Environmental Impact

Environmental Impact

Environmentally conscious operations

BW Offshore is committed to contributing to a sustainable environment. The Company recognises that its operations may have wide-ranging impacts on the environment and therefore applies systematic risk management processes to identify, assess and mitigate impacts.

BW Offshore is certified to the standards of the ISM Code for Safety Management and Pollution prevention and to ISO 14001 for Environmental Management. The Company is subject to periodic audits by DNV GL. Compliance with ISO 14001:2015 standard is a commitment by BW Offshore to manage environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner.   

BW Offshore operates in a highly regulated industry with a growing body of environmental legislation and emerging industry best practice. The Company engages with industry, regulatory bodies and maritime administrations to ensure that all operations that may have a significant environmental impact apply the ‘precautionary principle’. The environmental management system identifies and integrates all relevant regulatory compliance requirements and industry best practice.

BW Offshore monitors emerging environmental issues, technologies and practices to ensure it remains compliant, relevant and positioned to operate sustainably in the future.


BW Offshore’s environmental impact is measured by the operational performance of its FPSOs against key performance indicators. In 2019, environmental reporting was integrated into the assets’ electronic daily reporting process. The quality of environmental performance monitoring has improved by enhancing the use of digitised data gathering from the asset’s Integrated Control and Safety System.

Asset Management Teams ensure that facilities are effectively operated in accordance with the corporate environmental management system and environmental management standards. Relevant aspects are recorded through the digital environmental reporting system (ERS), which provides transparent, real-time data accessible to all employees within the organisation. Consolidated asset environmental performance is reviewed quarterly by the Senior Management Team. The management system is audited annually—both internally and by independent third parties. For environmental factors that are not fully within the control of the organisation, BW Offshore endeavours to collaborate with field operators and regulatory authorities to achieve the best practicable environmental performance.

air emissions

On average, the BW Offshore FPSOs emitted 15kg of CO2, per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) produced in 2019. The total volume of reported flared gas was significantly reduced from 2018 values. This is mainly due to the Cidade de São Vicente not being in operation and improved monitoring of fleet flaring.

In 2019, direct emission sources were included in emissions accounting and reporting. The addition of these direct emissions sources explains the increase in methane and non-methane volatile organic compounds reported compared to 2018. In 2020, BW Offshore will seek to improve the quantification of direct emissions through a fugitive emissions programme.

Energy efficiency

Gas flaring is normally a condition of the Field Operator’s regulatory consent to operate to ensure responsible management of natural resources and maximise the licensing State’s economic recovery. The FPSO operator’s influence is limited to minimising operational irregularities that may lead to excess gas flaring and to maintaining the availability of gas processing systems.

Associated gas has traditionally been considered an unwanted by-product of oil production. BW Energy considers flaring of associated gas from oil production an inefficient use of energy (resource wastage). Where feasible, field developments are designed to capture and either export or re-use hydrocarbon gas associated with oil production.

In 2019, the BW Offshore fleet flared 110 cubic feet of associated gas per barrel of oil produced. The gross energy consumption of the BW Offshore fleet was reduced by 10% compared to the prior reporting period, partly due to the FPSO Cidade de Sao Vicente not being in operation. Energy efficiencies are asset-specific and depend upon individual operating and field conditions. However, minimising operational downtime and maintaining operating processes and utility systems at their optimal levels are key to maximising energy efficient performance.

In 2020, BW Offshore plans to perform a study of power and utility systems onboard its operating assets to optimise energy efficiency and reduce consumption of natural resources to operate power and heating systems. The study follows on from the asset-specific energy efficiency assessments performed in 2019, based on the ISO 50001 Energy Management System standard.

BW Offshore monitors power and heating consumption at onshore sites and seeks to implement energy-saving measures, including selecting energy-efficient consumables and partnerships where applicable.

Consumption, wastes and materials management

In 2019, the BW Offshore fleet significantly reduced waste generated offshore and shipped to shore. The quantities of both hazardous waste and proportion of recyclable waste improved significantly compared to 2018. Asset teams audited shipboard waste management plans to ensure that current arrangements and practices for waste management onboard comply with international maritime waste management standards. Some FPSOs have initiated their own programmes to reduce consumption of plastic waste.


The most significant, short-term risk to the marine environment and biodiversity associated with offshore oil and gas operations is the potential for an event that leads to a significant oil spill to sea. In 2019, all facilities performed scheduled annual oil spill response drills to test their responsiveness and preparedness for unplanned oil pollution events. Where oil pollution preparedness and response drills simulated an uncontained spill to sea, these exercises were coordinated with the Field Operator to maximise their effectiveness.

produced water

Produced water is a by-product of the oil production process. The most environmentally friendly option for managing produced water is to re-inject the water into the reservoir, provided facilities have been incorporated as part of the field development plan. Alternatively, produced water is processed onboard to a threshold cleanliness quality prior to discharge to the marine environment.
The operating fleet continues to outperform industry standards for the quality of produced water discharged to sea. The World Banking Group has established a guideline limit of 29 parts per million (ppm) oil in water content for produced water discharges. The BW Offshore fleet performance in 2019 was 17.3 ppm oil in water content for produced water discharges—an improvement on its 2018 performance.

management marine environment impact

BW Energy is the licence holder of the Dussafu field. As Field Operator, BW Energy is responsible for the environmental licencing process for the Dussafu field Development, consisting of Environmental and Social Impact Assessments. The environmental management system for the Dussafu field Development has been audited by third-party ERM (Environmental Resource Management) and is currently being implemented.

Policy statement

BW Offshore shall maintain the security of all Company personnel and assets including personnel travelling on behalf of the Company by implementing adequate proactive and reactive measures.

We achieve this by:

  • establishing and implementing security requirements, working methods and information availability,
  • developing, implementing and maintaining Ship Security Plans according to requirements set out in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code for all units,
  • monitoring, through reliable sources, security threats and vulnerabilities for personnel and assets, and implementing mitigating measures respectively,
  • making every individual responsible for being vigilant, taking any reasonable precautions against security risks and reporting any abnormal activity or condition.

Link to our HSE Policy.


Under Recommendation 2003/5 of the Oslo Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR), the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) requires that all companies operating in the UKCS have systems and procedures in place to identify, monitor and control the environmental aspects associated with offshore activities.

This report provides information on BW Offshore’s offshore operations and the environmental performance of these operations. For the purpose of this report, this includes all production activities in the UKCS. BW Offshore do not conduct drilling operations in the UKCS. All drilling activities for the Catcher Field Area are conducted by Premier Oil UK as they are the Licence Holder for the field area.

This report has been made available here:

BW Offshore Catcher (UK) Ltd 2019 Environmental Statement