Environmental activities

TATNEFT today is primarily an environmentally responsible Company, which is guided in its activities by the following objectives:

  • increasing industrial and environmental safety of hazardous production facilities through  provision of reliable and trouble-free operation of process equipment and introduction of effective equipment technical diagnostics methods;
  • identifying, assessing and mitigating industrial hazards and risks;
  • increasing the efficiency of monitoring compliance with the requirements of industrial and environmental safety at the production facilities of the Company;
  • reducing the negative impact on the environment through  introduction of new advanced technologies, equipment, materials  and improvement of the technological processes automation level;
  • rational use of natural resources and minimizing oil and gas losses.

TATNEFT Company adheres in its activities to precautionary principle 15 of the UN Declaration on Environment and Development, adopted in Rio de Janeiro on June 3-4, 1992.

In general, environmental management in PJSC TATNEFT is implemented under environmental programs. In place of the previously adopted programs "Ecology 1990-1995", "Environmental safety in crude oil production in the south-eastern part of the Republic of Tatarstan, 1995-2000" and  "Ecology Program of PJSC TATNEFT for the period of 2000-2015" the Company developed and approved in 2016 the fourth environmental program until 2020 designed to maintain the state of the environment in the region of PJSC TATNEFT activities at the regulatory acceptable level consistent with the self-healing potential of natural ecosystems.

According to ISO 14001:2004 standard, under which the environmental management system of PJSC TATNEFT has been certified for compliance, the Company has used the methodology of the "consistent procedures", in which follow-up actions are formed on the basis of the data obtained from the results of the previous level procedure. The following procedures sequence has been established in PJSC TATNEFT in the process of the environmental management:

  • preparation of the original environmental management reporting in accordance with a single form;
  • identification of the environmental aspects for all the activities of the Company under the same methodology and compilation of a ranking list of significant environmental aspects;
  • identification of current environmental commitments and  elaboration of measures to mitigate the impact on the environment;
  • setting targets and planned environmental figures specifying the current environmental liabilities;
  • analysis and evaluation of environmental performance;
  • identification of the ways to improve the environmental performance and the possibility of further reducing the impact on the environment.

ENES 2015 International Forum

Master-class on the best practices in the promotion of energy conservation, the Fuel and Energy Complex employee’s professions and industry’s information openness. 

The report "Green Initiatives of the Fuel and Energy Complex companies as part of the modern standard of the industry relations with the public”. (Presented by N.Z. Valeyeva, Press-Service Head of PJSC  TATNEFT).

Good afternoon, dear colleagues!

I'm glad to have the opportunity of sharing the experience of our Company in the area of building relationship with the public on the subject of environment, which is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

The environmental policy and environmental initiatives of TATNEFT, stated in the Company's mission as a priority, are intended to ensure sustainable development and a high level of corporate responsibility towards the stakeholders - shareholders, business partners, team, population and authorities. Of course, it took quite a few years for the ecological system of our Company to be established. It was developed together with international institutions for securing safe environment and in accordance with the Constitution of Russia, federal environmental laws, as well as international mandatory and voluntary standards.

The oilmen of Tatarstan since their early days were focused on the eco-friendliness of their activities. Some people may consider these words as exaltation and declaration; however that’s just the way it was! After all, the first oil field operators in the Republic were locals - villagers who had respect at the genetic level for the mother earth.

Our veterans recall that whenever there was a line rupture or accident the whole neighborhood used to come out together with oilmen to clean the contaminated earth area. It was their generation of pioneers who had to live through the most difficult times for the country during   World War II who had to explore a new oil business standing at the origin of the Republican oil industry, setting up the traditions and values ​​of the Company, including environmental ones.

The first commercial tonnes of the Tatar oil immediately began working for the Victory and made a huge contribution to the post-war national economy recovery. The used to call Tatarstan the "second Baku" in the 50-ies and in the 70-ies TATNEFT was already “hoisting” 100 million tonnes per year. This was the time of records, initiatives and labor victories. No wonder that Nikolai Baybakov, legendary Commissar and Chairman of Gosplan, used to repeatedly emphasize in his presentations that "the Tatarstan oil was the basis of building half of the Soviet Union". The “black gold" of Tatarstan transformed the agrarian Republic  into one of the most powerful industrial centers of the country with TATNEFT being a testing ground of advanced technologies, a real source of manpower industry-wide. “In those times there were a lot of bigwigs and experts coming to visit us from Moscow, they were taken to the facilities and they asked half in earnest and half in jest whether we were producing oil or milk. So clean it was at the production facilities," the veterans recall.

However, the unprecedented pace of drilling, development and production strictly dictated by the center "Oil at any cost," continuous increasing of "His Majesty the Plan" had a negative impact on the ecological situation in the region. 

