Apache Corporation’s operations across Egypt’s western desert encompasses several oil and gas plants, wells and rigs. The corporation is a joint venture partner in the Qarun and Khalda concessions. Additionally, Apache holds interests in several others concessions such as East Beni Suef, WD-19 Concession, Matruh Development Lease, Ras Kanayes, Umbarka Development Lease, South Umbarka, Ras El Hekma, among others. The Khalda concession has two gas plants, Salam and Tarek, while the South Umbarka Plant is located about 60 km west of Salam Gas Plant. Apache Corporation’s main activities include drilling wells (exploratory & development), establishing onshore gas plants, pipeline systems for oil exportation and seismic surveys.
The report highlights the Apache’s environmental profile in its areas of operation regarding the environmental effects that are likely to result from the corporation’s activities. The assessment involves biotic and abiotic elements of the environment, and in the result that Apache’s operational activities are adverse to the environment, mitigation measures can be implemented to prevent environmental damage and depletion of resources. These measures are employed to align with Egypt’s environmental protection policies administered by the government and Ministry of Petroleum. Apache’s concessions are predominantly located in the Egyptian Western desert.
Different environmental elemental parameters are assessed to determine any deviations that may signify environmental degradation. These include a survey of topography, geological, meteorological and hydrological conditions such as changes in climate like temperature, relative humidity, air pressure; and ground water levels in the oasis; flora and fauna in the desert and oasis ecosystem; soil analysis; loss on ignition (low content of organic matter). For example, soil samples are collected for analysis in the areas covered by the concessions and in the analysis parameters such as chemical composition, moisture content, loss on ignition are analyzed.
It is important to carry out environmental assessments as the adverse effects of the impact of operational activities of an Oil and Gas Company like Apache can significantly affect the environment for example, harmful gas emissions and hazardous wastes can affect air quality, terrestrial, aquatic and human life. Some of the mitigating measures that can be implemented include flaring to capture test gases during drilling, drill cuttings, proper pipeline installations, collection of wastes, incineration, implementing response procedures for accidental spills of fuels, employees wearing proper gear, among others. Finally, it is integral that the Hazard/Risk Assessment and Control guidelines are adhered to strictly.