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Environment and Safety

Exploration and production of Hydrocarbon is a developmental activity , which is likely to have some adverse impact on natural environment. To ensure sustainable development and conservation of environment, there is a need to address and incorporate environmental issues in planning and management of the E&P activities. Many legislations and rules have accordingly been formulated from time to time, which are required to be complied with by the E&P operators before, during and after the completion of operations. 

The environmental laws are formulated, implemented and monitored by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the Central and State Pollution Control Board(s), State Forest and Wildlife Departments etc. 

In the following sections, environment related clearances, relevant Article in Production Sharing contract, policy framework, information relating to oil spill management and other important laws and regulations relating to environment and safety in E&P sector are highlighted: 


1. Environment & CRZ Clearances :.

2. Environmental Requirements as per Production Sharing Contract :. 

Article 14 of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) deals with ‘Protection of Environment’ and stipulates that the Contractor shall ensure protection of environment and conservation of natural resources by adopting modern oilfield practices/standards, advanced technologies, practices of operations to prevent environmental damage. 

As per article 14.5.1 of PSC, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies shall be carried out in two parts, namely, a preliminary part which should be carried out before commencement of any field work relating to seismic or other survey, and second part relating to drilling in the exploration period as per provisions of EIA notification 2006. The part of study relating to drilling operations shall be approved by Govt. Of India before commencement of such work. 

As per article 14.5.2 of PSC, the second part of study is also to be completed before commencement of development operations and approval of Govt of India is to be obtained before commencement of development operations. 

The Article further states that in the event of emergency like accident, oil spill, fire etc the Contractor shall implement relevant contingency plan and perform such site restoration, as may be necessary. 

Further, if the contract area is partially located in areas which form part of certain National Park, Sanctuary, mangroves, wetlands of national importance, biosphere reserve and other eco-sensitive zone, passage through such areas shall generally be not permitted. However, if there is no passage, other than through these areas to reach a particular point beyond these areas, permission of appropriate authorities shall be obtained. 

Details of PSC for various bidding rounds are displayed on the website of DGH. 

3. Policy Provisions relating to environment clearances :.

4. National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) :.

The National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) is the national plan for dealing with the Oil Spill response in maritime zones of India. This plan was originally promulgated in 1996 and has been revised in 2015. The NOS-DCP delineates responsibilities and preparedness by various resource and oil handling agencies beside government agencies. It also covers responsibilities of state level agencies, concerned coastal state pollution control boards, involvement of NGOs, the public information mechanism etc. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is the central coordinating authority for enforcing the provisions of the NOSDCP in the maritime zones of India. All the offshore E&P operators are required to establish the necessary oil spill contingency plan, effective maintenance of oil spill preparedness and on board Tier-1 level oil spill response facility.  

5. An Indicative List of Important Laws and Regulations relating to Environment and Safety in E&P sector :.