The 70-ies of the last century witnessed constant ruptures of oil and water pipelines, which aggravated the environmental situation in the region. Injection of considerable amounts of waste water into reservoirs led to saline contamination of the local springs. It markedly reduced the number of fish in the rivers and oil-smeared black geese in the ponds were an unpleasant, but a distinguishing feature of that time. Real traps for birds and animals were open sludge storage areas. Up to fifty repair requests for line ruptures and accidents were daily reported to the dispatching service alone of "Almetyevneft", one of the largest Oil and Gas Producing Boards. Dozens of welding crews and up to a hundred equipped vehicles used to go out to the accident elimination. The situation was close to critical. And at that time the oilmen themselves were the first to sound the alarms. And they proceeded with serious environmental activities, which, inter alia, included improving the quality of wells’ cementing to prevent saline contamination of drinking water sources, rehabilitation of tubing, tightening of technological discipline, creation of mobile crews for well servicing, as well as establishment of environmental protection services. Truly revolutionary was launching the production of corrosion-resistant metal-plastic pipes, which allowed a ten-fold reduction in the number of pipeline accidents. The large environmental breakthrough was the introduction in the 90-ies of unique for that time technologies of light hydrocarbon fractions capture (vapor recovery) from the tanks, which allowed reducing oil vapor emissions to zero and restoring the air quality in the region. These and other activities formed the basis of the first TATNEFT’s environmental program, designed for 1990-1995. The document was a serious application for managing the impact on the environment. Later, the Company initiated the second and the third environmental programs. As of today, there is the fourth program already approved, which takes into account the most up-to-date standards. The major principle of these documents is preclusiveness, that is, in the words of Alexander Nesmeyanov, famous Soviet chemist, rector of the Moscow State University: "It is not necessary to clean the air and water, it is much more important to stop polluting them". 

Returning to the environmental situation of the70-ies, I would like to emphasize that the Company did not hide the problems from the Company’s staff and the public. And the role of the corporate media was really great there. They used to go out to the Company’s divisions sites together with professionals, and then raised the most acute problems in the articles on the production and environmental issues. Of course, TATNEFT demonstrated to the public the Company’s achievements as well. Firmly established is the practice of inviting journalists and writers to the facilities, where the writing fraternity could personally get acquainted with the technologies and  "oil romanticism". We enjoyed the visit of the famous Sverdlovsk Film Studio, which shot a picture of “Buried Treasure" about the oilmen of the Republic. We were visited by Nikita Mikhalkov, Andrei Konchalovsky and Lyudmila Gurchenko for the filming of "Sibiriada", which reflected the contribution of Tatarstan’s oilmen in the exploration and development of Siberia. There were many tutorial films about technologies and environmental approaches of the Tatarstan’s oil field workers released by the Central Studio of Documentary Films and Kazan Newsreels Studio "Nauchfilm". To cut a long story short, the country knew how TATNEFT was living and breathing. 

And today, in its contemporary history being in the status of an internationally recognized vertically integrated holding company, TATNEFT continues to actively pursue its environmental policy in  new business areas, such as development of bituminous shale oil fields, oil refining and petrochemicals production. Given that they all have a high index of technogenic nature and a high level of environmental risks, as well as greater attention on the part of the supervisory authorities and the public, the Company is aware of how important it is to apply the best, the safest and the most environmentally friendly technologies, as well as to timely and fully inform interested audiences. In this regard, the Project for Construction of the Oil Refining and Petrochemical Plants Complex in Nizhnekamsk   has become special for us. TANECO can be called unique in terms of operating the process plants already built and continued parallel construction of new ones. I would like to stress here, that all the works performed comply with all the federal standards and regulations for safe construction, production and operation of the project. The engineering design of technological installations has initially provided for compliance with the high environmental protection requirements. These include modern closed-loop treatment facilities with full recycling of the water used, highly efficient flare system of the flue gas cleaning; specialized laboratories, which perform a continuous environmental monitoring and many other things. I would like to   emphasize here that the water at the outlet from the treatment plants by its property figures is 5 times cleaner than the water coming to the TANECO Complex from the Kama River. Today the Complex is commercially producing two dozen kinds of high-quality, marketable processed hydrocarbon products, including Euro-5 diesel fuel, aviation fuels and base oils. In the second half of 2016   the Complex will start production of the ecological class Euro-5 motor gasoline. 

The information about all these events is put into the public domain through corporate and external communication channels: media, promotion events, forums and conferences. The most important tool for informing the public is participation of the TATNEFT’s top management and environmentalists in the public hearings, which are arranged 2 times a year. If we go back to the TANECO Refinery Complex, it must be mentioned that at the very beginning of the project implementation Nizhnekamsk residents were not happy with the emergence of another industry giant. Such sentiment was stoked by the representatives of individual parties, as a rule, before the elections. In short, the situation demanded that the leaders, professionals, employees of the press service had to be in constant readiness to make contact with the public and the media to communicate the information to the residents of the city on the environmental approach of TATNEFT. There was a feedback organized with the site population (we tried to provide prompt answers to  rather sharp questions with  obligatory participation of professionals). Continuous monitoring of social networks (“Facebook”, “VKontakte”, “Twitter”) has been and is being carried out to ensure rapid response to any negative information.  Press tours are arranged and analytical communities are invited on a systematic basis in Nizhnekamsk. The Deputies of the State Duma and the Tatarstan’s State Council got familiarized with the Company’s petrochemical branch and highly praised the ecological approaches to the project implementation. Tours of the Company's facilities by various population groups, including schoolchildren and students have become a regular practice. TATNEFT had initiated the "Green Shield of Nizhnekamsk" action, which resulted in planting up a young forest consisting of more than half a million (1,577,000) seedlings on an area of ​​almost 500 hectares between the city and the industrial zones.  These environmental initiatives were also   made public as a result of which the city's population   became more loyal to further construction of the Complex.

