Over the last 30 years, oil development on Alaska's North Slope has evolved to incorporate new practices and technologies that continue to help reduce the impacts of BP's operations on the environment. BP's commitment to "no harm to the environment" means we are continuing to seek ways to reduce our emissions to air and water, better manage our waste, reduce our footprint on the land, and prevent our operations from negatively impacting wildlife. Technology improvements, new BP environmental requirements for new projects, and enhanced environmental management systems will help us continue to improve performance and continually drive down environmental impacts of our oil and gas operations.
Adaptations that have helped BP reduce our overall footprint on the North Slope tundra include the use of ice roads, eliminating surface reserve pits, and enhancements in drilling technology including directional drilling. These practices have allowed us to reduce our footprint for a typical pad development by 30% from the original designs of the mid-1970s. Re-injection of wastes has allowed us to eliminate surface impacts from managing newly generated drilling waste and oily solid wastes from pipelines and vessel cleanouts, and to reclaim old storage pits used during the early years of development. BP continues to test cleaner air technologies to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from gas turbines and is studying ways to reduce or reuse greenhouse gases in future developments.
BP continues to participate in research to better understand the effects of our operations on the environment and to seek new ways to design and operate our facilities of the future. Because we have integrated environmental protection into the earliest company planning process for new projects, decision makers are able to consider design attributes that will continue to reduce environmental impacts of future development.