We operate in ecosystems including coastal wetlands in Louisiana, American prairies, Canadian boreal forest, Alaskan tundra, the North Sea, Australia’s Coral Sea and Indonesia’s tropical rain forest. As part of our Sustainable Development (SD) risk management process, exploration, production and major project activities are assessed for potential biodiversity risks including:
- Species characterized as at-risk, endangered, rare, significant, threatened or of cultural value.
- International, national, regional or locally designated protected areas.
- Habitats including rare or threatened ecological communities and regionally unique ecosystems.
- Cumulative effects on habitats, ecosystems or species.
The process is designed to identify potential biodiversity impacts such as changes in species distribution or abundance, habitat disturbance, or changes to habitat intactness. This may be associated with the direct or indirect physical footprint of project development or operations, or through releases, spills or discharges to the environment. Direct footprint refers to the area where the land surface or sea bottom is physically disturbed through infrastructure including access roads, seismic lines/surveys, well pads or platforms, process and storage facilities or pipelines. Indirect footprint refers to areas adjacent to development projects or operations where plants, animals and people may be influenced by visual, physical, chemical, noise or vegetation changes associated with the direct footprint.
Biodiversity risks for operated assets are assessed annually at the business unit or development-area level and plotted on a risk matrix. The time horizons considered are short-term (zero to five years), mid-term (five to 10 years) and long-term (10 to 25 years). Priority risks which could affect business activities and performance for our operated assets, as determined by likelihood and consequence on the matrix, are included in the corporate SD Risk Register. Our corporate Biodiversity Action Plan addresses these risks, and provides information on the accountable action owner, milestones and target completion date.
Our governance structure provides board and management oversight of our risk processes and ensures that appropriate mitigation plans are in place. Priority risks are communicated to the executive leadership champion for biodiversity and the Public Policy Committee of the board of directors.
Biodiversity Hot Spot Assessment
When evaluating potential risks to biodiversity from our operations, we also complete an enterprise-wide review of the Conservation International Biodiversity Hot Spot mapping layer using the biodiversity functionality of the IPIECA Global Water Tool for Oil & Gas. Biodiversity “Hot Spot” refers to 25 biologically rich areas around the world that have lost at least 70% of their original habitat.
Our Indonesian asset in South Sumatra is located within the Sundaland Hotspot, which encompasses Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. Industrial forestry including rubber, palm oil and pulp production as well as international animal trade in this area have been identified as the key threats to biodiversity by organizations including Conservation International.
Read more about our biodiversity offset at Sriwijaya Botanical Garden.