TATNEFT pays special attention to water, which is the source of life.  Water recycling and re-circulating water supply systems were put into operation to ensure the rational use and protection of water resources, construction of the industrial storm water drain system is underway and cleaning of wastewater and river water from debris is performed. A clear indicator of improving the water condition in the region is the increased population of beavers. In recent years the Company has put in order and architecturally designed more than 500 springs. Much attention is also paid to the protection of atmospheric air. For example, in addition to the hydrocarbon vapor recovery facilities there are widely applied technologies for processing of associated petroleum gas (APG). Just imagine, that in the early years of the oil fields development, extracting 1 tonne of crude oil used to produce up to 56 cubic meters of gas and they simply did not know what to do with this gas, which had to be flared in order to reduce air poisoning by methane products and provide for safety of the population. At that time the fares used to light almost the whole region, it was possible to read and write in their light. And today, TATNEFT is one of the first companies in the country to meet the standard specified by the Russian government on utilization of at least 95 percent of   APG produced. And this level is not the limit, the Company plans to increase this figure to 98 percent in future.

TATNEFT protects and also rationally uses land areas and forests. The Company re-cultivates and vegetates areas, and has established an effective system for  processing and disposal of wastes. The TATNEFT’s Integrated Management System has been certified for compliance with international standards (on the slide – ISO 14001: 2004 and OHSAS 18001: 2007 of industrial safety, occupational health and the environment). 

The environmental performance of the Company is based on a solid background of information placing in the print and electronic media in the form of topical articles, stories, press releases and other materials. Environment related initiatives become a subject of discussion at round tables with participation of partners, experts, local communities and the media. The information on environmental activities is reflected in the image printed materials (brochures, catalogs), environmental banners. Active information support of the environmental projects is provided through print media, internet resources and TV. The corporate program "Time of TATNEFT" is broadcast for the whole oil region. (On the slide - By the way, only 10 months of the current year witnessed 362 environment related features: articles, releases, segments and films).

By the way, TATNEFT is actively involved in improving the ecological environment of the cities in the region not only in planting trees, but also in laying out parks and mini-parks, beautification of streets and avenues, acquisition of dust collecting, cleaning and snow-fighting vehicles for municipalities. The Company together with the city administration implement a large-scale project on establishment of a bicycle infrastructure in the region’s inhabited localities. The implementation of this work is supervised by N.U. Maganov, General Director of the Company.

TATNEFT pays much attention to educational and awareness-raising work with the younger generation. Since 2008, the contest of children's drawings on the theme "Nature is Alive – so am I!"  has been held for the children of the southeast of Tatarstan, where prizes are given not only to the participants themselves, but also to their teachers. Since 2010, a special project of animated cartoons "The Adventures of Neftyasha and her friends” has been implementing, whose goal is to educate the environmental responsibility,   kindness and patriotism from a very early age.

The main heroine of the film and symbol of the children's environmental education is a squirrel called Neftyasha. Neftyasha and her friend Timur   save the environment from pollution, and the young spectators learn along the way a lot of new things about oilmen and their work. These cartoons are actively used by teachers and tutors during demonstration lessons on public health and safety. Someone will consider the work with children childish sports, but we attach the highest importance to this and we consider it   the work for the long run. We recognize that contributing in children now, we are investing in the future, because these very children will come to work in the Company some day.

In conclusion, I would like to say the TATNEFT’s ecological activities   wouldn’t have received such wide recognition without the media and wide-ranging coverage. The Company and the press office are permanent winners of environmental contests "EcoLeader", "Ecomir", etc. Only in 2015 TATNEFT won prizes in two major projects of the non-governmental Vernadsky Ecological Foundation. As a result of the All-Russian ecological subbotnik "Green Spring - 2015", TATNEFT received the award "For the special contribution to the improvement of the environment and environmental education” and the corporate project of TATNEFT, a series of animated cartoons "Adventures of Neftyasha and her friends”, won the international contest "Ecological Culture. Peace and Harmony". There is no doubt that implementation of the TATNEFT’s large-scale environmental initiatives and comprehensive coverage of the eco-friendly nature of the Company's activities, as well as the Company’s information transparency have become an effective basis for creating a successful dialogue between the Company and the Public.