The need for corporations to report on their environmental performance has never been as important as it is now. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued in 1999 its guidelines on Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE); mid 2000, the Global Reporting Initiative™ issued its own guidelines. Stakeholders expect the Exploration and Production (E&P) industry to report on its environmental impact and to release environmental performance information, according to these - or equivalent - guidelines. Many corporations are already issuing environmental reports, on a yearly basis, as are also a number of national associations of operators. In 1994, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP - formerly E&P Forum) set up a task force to raise awareness amongst its members on environmental reporting and to tackle the issue of comparable worldwide performance data. Global reporting is a challenge, due to the wide spectrum of environmental issues to be addressed, the diversity of the ecosystems, the range of techniques used, the different cultural approaches of the companies and stakeholders. A survey conducted in 1995 concluded that the time was not yet ripe: it was not possible to define a common set of indicators which could be applied and usefully aggregated at worldwide level. Three years later however, the scenery had changed and the OGP was able to launch a call for data on Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs). This first data collection (1998 data collection) revealed a number of major shortcomings in the information returned which needed to be filled before any realistic view of the environmental performance of the E&P industry could be obtained. The 1999 data collection partially remedied this and the industry is now confident it will be able to issue pertinent worldwide environmental reports in the reasonably near future.

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