A Novel Systematic Approach for the Identification and Evaluation of Environmental and Social Aspects in Oil and Gas Projects Mexico

Purewal, Satinder (Imperial College) | Pacheco-Roman, Francisco J. (Secretaria de Energia SENER) | Hernández Juárez, Mayelli (Secretaria de Energia SENER) | León Mella, José A. (Agencia de Seguridad Energia y Ambiente) | Mera Avecias, Guillermina (Agencia de Seguridad Energia y Ambiente)

OnePetro 

Abstract

The objective is to present a matrix to identify environmental and social aspects which may impact the initiation, assessment, approval of final investment decision and implementation of oil and gas projects in Mexico. The matrix is applied to 19 blocks. The results demonstrate the usefulness in ease of identification of key elements which may be focus of attention to project feasibility. This may be used as tool for resource classification, and thus adapted to other countries.

The Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment (ASEA) with collaboration from the Energy Ministry (SENER) were involved while the project selection was integrated by the National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH). CNH selected 19 blocks for review with 75 oil and gas projects. SENER and ASEA developed a matrix with clear identification of environmental and social aspects which may have an impact on the potential implementation of each project. The traffic light and multivariate analysis methods were adopted to colour code the environmental and social elements. This coding allowed quick identification of key areas which need to be addressed for project feasibility.

The selected blocks were located both offshore and onshore with different environmental and social issues. Unconventional and conventional resource developments were covered in the projects. The use of the matrix provided a consistent tool for better identification and understanding of the social and environmental aspects interacting in each block. It also emphasized the main sources of information and the best way to evaluate systematically the social and environmental aspects. The application of the matrix on real blocks exposed the social and environmental aspects that must to be addressed for the oil industry to develop from a sustainable vision. The evaluation of diverse blocks allowed for the identification of common characteristics and the subsequent classification of the blocks. The developed matrix may be used as a tool for making energy policy decisions. At the national level, it may also assist in understanding and meeting some of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).

This paper presents a novel matrix to identify environmental and social elements relevant for the development of any oil and gas project. It also proposes a useful traffic light and multivariate analysis methods for the evaluation of these elements. The matrix allows quick and easy reference for identification of the key elements which may be focus of attention to oil and gas project feasibility. This approach may benefit the decision-making process within an integrated sustainability perspective.