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Environment

Minimizing our Impact Across Operations
We believe that protecting the environment is about more than just complying with regulations. We believe it's about earning our license to operate each and every day and being a valued member of the communities in which we work.

Safe, environmentally responsible operations are central to our company values and a key part of our commitment to our stakeholders.

Our reputation enables us to maintain the trust of our stakeholders and to generate long-term value in our business. To achieve this, we aim to continually evaluate the impact of our operations on the people living in our communities and have a long-standing commitment to harnessing innovation to lessen our impact on both people and the environment.

Full compliance is embedded in our corporate values as a minimum standard. However, we strive to go above and beyond regulatory requirements and we continue to invest in environmental performance in order to achieve that goal.

Providing Additional Transparency

Our Environmental Management Standard guides our business units in identifying environmental risks relevant to our operations. To mitigate environmental impacts, we’ve developed sound practices for local and regional management of emissions, water, waste and sensitive habitats. These practices include:

  • Complying with all applicable regulations and exceeding them as appropriate; for example, in Equatorial Guinea we go beyond regulatory compliance to follow relevant World Bank Guidelines;
  • Identifying, evaluating and implementing solutions to reduce air emissions, waste and fresh water use, and prevent spills;
  • Reviewing waste disposal facilities prior to use in order to minimize negative outcomes, such as induced seismicity or mishandling of waste products;
  • Tracking environmental performance, and reporting data and management practices to internal and external stakeholders; and,
  • Conducting appropriate due diligence prior to major acquisitions to determine any potential environmental issues or liabilities.

To align with stakeholder interest and climate guidance frameworks, we have expanded disclosures related to our methane and air emissions. In addition, this Sustainability Report incorporates key elements of our initial climate risk report we issued in 2019, aligning with the format advocated by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In this report, we've added a discussion around scenario analysis.

Innovating to Minimize Environmental Impact

Marathon Oil acknowledges our role in the industry’s dual challenge – providing affordable, reliable energy to meet growing global demand while also minimizing environmental impacts of exploration, production and energy use.

Although we firmly believe that oil and gas development will remain crucial to the world economy for the foreseeable future and an integral part of any future energy transition, we recognize the increasing interest of our stakeholders in carbon-related policy initiatives and alternative energy sources. Marathon Oil is committed to ensuring that we can sustainably deliver the energy the world needs, in a way that fosters long-term value creation. The measures we have taken include low-carbon transport of our products and waste, and implementing new technologies to minimize emissions and freshwater use.

Environmental Stewardship
It's about more than our license to operate

A Priority from the Top Down

Our sustainability efforts inform our risk management processes and our business strategy. The senior vice president of operations has overall leadership accountability for our environmental performance. Oversight is provided by the Health, Environmental, Safety and Corporate Responsibility (HES&CR) Committee of the board of directors. In addition, all directors bring experience and understanding of industry regulatory issues to their board role.

The cross-functional Sustainability Forum ensures that the highest level of operational management identifies, assesses and prioritizes climate-related risks. Forum members include leaders from operations, HES and security, investor relations, business planning, law, communication, government affairs and sustainability.

In addition to the strategic direction and oversight from the board and the forum, our Responsible Operations Management System (ROMS) consists of policies, procedures and guidelines designed to minimize health, environmental and safety risks, ensure compliance with regulations, and drive performance improvement in key metrics.

Performance Highlights

Highlights of our environmental management and performance in 2019 include1:

  • Achieved an approximately 35% decrease in methane intensity, and a 38% decrease in methane emissions as a percent of natural gas produced, over a five-year period. This was largely due to the elimination of routine usage of high-bleed pneumatic controllers, a goal we met ahead of schedule, and rapid repair of any leaks discovered by our leak detection and response (LDAR) program.
  • Performed over 1,600 infrared camera surveys at over 800 sites, on over 1.75 million components, achieving a methane leak rate of approximately 0.07%. In addition, we routinely survey pneumatic controllers and pumps for incorrect operation, exceeding federal requirements.
  • Participated in workshops through The Environmental Partnership to share industry best practices and new technologies for preventing, finding and detecting emissions. Marathon Oil was a founding member of this partnership of U.S. oil and natural gas companies committed to continuously improving the industry’s environmental performance and reducing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Added a GHG emissions intensity metric to our executive compensation scorecard that establishes an objective of continuous improvement.
  • Reduced fresh water intensity approximately 19% from 0.32 to 0.26 million barrels of fresh water per million BOE produced.
  • Increased low carbon transport of produced water by approximately 96%, utilizing Marathon Oil-owned pipelines and midstream transportation providers.
  • Reduced the number of spill incidents exceeding one barrel outside of containment by approximately 35%.
  • Implemented industry-leading plans to prevent and mitigate seismic activity in our operations, such as automating notifications when any seismic activity is detected around saltwater disposal wells or active stimulations trigger our response procedure.
  • Served as an advising member of the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium, which seeks to research the potential to utilize treated produced water for beneficial use outside of the oilfield.
¹All comparisons relative to 2018 performance unless otherwise stated
35%
Reduction in methane intensity since 2015
19%
Reduction in fresh water intensity

How are we doing?

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