Management Approach

For SBM Offshore, managing environmental impact goes beyond compliance to environmental protection and refers also to environmentally friendly innovations in the operation of its FPSOs. Client expectations and requirements are directed by environmental considerations, therefore in parallel with maintaining good operating practices, SBM Offshore’s anticipates these expectations and manages its footprint accordingly.

The Company endeavours to operate in an environmentally robust and sustainable manner, in order to minimize impact to local ecosystems as well as proactively protect the environment, paying attention to three key environmental aspects:

  • Oil spills – by strictly following set procedures and ensuring measures are in place
  • Unnecessary flaring or emissions into the air or discharges into sea – through prevention when possible
  • Excessive use of energy and waste – by encouraging reduced consumption, recycling and re-use

Environmental data are tracked on a daily basis, evaluated on a monthly basis and consolidated/disclosed annually. The results are compared with the previous years. In addition, SBM Offshore’s environmental data are benchmarked against the IOGP averages. The results are recorded and reported in accordance with the GRI Standards and IOGP guidelines.

2017 performance

In 2017, the Company continued to expand its environmental initiatives by enhancing existing programs and the development of new ones including:

Key achievements

  • Maintenance of all existing environmental certifications (ISO14001) on shore bases and marine units. One of the two new units in Brazil has been ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 certified in 2017, the last unit will undergo the certification process in 2018.
  • Launch of the challenge ’Take Care of your Flare’ on all Marine Units with the objective to reduce the volume of gas flared under the control of the units and promote local initiatives
  • Several waste minimization initiatives in the accommodation areas of the Marine Unit
  • Continuous improvement of GHG and CO2 emissions reporting
  • Creation of guidance for emissions calculations methodology
  • Implementation of a new tool for Marine Units to perform Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Assessments

Key Targets and results

In 2017 the Company set a global target for all marine units to achieve an improved environmental performance relative to the 2015 IOGP industry average on oil discharged in water, GHG emissions, flaring and energy consumption.

This includes each unit developing its own individual target in terms of flaring reduction on SBM Offshore’s account as part of the ’Take Care of your Flare’ challenge. Targets ranged from 5 to 25% reduction between units, with a consolidated average of 9.6% reduction compared to 2016 at Company level.

The following Environmental performance was recorded in 2017:

  • GHG emissions from energy generation and gas flared relative to the hydrocarbon production decreased significantly compared to 2016. A total of 5,584,850 tonnes of GHG have been produced in 2017, representing 100 tonnes of GHG per thousand tonnes of hydrocarbon produced, which is 29% better than 2016 and 34% better than the industry benchmark1. This significant decrease is mainly due to a 50% reduction in the volume of gas flared compared to 2016 (see next point).
  • The total gas flared in 2017 was 10.9 tonnes per thousand tonnes of hydrocarbon produced (of which 48% was requested by the client). For the first time, the Company reports a total gas flared per production below the IOGP industry benchmark2 of 13.6. This represents a 50% improvement compared to the total gas flared in 2016 which is mainly due to the end of commissioning activities of three FPSOs in 2017, the repair of a gas export facility in Angola reducing gas flaring on two of the Angolan units and the continuous efforts made by the fleet to reduce flaring (see below).
  • Out of the 12 units which participated in the flaring reduction challenge, seven met their individual target (ranging between 5 and 25% reduction between units). Due to updated reporting methodology in 2017, the tangible impacts of the CO2 Challenge Season 2 compared to 2016 performance can be measured against total gas flared only (see section 5.1.6 ).
  • The volume of energy consumption used per hydrocarbon produced remains stable compared to 2016 (1.12 gigajoules of energy per tonnes of hydrocarbon produced compared to 1.24 in 2016, which is 22% lower than the industry benchmark3).
  • The volume of oil discharged to sea per hydrocarbon production also remains stable compared to 2016. The average volume of oil discharged was 2.55 tonnes per million tonnes of hydrocarbon produced (2.59 in 2016), while the IOGP average is 11. The Company performs in this aspect much better than the industry benchmark every year.
  • No hydrocarbon spill exceeding one barrel in volume (159L) was reported in 2017, which means that the normalized number of oil spills offshore greater than one barrel per million tonnes of hydrocarbon produced remained 0 for 2017, while the industry benchmark is 0.094.


The Company wants to further reduce the environmental impacts under its control in 2018 and has decided to adopt again for 2018 bottom up targets for each unit in order to further reduce gas flared under their control. The targets range between 1 to 20% reduction between units, with a consolidated average of 6% reduction at Company level.

Similar to previous year, SBM Offshore has set the target for all units to achieve better environmental performance than the 2016 IOGP industry benchmark for the other environmental aspects: GHG emissions5, Gas Flared6, Energy Consumption7, Oil in Produced Water8 and Oil Spills per production9.

In line with its long-term strategy, SBM Offshore has included the following environmental initiatives as part of its HSSE program for 2018:

  • ISO14001 certification of the last unit in Brazil and maintenance of all existing environmental certifications on shore bases and marine units. Alignment of the management system with the new ISO14001:2015 standard.
  • Reduction of plastic and food waste on units by developing local initiatives and engaging in discussions with catering companies
  • Strengthening of Chemical Management & Hazardous Substance (COSHH) Assessments with a new tool
  • Continuation of the challenge ’Take Care of your Flare’ on all Marine Units with the objective to reduce volume of gas flared under the control of the units.