The main environmental risks are related to air emissions, including greenhouse gases from energy production, flaring and fugitive emissions, cold venting, and oil storage and loading. Other environmental risks include discharges to sea namely produced water, chemicals and oil spills. Finally, hazardous wastes and cuttings also represent environmental threats.
To ensure a minimal negative impact on the environment and to safeguard quality and safety standards, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) requires the documentation of environmental baseline conditions before the start of petroleum activities. This is followed up with continuous environmental monitoring, reporting and auditing. Furthermore, analyzing the impacts resulting from offshore petroleum activities, both at a strategic policy level (Strategic Environmental Assessment - SEA) and at the individual project level (Environmental Impact Assessment - EIA), are required by law. Finally, the regulations stipulate the adoption of best international practices in quality, health, safety and environmental management including preparedness to respond to emergencies and oil spills that contribute to ensure a minimal negative impact on the environment resulting from petroleum activities.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an impact assessment tool, strategic in nature, and applied to higher level decision making processes that focus on policies, plans and programs rather than projects.
An SEA for the offshore petroleum sector in Lebanon was completed in 2012 in compliance with the requirements of the OPRL. Its objective is to ensure that the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the petroleum sector are well assessed and mitigated for prior to the commencement of activities.
The SEA was revised in 2019, five public consultation sessions were undertaken in Beirut, Tripoli, Byblos, Saida and Naqoura, and written comments have been accepted by the LPA over a period of seven weeks. The revised SEA was approved by the Ministry of Environment. Click here for more info on the SEA conducted study.
The EIA is an assessment and planning tool that analyses the environmental and social impacts of individual projects, providing alternatives as well as mitigation measures to reduce these impacts. Under the OPRL and the PAR, right holders are required to submit specific EIAs at multiple stages throughout petroleum activities.
The EIA for block 4 was undertaken in accordance with the EIA Decree. Public consultations were open for one month. The final EIA report was submitted to relevant authorities for approval.
The LPA in collaboration with relevant stakeholders has developed a ‘National Oil Spill Contingency Plan’ (NOSCP). The NOSCP address oil spill risk assessment; prevention; preparedness; response and management while detailing the chain of command including the institutional and the organizational structures for response.