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EBRD US$ 75 million loan to Energean Oil and Gas S.A

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EBRD plans to support up to US$ 75 million loan to Energean Oil and Gas S.A, of which USD$ 25 million are expected to be syndicated, to a Greek oil company, for the further development of its existing offshore oil fields in the Gulf of Kavala in Greece.

Support the development of the only private upstream oil and gas company producing in Greece and cooperate with the Greek government in providing assistance for improving the environmental and safety regulations and guidelines for the industry.

The Company is introducing new technologies for minimising overall costs and promoting operational efficiency by aiming to successfully install and operate a relatively new platform design in Energean’s offshore field development in the Gulf of Kavala. The Bank will also assist the company in raising its Environmental Health and Safety standards and procedures by adopting an Environmental Social and Action Plan. Finally, the Bank will provide technical support to the Greek government to achieve international best practice in the oil and gas sector.

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Energean Oil and Gas SA is a private company active in the exploration and production of oil and gas in the Mediterranean basin. Energean has a portfolio of producing assets in Greece and assets in exploration in Egypt and Israel.

Categorised A (ESP 2014): Offshore oil and gas developments may be associated with various,  potentially significant, environmental and social (E&S) impacts, which at the time of categorisation, cannot readily be identified or assessed, and which, therefore, require a formalised and participatory environmental and social impact assessment process. The Company has developed a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) package, which is now disclosed (4 March 2016) for a minimum of 60 days before the Project can be presented to the EBRD’s Board of Directors for consideration. In addition, a draft Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been agreed with the Company to bring the Project and existing operations in line with the Bank’s Performance Requirements. This PSD will be updated once the 60 day disclosure period has expired.

The Project involves the expansion of an existing offshore oil and gas development in the Gulf of Kavala in Greece. The Gulf of Kavala is part of the Thracian Sea and falls within North East Aegean Sea. The Company operates an offshore complex of four platforms, connecting pipelines, pipelines to shore and an onshore processing plant in the Gulf of Kavala. These facilities have been operating for 35 years. The offshore complex is located 18km offshore from the town of Kavala and 8km from the island of Thasos. Oil and gas produced offshore is partially processed offshore before being pumped to shore for final processing and export by tanker. The Project to be financed by the EBRD includes the addition of a new unmanned platform, connecting pipelines to the exiting offshore complex and the drilling of wells. In the future, the Company may install a second platform together with additional wells. Production rates from existing fields have been in the decline and the development plan will therefore increase production closer to previous rates. The increase in production will not exceed the current design capacity of the existing offshore and onshore infrastructure or exceed the permitted production volumes accommodated in the past.
The Company has developed a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)
package for the Project and its own future development plans. This ESIA serves the purpose of meeting the Bank’s ESIA requirements and those for local EIA permitting. The ESIA will be submitted to the Greek authorities soon after public disclosure. The ESIA therefore considers Greek and EU environmental requirements as well as the EBRD Performance Requirements. The ESIA focusses primarily on the offshore Project. In addition, the ESIA package includes the recently reissued ESIA for the onshore processing plant and a summary thereof including current E&S performance. The Project does not require any change to the onshore facility. The existing facilities are in compliance with relevant national and EU standards.

The Project may be associated with various environmental and social impacts during construction, during operation together with the existing facilities and during decommissioning. These impacts are considered in the ESIA and include: impacts to marine biodiversity through disturbances to the seabed, the presence of Project and noise generating activities; emissions (GHG emissions from the Project will not increase current emissions by more than 25 000 tonnes of CO2e) and discharges to air and the sea through general operations and discharges of treated produced water; limited modifications to the seabed; interactions with other marine users such as fishermen; worker and community health and safety; H2S risks (the crude is characterised by high levels of hydrogen sulphide) as well as risks associated with unplanned events or accidents such as oil spills. Health and safety risks have been assessed through a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) while environmental and social impacts have been assessed through various baseline surveys, consideration of secondary data, the Project design and through the process of impact assessment.

Although the Project is not located in a protected area, many of the nearby coastal areas are Natura 2000 areas and also include a Ramsar site and a national park. These areas as well as the beaches are used for tourism as well as fishing activities. The Project is located sufficiently distant from these areas to not result in any impacts to these areas or their conservation objectives from routine activities. A major oil spill could, however, result in significant impact on these areas. Oil spill modelling has, however, determined that the potential for a spill to reach the coast and impact these areas is very low and existing management and design controls and measures are appropriate to avoid the potential for a spill and contain and address a spill if one should occur. The ESIA has confirmed that many of the existing environmental and social (include H&S) provisions are adequate to manage the impacts associated with the Project and existing operations. The ESIA has, however, identified various mitigation measures that are required to be implemented during construction and drilling activities. For example, measures to reduce noise and the impacts of marine mammals if present at the time of construction or drilling. These together with existing mitigation and management provisions are captured in a series of framework environmental and social management plans, which will be fully developed pre-construction and integrated into the Company’s existing E&S management system with modifications made where necessary.

The ESIA package has now (4 March 2016) been put into the public domain for a minimum period of 60 days. The disclosure of the ESIA is guided by the Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) developed by the Company and includes copies of the ESIA online and in various physical locations.

This will be supplemented with various public meetings required by the EBRD and the Greek environmental authorities. This consultation and information disclosure will build upon consultation undertaken during the development of the ESIA.

A draft Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been agreed with the Company to bring the Project and existing operations in line with the Bank’s Performance Requirements. Key ESAP actions include integration of the necessary mitigation and management measures into the existing E&S management system; implementation of measures to avoid and minimise impacts to marine ecology especially marine mammals; development of a full GHG inventory on an annual basis; and implementation of the SEP and the grievance mechanism for the life of the Project. This PSD will be updated once the 60 day disclosure period has expired.

EBRD

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