Working responsibly

Resource use, emissions, discharges, waste and sound

We are focused on driving down emissions in our operations over the short, medium and long term, and expect to play a meaningful role in energy transition by producing hydrocarbons responsibly, dedicating resources to emissions reduction opportunities, and investigating investment opportunities in carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

Energy use

Given that our seismic and drilling programmes are not constant, Cairn’s energy consumption fluctuates year on year, depending on the level of operations. Energy use across the Group is relatively modest and mainly comprises diesel fuel combustion in our field operations.

Emissions and discharges

For all activities, we carefully manage emissions and discharges arising where they cannot be avoided. It remains difficult to set specific reduction targets when levels of activity vary from year to year.

We remain committed to minimising our environmental impact from operations, and to reporting fully and transparently in accordance with industry good practice and methodologies, and international standards. Some of the locations we work in are heavily regulated so complying with national regulatory requirements is an important aspect.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our activities arise mainly from the combustion of fuels such as marine diesel and form a relatively modest part of our operational footprint.

We report on an ‘operational control’ basis, including emissions from those assets that are operated by us, but not those controlled by our partners.

In absolute terms, our GHG emissions are heavily influenced by the level of operational activity over the year. In turn, this is impacted by safety considerations, technical requirements, distances between operations and support bases, and local environmental and meteorological conditions.

Water

Water resilience in the face of climate change and water use are areas of increasing focus for our industry. We recognise that access to clean water is a basic human right. We also acknowledge that our business both impacts and depends on water resources close to our operations, so we have had a water resource strategy in place for some years. This covers:

  • assessing the need to abstract and use freshwater;
  • investigating ways to manage freshwater more efficiently;
  • identifying and implementing measures to reduce our operational impacts on freshwater; and
  • enhancing the reporting of our freshwater resources management.

Our use of water is largely limited to seawater used in some drilling fluid make-up and freshwater for domestic use, both offshore and onshore. 

Waste

Our exploration activities generate different volumes and types of waste, including oil-contaminated wastes, chemical wastes, non-hazardous wastes, domestic wastes and clinical wastes from medical facilities offshore.

We are committed to maximising the reuse and recycling of waste, and minimising the amount sent to landfill. We implement clear waste management plans aligned to mitigation requirements from our impact assessments and apply industry good practice wherever we operate. Where we are not the operator, we seek to influence our partners to do the same.