Land Stewardship and Biodiversity
Our Environmental Management Standard, which is governed by the Responsible Operations Management System (ROMS), requires a pre-site survey for wetlands, endangered species and historical sites. Depending on the situation, we do a tabletop or onsite survey to ensure that such sensitive areas will not be disturbed.
When areas impacted by historical operations are identified, we take action to reclaim the site. If a sensitive area is identified in the development plan, we move the site or, in rare cases, work to get the permits required to develop in a sensitive area. We’re not currently operating in any areas with International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Species of Concern
|New Mexico||North Dakota||Oklahoma||Texas|
|Lesser prairie chicken||Dakota skipper butterfly||n/a||Golden orb mussel|
|Dune sagebrush lizard||Raptors|
|Texas hornshell mussell|
Before construction, we screen each site for endangered species and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdictional wetlands and streams and take mitigating actions as needed. We build and maintain our facilities to prevent birds and other wildlife from accessing equipment stacks, vents or fluid impoundments. To protect neighboring streams and wetlands, our facility designs and construction include erosion and sedimentation control systems, and use spill prevention measures. We inspect and maintain our sites, check disturbed areas routinely after significant storm events, and promptly repair the erosion and sedimentation control systems.
We have legal, regulatory and contractual obligations to remove and dismantle long-lived assets and to restore land or seabed at the end of oil and gas production operations. Production Operations management, in close alliance with HES and Regulatory Compliance, has managerial responsibility for land closure and rehabilitation. For more information on our asset retirement obligation, please see our Annual Report on Form 10-K.
In our Permian Basin asset, we signed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA) to manage and preserve habitat in our development areas for three key species: the lesser prairie chicken, the dune sagebrush lizard and the Texas hornshell mussel. These voluntary agreements will help us address the conservation needs of these species by taking specific actions to remove or reduce impacts.
Conservation and Beautification Projects
Marathon Oil supports a number of conservation and beautification projects that often involve partnerships and opportunities for employees to give back to our communities.
As an operator in the New Mexico Permian Basin, in March 2019 we joined a coalition of oil and gas operators in making a three-year financial commitment to the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative. This partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) invests in conserving landscapes in the greater Trans-Pecos region of eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Specific conservation projects strengthen habitats, protect fish and aquatic species found only in Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems, restore native grasslands, and address water quality and scarcity concerns for wildlife and agricultural uses. The NFWF was chartered by Congress in 1984 to protect and restore the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats.
In the words of Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF,
Jeff continues, “This commitment from Marathon Oil to join this vibrant partnership is a testament to its early successes, and will only multiply its impact. With this additional funding, NFWF will be able to restore more acres of desert grasslands, protect more habitat for native fishes and expand partnerships with the private landowners who are the stewards of this landscape.”
Marathon Oil employees demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship by participating in a 2018 cleanup of Bureau of Land Management land near the La Cueva Trail in New Mexico. The scenic trail, near Carlsbad, is used regularly by outdoor enthusiasts for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Teaming up with other industry employees, we removed trash and debris that had been dumped on the public lands. Marathon Oil plans to further enhance this area by improving trailhead signage, expanding and enhancing the parking area, and adding sitting and shade structures.
In the Eagle Ford shale region, we’re part of a public-private partnership creating the Escondido Creek Parkway Project in the town of Kenedy. The 1.25-mile parkway is envisioned as an attractive place to enjoy the tributary in the southern basin of the San Antonio River Watershed, while maintaining a balanced relationship with the ecosystem. With support from the San Antonio River Authority (SARA), City of Kenedy, Kenedy Chamber of Commerce, foundations, and individual and corporate donors, the first phase of the Escondido Creek transformation is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.
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