Biodiversity

The protection of biodiversity is a key pillar of sustainable development and therefore is closely connected to MOL Group activities. MOL pays particular attention to operations carried out in specially protected areas of nature conservation, and seeks to act as a good corporate citizen.


Biodiversity

Biodiversity – the variation of species within a given system – is a resource that is currently under threat of being depleted. As MOL Group operates facilities not only in highly industrialized areas but also in or close to national parks, areas with high biodiversity value and wetland and rivers we pay special attention to conserving species and protecting biodiversity.

 In 2010, the Environmental Impact Identification (ENVID) methodology was extended to cover an initial biodiversity assessment and plan. We aim to conduct a pilot risk and impact assessment in 2011. This baseline biodiversity questionnaire has two objectives: first, to identify or confirm species, habitats, and ecosystems that are wholly or partly within the site or project boundaries along with their related functions and services; and secondly, to identify statutory designations and priority species, habitats and ecosystems. Meeting these objectives establishes a baseline for future monitoring of impacts and of the performance of the MOL Group Biodiversity Action Plan and Strategy (BAP) aligned with the existing HSE management system and processes.

Below is an overview of our operations which have an impact on natural protected areas in Hungary and we also present case studies of concrete projects aimed at preserving biodiversity.

Exploration and production

Our E&P operations often happen in or near to protected areas. Our environmental footprint includes land use, emissions and increased human activity which can disturb flora and fauna. To reduce the harmful effects of these activities, initial status surveys and audits are conducted by our staff. Drilling activities are scheduled carefully, taking into consideration the vegetation period. We work in close cooperation with National Parks to properly plan and control these activities. An example from October 2013, we carried out the drilling of Hajdúbagos-K-1 two weeks later than originally planned, because the „gortyna borelii” butterfly was swarming in the first half of October.
After completing an activity or decommissioning a well, soil tests are performed to verify that the original state of the land was restored.
In the next two maps the protected areas of Hungary are shown

  • approximately 25% of total area of the country – appears in green,
  • territories affected by MOL exploration activities are marked in purple (overlaps are shown in blue),
  • mining areas are in yellow (overlaps also shown in blue).

If we consider the total land area used for E&P activity (approx. 39 588 km2), we can see that 23.5% of the area is covered by some kind of nature protection/reserve status.

In 2013 we developed Natura datasheets for 7 areas that is effected by our activity. The goal of the datasheets was to introduce the Natura 2000 area and those parts of the Natura Development Plan of the relevant area that is effected by our activities.

Examples for cooperation with the National Parks:
  • Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society  - Peregrine Falcon Conservation Programme: peregrine falcon and kestrel nesting at our Algyő gas technology
  • Hortobágy National Park: donation of the vulture conservation programme
  • Kiskunsági National Park: active cooperation in the conservation of carnation “Dianthus diutinus”
Regarding our activities in Pakistan, please refer to the case study below.

Logistics and gas transmission

At MOL Group Logistics and Natural Gas Transmission the main activity which affects nature and the environment is pipeline construction works. In order to decrease negative impacts (disturbance of local species, soil pollution/compaction), we work together with nature protection authorities and NGOs to find optimal solutions:

  • In the planning phase we try to find the access tracks which least disturb nature, including the avoidance of native forests, natural parks and areas with high biodiversity value
  • In case trees have to be cut down, we substitute double the number affected at a different location defined by experts
  • To protect nature, we strive to use narrower construction areas in forests (20 m instead of the normal 30 m)
  • After the construction phase, we re-cultivate the area
  • During operation of our Logistics pipelines – in order to avoid malfunctions and hazardous situations – we equip them with technical supervisory systems which continuously monitor the conditions of the pipelines, and which in any case of irregularities send an alert in order to enable immediate action to be taken.
  • We aim to prepare a nature protection/biodiversity chapter in our environmental impact assessments (EIA), and we employ nature protection officials who continuously monitor construction work. After work is finished, the area is monitored to see whether the original state of nature is restored (261.67 km of MOL Plc.’s product and crude pipelines cross protected areas (Natura 2000: 196.77 km; National parks: 9.8 km; Landscape protection areas: 54.2 km; nature reserves: 0.9 km). On the map below the Natura 2000 areas (green) and the pipelines operated by MOL Logistics department (black lines) can be seen.


To read about FGSZ (Natural Gas Transmission Ltd.) and the construction of new pipelines, click here: http://fgsz.hu/en/content/construcion-new-pipelines




 

Petrochemicals

Our refineries and petrochemical plants are located in industrial areas, but near surface waters. In Tiszaújváros, TVK Petrochemical Plant pays particular attention to preserving biological diversity in its territory. Artificial water habitats exist in the industrial area of TVK, and these habitats have direct contact with the Tisza River. The Sajó-channel, running through the industrial area, collects all rainwater and treated wastewaters, and industrial impacts on it are continuously monitored. An ecological risk assessment program was implemented (as an important element of our quantitative risk survey program) for the years 2007-2009. Within the framework we recorded the state of the water and the sediment of the Sajó-channel and its flora and fauna.

In place of the territory of the discharged and abandoned former post-cleaning lake system, after finishing a phyto-remediation process an ecologically balanced wetland with high diversity and a real bird habitat will be formed, with large populations of protected birds.

Refineries

To realize our engagement to sustaining biodiversity, we aim to protect habitats and biomes potentially affected by our refineries. In 2010 we are conducting a biomonitoring survey on the surroundings of our Duna Refinery to assess the environment status of Natura 2000 protected lands. Following the ecological impact and assessments of discharged refinery wastewaters, we will extend whole effluent assessment in Bratislava Refinery.

The road ahead

Among the 2010 MOL Group SD&HSE Objectives & Targets, biodiversity is focused on through the ‘Setting up of a Group and Business Unit Biodiversity System’. This means that MOL Group is developing a systematic approach to integrating the assessment of biodiversity related risks into the HSE Management System and developing action plans for the critical operations.
These assessments will be part of the EIA documentation where required, or the environmental risk identification process (ENVID - or the risk matrix of Environmental Management Systems). With the help of these tools, MOL Group plans to carry out a review of company operations in order to identify areas with high risks to biodiversity.


For more information please see our biodiversity case studies below.