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Spill Prevention

A Constant Focus
Our spill prevention activities are governed by the regulatory compliance elements of ROMS, while emergency preparedness and response activities are covered under the ROMS Emergency Preparedness and Community Awareness element.

To mitigate spill potential and protect the environment, Marathon Oil designs, operates and maintains our facilities with mechanical safeguards and secondary containment systems and uses spill-control plans. In all resource plays, Marathon Oil stores both hydrocarbons and untreated produced water at our production facilities in storage tanks with secondary containment. Produced water may also be stored in open-top tanks during fracturing and flowback operations, when crews are onsite and able to respond quickly to a spill. To protect wildlife, we use active deterrents such as netting, strobe lights, flags and air horns for temporary pits that may hold recycled water during completions activities.

If a spill does occur, we activate our comprehensive response capabilities to contain the spill and protect the surrounding environment. We train local, regional and corporate response teams, and conduct drills and exercises to maintain their readiness. We also have a network of response contractors and consultants.

When investigating spills and discharges to determine their cause, we look at both the actual and potential severity of the spill. The company takes incident-specific actions and, if necessary, broad corrective actions including remediation.

In addition, we contributed to the development of the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC) ESG Metrics Framework, which outlines five key groupings for ESG performance, including spills.

The number of spill events to the environment (outside of secondary containment) and greater than or equal to one barrel decreased by 10% in 2020. In 2019, we experienced two large spill events as a result of pipeline integrity issues on produced water lines. Total spill volume decreased approximately 14% in 2020 from 2018, the preceding non-anomalous year.

We continue to enhance our control logic for our pipeline systems to better detect leaks in dynamic flow conditions to reduce the probability of recurrence of isolated, high-impact events.

Decrease in the number of spill events to the environment greater than or equal to one barrel
  • ᵃ Data includes spills outside of secondary containment greater than or equal to 1 barrel.
  • ᵇ ~47,500 barrels of 2019 total spill volume was produced water.
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