm. You should better stop rather than go ahead as the environmental situation may deteriorate. The environmental program for 2000-2015 aims to prevent the process and strengthen the achieved results.
Tatneft annually earmarks three-four billion rubles for nature protection. In ten years of the latest long-term environmental program over 30 billion rubles were invested.
Tatneft operates on a wide territory of the Republic of Tatarstan. In the zone of responsibility the company controls water reservoirs, soil and the atmosphere air and the reported presence of polluting substances is much lower than maximum permissible concentrations. In the rivers in the southeast of the republic the indicator is much lower than the maximum permissible concentrations for oil and petroleum products, as well as for chlorides. Excessive discharge of polluting substances into the atmosphere against hygienic norms has been practically reduced to zero. As for the soil and water, Tatneft experts determined, in particular, that chloride pollution mostly occurs because of various accidents and breakups of pipelines in pressure maintenance systems, unsealing of well casing columns, while oil pollution occurs because of similar accidents on oil pipelines. As for the air, discharges are often the result of reservoir “breathing”. All the factors account for most pollution.
Which nature protection measures did the company take? To protect water reservoirs Tatneft radically increased the production and use of corrosion-proof pipes with polymer and cement-sand coating. Seven pipe production shops were built during the period of environmental programs. To protect the air all tank farms were equipped with entrapping systems for light hydrocarbon fractions. There are 43 units. To purify soil polluted with black oil four units to refine oil slime were commissioned jointly with a German company in Tatoilgaz, as well as in Prikamneft, Yamashneft and Nurlatneft companies. The latter three were specifically necessary as a big number of pits storing mud polluted with oil and petroleum products appeared in the zone of company responsibility by the time. Now there are practically no pits.
Tatneft monitors the environmental situation in residential settlements in the zone of responsibility. In all towns and settlements water, atmosphere air and soil are constantly monitored and the company assists local self-government with water supplies, greenery and development. Today there is no residential settlement in the southeast of the republic where Tatneft did not help organize high-quality potable water supplies. Huge work is underway with water springs and over 500 of them were built up to become pure water sources and popular places of countryside rest.
As for the problem of ground waters in the southeast of the republic, we should say that water is an indicator of the state of the whole environment. Quite often the pollution of underground waters and springs occurs because of casing column corrosion. To prevent the negative phenomenon the outside surface of casing pipes got cathode protection while inter-pipe space is filled with anti-corrosion liquid. Thus, the whole well construction is protected from destruction and the problem of underground water pollution has been practically resolved.
Tatneft is a Russian leader by investments into environmental protection. The company annually disburses three-four billion rubles for nature protection and the financing of environmental programs goes exclusively at the expense of own funds and is under constant control. In ten years of the latest long-term program over 30 billion rubles were invested.
In the zone of responsibility Tatneft controls water reservoirs, soil and the atmosphere air and the reported presence of polluting substances is much lower than maximum permissible concentrations.
Tatneft is protecting the environment not only in the republic, but also outside it and in any place of operations. The technologies perfected in the southeast of the republic are included into project design and are automatically introduced in other regions. Delegations from other regions often visit Tatneft to get acquainted with its environment protection designs. Tatneft experts also constantly study the experience of other companies to borrow the best practice. The immense environmental work of the company did not remain unnoticed. In June Tatneft won the annual contest of the Russian National Environmental Prize-2010 in the nomination Innovation Ecoefficient Industrial Technologies and received the Grand Prix.