Respect for and protection of the environment is central to Orca
Engaging with our stakeholders
We acknowledge that this ensures we retain the goodwill of our hosts and a license to operate our business. We recognize the privilege it is to operate in Tanzania, but also the centrality of the environment and its extraordinary ecological systems to the livelihoods of many of the Tanzanian people. As such, we engage regularly with a broad range of stakeholders on environmental matters, from international organizations to locals in the communities in which we operate.
We also invest considerable time and effort in formal reporting, auditing and updating internal controls and regulations, and consulting with communities to ensure their and the nation’s best interest are protected alongside the Company’s reputation. We recognize the impact of the business on the environment and undertake environmental impact assessments when commencing capital projects.
The need to accelerate the global transition to clean, renewable, and sustainable energy sources is undeniable, and nations and companies are increasingly committing to net-zero targets to limit global warming below a 2°C increase compared to pre-industrial levels.
Advancing towards a lower carbon economy
The quest for global reduction in GHG emissions places pressure on emerging economies, where a high proportion of economic activity is based on extractive and carbon intensive industries. At the same time, African economies have very low historic and current emissions per capita and low access to electricity. This conundrum places countries like Tanzania at a crossroads between the need for development and action on climate change mitigation.
The development versus climate debate often ignores the role that gas can and needs to play as a lower-emissions alternative to traditional fossil fuels in developing countries, and also misses the opportunity to foster a market for carbon-neutral or Liquid Natural Gas. As such, we believe that our business is vital in assisting Tanzania in its development goals while also advancing towards a lower carbon economy.
Tanzanian government pledge
The Tanzanian government has pledged to:
- Strengthen the availability and reliability of electrical power by increasing generation capacity, transmission, and distribution networks.
- Construct and strengthen natural gas supply infrastructure for domestic, industrial and transport use.
- Develop renewable energy technologies and projects particularly for rural households.
- Strengthen sustainable use and management of oil and natural gas.
- Develop renewable energy sources for cooking to mitigate climate change.
- Strengthen the availability of oil and natural gas by enhancing petroleum exploration and development
Managing climate change risk
As a natural gas producer and operator, we are exposed to both physical and transitional climate change risks, while we acknowledge that our operations have the potential to exacerbate these risks over the long term.
We utilize a third-party 207 km onshore pipeline that transports gas from Songo Songo Island to Dar es Salaam. We also operate a 50 km downstream high and low pressure gas distribution network. However, the vast majority of all pipelines are buried and protected in vulnerable areas.
Thus they are not particularly exposed to climate change induced extreme weather events. Other physical infrastructure such as offshore and onshore wells may be more vulnerable to extreme weather events.
We are committed to ensuring all onshore gas transportation pipelines, rigs, and wells are assessed for their ability to withstand extreme weather events by 2026.
Since Tanzania’s five-year development plan references the need to “strengthen the availability of natural gas by enhancing petroleum exploration and development activities”, the Company is unlikely to be impacted by this risk directly.
Nevertheless, sentiment around fossil fuels generally is changing and there is a risk of losing access to financing if the Company fails to demonstrate how it is working towards alignment with a low-carbon economy. As such, we want to ensure that we are transparent about our impact and contribution.
We are committed to reducing our negative environmental impact as much as possible while focusing on business growth. We see natural gas as a transitional fuel that will further reduce Tanzania’s overall GHG emissions.
We are in the process of examining opportunities to support local universities in research directed at innovative solutions around the climate related impacts of natural gas. Similarly, we are investigating options to produce LPG, small scale LNG and CNG alongside our existing gas production operations.
While this would not reduce the amount of natural gas that we produce, it would reduce the amount of CO2 produced as a result of reduced flaring, whilst also further reducing Tanzania’s reliance on coal and imported products.
We are committed to further measure and improve our reporting of our GHG emissions during the next reporting year and will assess the possibility of setting net-zero ambitions and creating an action plan to align with the Paris Agreement.