The need for the Exploration and Production industry to report on its environmental performance has dramatically increased during the past decade. Many companies are already issuing such environmental reports, as are some national associations of operators, with respect to their own country. The reports adopt a wide range of perspectives. While some are purely factual and focus on operational data collection, others take the stakeholders' expectations as a point of departure and try to address their issues in a more global manner. So how far have we got at industry world-wide level?

Since 1994, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) has set up a task force to raise awareness amongst its members on environmental reporting and to tackle the specific issue of gathering worldwide performance data. In 1998, OGP issued guidelines for industry reporting and launched its first call for data on Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs). The set of EPIs chosen were: emissions to the atmosphere; aqueous discharges; discharges of nonaqueous drilling fluids; spillage of hydrocarbons and of chemicals; energy consumption.

This first data collection (pertaining to the year 1998) revealed a number of major shortcomings in the information returned. The 1999 and 2000 data collections returned information of much better quality (in terms of credibility and reliability) and the industry is now confident that it has captured at least a sound basis for benchmarking these indicators. One of the objectives of the task force is now to issue a pertinent worldwide environmental report in the reasonably near future.

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