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 we identify areas impacted by past operations, we restore the site. If a sensitive area is identified in the development plan, we relocate, or work to get the permits required to develop in a sensitive area. Species of concern that have been identified in the areas where we operate are listed in the table below.
Species of Concern
|New Mexico||North Dakota||Oklahoma||Texas - Eagle Ford|
|Lesser prairie chicken||Dakota skipper butterfly||n/a||Golden orb mussel|
|Dune sagebrush lizard||Raptors|
|Texas hornshell mussel|
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. Marathon Oil builds and maintain our facilities to prevent wildlife from accessing equipment stacks, vents or fluid impoundments. To protect neighboring streams and wetlands, we implement erosion and sedimentation control systems, and use spill prevention measures. We inspect and maintain our sites through routine checks after significant storm events, and promptly repair the erosion and sedimentation control systems.
We have legal, regulatory and contractual obligations to remove and dismantle 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. Onshore, there are generally more requirements to recondition and restore the land to original condition and use. For more information on our asset retirement obligation, please see our Annual Report on Form 10-K. Offshore we remove equipment or decommission clean equipment in place with regulatory approval.
In our Permian Basin asset, we signed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA) to preserve habitats in our development areas for three key species: the lesser prairie chicken, the dune sagebrush lizard and the Texas hornshell mussel. These voluntary agreements help address conservation needs of these species by taking specific actions to remove or reduce adverse impacts.
Conservation and Beautification Projects
Marathon Oil supports a number of conservation and beautification projects. These often involve partnerships and opportunities for employees to give back to our communities.
As an operator in the New Mexico Permian Basin, 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 include:
- Strengthening habitats,
- Protecting fish and aquatic species found only in Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems,
- Restoring native grasslands, and
- Addressing water quality and scarcity concerns for wildlife and agricultural uses.
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, Texas. 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. In part, it will function as a safe thoroughfare, connecting park and sports fields to homes and schools by providing trails under Highway 181. With support from the San Antonio River Authority (SARA), City of Kenedy, Kenedy Chamber of Commerce, foundations and donors, the first phase of the Escondido Creek transformation is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.
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