Concern about environmental protection has triggered national and international actions dealing with issues such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, transboundary movement of hazardous materials, air and water pollution, marine pollution, etc. The formation of the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA), the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Regional Organization for the Protection of Marine Environment (ROPME) and the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Environmental Affairs Directorate has enhanced the environmental regulations.

As a result, the petroleum industry, in particular, has become more conscious of the evolution and the importance of its rule in the protection and improvement of the environment. Major oil companies worldwide have established their environmental compliance programs as a mechanism through which they can assess their environmental performance and take appropriate mitigative measures.

In late 1986 Saudi Aramco conducted an overall review of Corporate environmental activities. The purpose of that review was to ensure that these activities met the objectives of applicable environmental regulations. The review included communication with the concerned managements, reviewing previous and existing environmental activities and reviewing applicable Government and industry environmental regulations. It also included reviewing other oil companies environmental compliance programs and interviews with many environmental experts. The review indicated that an Environmental Performance Assessment program should be established to conduct periodic facility inspections, in order to determine their compliance with the objectives of the Company's environmental policies.

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