Evaluate spheres of the environment that may be impacted and manage the interaction of project actions on key environmental receptors

Evaluate spheres of the environment that may be impacted and manage the interaction of project actions on key environmental receptors

1.    Evaluate spheres of the environment that may be impacted and manage the interaction of project actions on key environmental receptors;
2.    Apply the operating principles of EIA to critically evaluate the broad environmental and social impacts of petroleum extraction, processing and transportation;
3.    Assess the link between environmental management plans (EMP) and environmental management systems (EMS) in the oil and gas industry.


Background Information

As of January 2014, Peru in South America had 633 million barrels of proven oil reserves, according to the US Energy Information Administration, and majority of these are located onshore. In Central and South America, Peru is also the third largest holder of natural gas reserves (about 15.4 trillion cubic feet as of 2014). The San Martín reservoir situated within the Amazon
Rainforest (Fig. 1) has been a prolific producer of natural gas since the 1980s.

Figure 1: Map of Peru showing the San Martin area, the Amazon and other river network

The government of Peru is planning a future project expansion in the Camisea gas field of the San Martín reservoir to extract and transport natural gas from the Urubamba River area (Fig. 2) to major markets around the Americas. The project is expected to supply natural gas to southern Peru (Fig. 1) where copper mining is a major earner. However, local communities around the Camisea field have complained over the years about the negative impacts of current projects in the Camisea field and the San Martín area in general. The preservation of natural ecosystem services that have been enjoyed by the people prior to the 1980s remain a source of concern and it is now difficult to convince the people that the planned natural gas extension project in the Camisea area will have minimal negative impact. In addition, Frankenberg et al. (2005) and Nisbet et al. (2014) have argued that the tropical region, where Peru belongs, holds unexpectedly high methane concentrations. Table 1 shows the details of the segments, facilities and equipment expected for the planned expansion project.

Figure 2: Map showing the Urubamba River and the existing gas projects in the Camisea field of Peru

Table 1: Oil and natural gas systems likely to be installed as a result of the planned project expansion in the Camisea gas field of the San Martín reservoir, Peru.

Segment      Facility      Equipment at the facility
1    Production               Wells, central gathering                      Separators, pneumatic devices,
facilities     chemical injection pumps, dehydrators,
compressors, heaters, meters,

pipelines, liquid storage tanks
2    Processing                Gas plants                                   Vessels, dehydrators, compressors,
acid gas removal (AGR) units, heaters, pneumatic devices

3    Transportation and           Transportation pipeline                      Vessels, compressors, pipelines, storage                             networks, compressor                      meters/pressure regulators, pneumatic
stations, meter and pressure-            devices, dehydrators, heater       regulating stations, underground
injection/ withdrawal facilities,
liquefied natural gas (LNG)

4    Distribution                Main and service pipeline                      Pipelines, meters, pressure regulators,
networks, meter and pressure
regulating stations

Source: adapted from US EPA (2013)

Your tasks

Write a report to cover the following major tasks:

1.    Tabulate and briefly explain four types of environmental impacts (namely: irreversible, synergistic, cumulative and positive impacts) that may occur on each of the following environmental receptors if this gas expansion project proceeds:
a.) Biosphere (e.g. human and other living things);
b.) Hydrosphere (e.g. surface and ground water systems);
c.) Lithosphere (e.g. agricultural space/practices);
d.) Atmosphere

2.    Using the data provided in the background information above, you are required to critically analyse/evaluate the environmental impacts associated with production; processing; transportation and storage; and distribution based on Table 1 for the proposed gas expansion project in the Camisea area of Peru. The impact evaluation should be illustrated using the following EIA operating principles: (i.) Scoping; (ii.) Alternatives; (iii.) Impact analysis; (iv) Mitigation

3.    Based on tasks 1 and 2 above, develop a tabulated Environmental Management Plan linked to an Environmental Management System on the post project monitoring and appraisal of the project.

NB: your answers for tasks 1 to 3 must be supported with peer-reviewed evidence.

Coursework Marking scheme:
Criteria     Requirements
(circled comments indicate problems in these areas)     Max. Mark (%)     Mark (%)
Structure and
Coherence      The report should be well-structured and have an appropriate introduction and conclusion.  The information should be presented in a logical and coherent order. Avoid convoluted sentences but be precise and concise**. All the materials included must be relevant to the subject and repetition avoided.
The report should be well-presented, have good English grammar and be spell-checked (using the UK-English spell-checker).  The CU Harvard referencing system should be used for citing and listing references.  All references cited in the text and sources of figures must be included in the reference list and vice versa.     15
Content for tasks 1 and 3     The Report should answer tasks 1 and 3 directly in a suitable tabular format with appropriate evidence.     30
Use of literature     An appropriate and suitably extensive selection of reference material should be consulted to justify arguments put forward throughout the report. Suitable examples and specific data from the literature should be included where appropriate.     10
Evaluation & Discussion of
Information (e.g.
Task 2)      Report should demonstrate an understanding as well as application of the operating principles of EIA especially for task 2.
The material included should be discussed, compared and contrasted, and critically evaluated throughout the report, for example, the use of data provided in the background information is highly encouraged especially for task 2.  Judgement should be exercised as to the relevance and importance of the material included.     45
Total Mark     100