This paper presents the topic of environmental auditing so that upstream petroleum operators may be able to conduct an internal environmental audit of the properties under their care. The paper also discusses the role of environmental auditing in environmental management to assess the effectiveness of management controls in achieving compliance and in protecting the environment. Planning and implementation of the environmental audit process is covered in sufficient detail for practical use. A pre audit selection matrix to identify properties most likely to need auditing is presented and discussed. A check list prepared specifically for petroleum resource properties is also included By following this methodology the audit will document the degree of environmental compliance and how to achieve improved environmental performance. References and regulations mentioned apply to Western Canada and in particular to the province of Alberta.

The causes of environmental degradation and their prevention or minimization is the focus of this paper.

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