Our client, a large Russian oil and gas company, was Russia’s third-largest oil producer and among the ten largest private oil companies in the world. The company engaged Woodard & Curran to perform evaluations at a number of downstream facilities throughout Western Russia and Ukraine—an area about half the size of the United States. The environmental evaluations focused on potential groundwater impacts and water treatment requirements for groundwater, surface water, and process water at nine refineries, 185 petrol stations, and 70 bulk storage facilities and terminals within the client’s Marketing business unit. Our efforts at each facility included the identification of potential impacts, estimating the volume and cost of remediation work, and the development of a strategic plan to address environmental concerns, including prioritization of the remedial activities.
EVALUATION OF TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
Our work also included the observation of corporate downstream remediation operations and evaluation of the efficiency and cost of treatment technologies being used. These technologies included water treatment; groundwater containment and extraction; surface water containment for oil water separation; spill response and free oil removal; recultivation (in-situ bioremediation) processes in Siberia and Western Russia; and thermal processing of oily wastes, excavation and transport of oily wastes for off-site treatment, and phase separation of oily wastes.
Woodard & Curran and the client developed a system in which the subsidiary companies applied for funding from the provision to remediate their legacy environmental liabilities. The remediation methods and results within the company varied widely. To address this, the project team developed a remediation standard and standard investigation and design procedures to be used by both the environmental managers and the remediation contractors.
While the remediation works were in progress, Woodard & Curran made site visits to evaluate remediation effectiveness and to audit the contractors. Inefficiencies and poor practices were noted and corrected. This information was used to make changes in policy and educate the environmental managers, providing an ever-improving system of environmental remediation.