Flaring, Venting, and Fugitive Emissions

Phasing out routine flaring is one of the essential steps toward combining resource efficiency with long-term economic success and a way to strongly support our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations. In 2020, routine flaring at OMV totaled 462 . 1 Excluding Borealis In 2017, to reinforce our clear commitment to responsible resource management and sustainable business, we also endorsed the World Bank’s “Zero routine flaring by 2030” initiative to end routine flaring of associated gas during oil production by 2030. We report annually to the World Bank on our progress in adherence to this initiative.

New OMV oil and gas fields are developed and operated according to plans that incorporate sustainable utilization or conservation of the field’s associated gas without routine flaring. Existing sites where routine flaring of associated and free gas still takes place are required to develop a phase-out plan to eliminate legacy routine flaring as soon as possible, but no later than 2030.

In refineries, state-of-the-art plant design is implemented in order to avoid routine flaring by flare gas recovery and balancing the fuel gas system. Such advanced process control includes sufficient capacity of the flare gas recovery system, the use of high-integrity relief valves, and other economically viable organizational and control measures. As a result of such measures, we aim to use flaring as a safety system for other than normal operations, such as start-up, shutdown, emergency, process upsets, and others.

Sustainability Strategy 2025 Target

  • Achieve zero routine flaring and venting of associated gas by 2030

Status 2020

  • Volume of gas routinely flared decreased from 501mn m3 in 2019 to 462 mn m3 in 2020

Action Plan to Achieve the Target

  • Prepare and approve routine flaring phase-out plans
  • Continue with ongoing flaring and venting reduction projects
  • Systematically monitor and report on performance
  • Report our progress on routine flaring phase-out in conjunction with OMV’s commitment to the World Bank

SDG targets: 7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

All OMV operations are required to minimize methane emissions from point sources as well as technically unavoidable emissions (such as well testing and well workover, among others). The main sources of methane emissions are routine/non-routine venting of gas during oil and gas production and processing as well as gas leaks.

Green Kaizen Events Decrease Fugitive Emissions (photo)

Methane emissions and other non-methane volatile organic compounds ) are monitored or estimated and controlled systematically by leak detection and repair programs. The identification of methane and NMVOC emissions sources serves as the basis for developing reduction projects in accordance with best practice in the industry and the best available technologies. Knowing the main potential sources of methane emissions also allows us to implement precautionary measures for preventing such emissions in new production assets.

The minimum requirement for identifying leaks is conducting routine audio, visual, and olfactory inspections as part of daily operator rounds at all relevant OMV operating facilities. Leak detection also entails soap-bubble testing and optical gas imaging with defined scopes and intervals (annually or more frequently, as required in accordance with a related risk assessment). At some facilities, infrared cameras are also used for leak detection.

Green Kaizen Events Decrease Fugitive Emissions (photo)

In order to prevent as well as to mitigate fugitive emissions, we have taken important steps, such as implementing a pipeline integrity program and modernizing facilities such as compressor stations.

Green Kaizen Events Decrease Fugitive Emissions

OMV Petrom Upstream implemented a Leak Detection and Repair () program in all assets as part of Green Kaizen events in 2020. The aim is to remediate all leaks identified in the respective location, while raising awareness of low-carbon operations among field personnel and local contractors. The Green Kaizen events consist of five main activities: leak identification, volumetric measurement of fugitive gas leaks, leak repairs, post-repair measurement in repaired sources, and, finally, the assessment of results. These activities aim to encourage employees to see the problem, understand the size of the problem, implement the solution, confirm the solution, and sustain the result. In 2020, we succeeded in decreasing fugitive emissions through two Green Kaizen events at large facilities in our Crișana and Oltenia assets. We intend to continue this approach in all operated assets and to incorporate lessons learned and best practices to ensure that we achieve the targets we set.

SDG targets: 7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries; 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

1 Excluding Borealis

cubic meter
greenhouse gas
(non-methane) volatile organic compound
Leak Detection and Repair