The Expert Board of Transneft met in Moscow on 20 June 2017 to discuss security-related issues. The participants discussed some aspects of environmental safety in the operation of crude oil and petroleum product trunk pipeline transport facilities as well as the execution of construction and assembly works at the Company’s industrial facilities.
Participating in the work of the Expert Board from Transneft were vice presidents Vladimir Rushailo, Pavel Revel-Muroz, and Aleksey Sapsay, heads of departments and directors general of subsidiaries.
Also participating in the event were: Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation Committee on Defence and Security Mukharbek Didigov, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation Committee on Economic Policy Mikhail Ponomarev, member of the Council of the Federation Committee on Budget and Financial Markets Dmitry Savelyev, Plenipotentiary of the Russian Government in the Council of the Federation Andrey Yatskin, Deputy Head of Rosprirodnadzor Ramil Nizamov, Deputy Head of Rosreestr Maksim Smirnov, Head of the General Department for Supervision over Compliance with Federal Legislation at the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation Anatoly Palamarchuk, Rector of Kutafin Moscow State Law University Viktor Blazheev, Deputy Director of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation Andrey Gabov, advisor to Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration Viktor Zorin, Director of Federal Budgetary Institution Scientific and Engineering Centre "Power Safety" of Rostechnadzor Evgeny Kutilin, representatives of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Rosleskhoz, Russian National Guard, and other independent experts.
Vice President of Transneft and Deputy Chairman of the Expert Board Vladimir Rushailo, delivering an introductory address, emphasized that environmental safety is one of the most important cornerstones in the Company’s general security system that takes on special significance in the Year of Ecology announced in Russia and at Transneft. The planning and execution of production activities in the system of Transneft is carried out with due regard for the sustainable nature management requirements. The Company pays much attention to preventing the negative environmental impact, with innovative technologies implemented in the Transneft system. Work is also under way to increase the environmental safety of industrial facilities, reduce the production waste and the emission of pollutants to the environment.
In his report, Vice President of Transneft Pavel Revel-Muroz dwelled on the measures taken by Transneft to comply with the requirements of the environmental laws in operating the industrial facilities of trunk pipelines, ensuring environmental safety, protection and rational use of natural resources. He expressed the opinion that the Forestry Code of the Russian Federation has to be amended, to provide for the possibility to revamp the crude oil and petroleum products pipeline transport facilities in parkland areas of the state forestry fund without altering the arrangements for using them. Mr Revel-Muroz also mentioned the need for measures aimed at refining the draft waste generation standards and waste disposal limits as well as the need for creating an integrated regulation for changing the procedure of formalizing the permit to dump waste to a water body.
Delivering his report, Vice President of Transneft Aleksey Sapsay drew the attention of the meeting participants to the relevance of ensuring uninterrupted and effective operation of the Company’s industrial facilities and developing the national pipeline system, which largely depends on timely maintenance, repair, revamping, technical upgrading of pipeline transport facilities as well as on the construction of new ones.
In particular, Mr. Sapsay pointed out that during the last decade Transneft put into operation a number of large infrastructure projects, including the pipeline system Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean, oil trunk pipeline Skovorodino – Mohe, Baltic Pipeline System 2, oil pipeline Zapolyarye – Purpe, oil trunk pipeline Kuyumba – Tayshet.
“Transneft has undertaken large-scale effort to put in place the relevant mechanisms of control over compliance with the nature conservation and forestry laws, to strengthen demands on contractors, to take practical measures aimed at raising the quality of construction and assembly works,” Vice President informed.
In his report Mr Rushailo drew the attention of the Expert Board members to a number of main issues related to the impact of criminal interference with the operation of trunk pipelines and to ensuring the environmental safety. He pointed to the need for ongoing joint effort made by the Company’s experts and expert community to improve the regulation and law enforcement procedures as well as civil and criminal penalties for soil and water contamination, to use harsher punishment for the disablement of trunk pipelines, and to tighten the rules of handling land plots located in the protective zone of trunk pipelines.
The speakers mentioned the importance of the draft federal law “On crude oil and petroleum products transport over trunk pipelines and on amending certain acts and regulations of the Russian Federation”, developed with the direct assistance of Transneft, since this law is directly related to the Company’s activities. It was emphasized that passing of this law would address many existing problems in crude oil and petroleum products transportation, including the ones raised in the course of today’s meeting.
Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova underlined that the settlement of any issues in operating the pipeline transport should be inseparable from the respect for human rights, especially as regards the decision-making about the demolition of structures unlawfully erected in protective and buffer zones. This matter was discussed in the course of the Direct Line with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Elaborating on this subject, Deputy Head of Rosreestr Maksim Smirnov pointed out that that the settlement of this issue largely depends on correct mapping of the protective zones borders in land management plans and timely registration of land parcels in the cadastres of respective Russian regions.
The Expert Board members were in favour of making joint and concerted effort in the future, aimed at the soonest possible submittal of this document to the Russian Government.
Representative of the Council of the Federation Mukharbek Didigov underscored that the draft bill developed on the instructions of the Russian President and called to become a backbone legislation regulating the business activity of the companies transporting crude oil and petroleum products over trunk pipelines must definitely be entered to the State Duma within the set deadline. The existing mechanism of passing laws allows the elimination of contradictions not only in the course of preliminary approval at federal executive authorities concerned, but also in the process of discussing bills in the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, experts generally approved the provisions of the draft bill “On amending the national “Environment Protection” bill and certain regulatory acts of the Russian Federation, as regards the higher effectiveness of state environmental supervision in building and rebuilding of capital construction projects and harsher punishment for violating the enacted environmental requirements”. At the same time, participants of the meeting suggested some practical recommendations on further improvement of the bill.
Reviewing the results of the work done, the participants mentioned the need to consolidate the efforts of Transneft specialists and other experts in developing contemporary and integrated approaches to addressing relevant issues of environment conservation performed by the Company and its subsidiaries.
Members of the Expert Board were positive that the results of the meeting would contribute to further improvement of environment protection activities by Transneft, safe operation of fuel and energy facilities and further enhancement of national environmental safety.