On May 28, 2015, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment issued the Circular No. 22/2015/TT-BTNMT stipulating the environmental protection in the process of using drilling fluids; waste management and environmental monitoring for offshore oil and gas operations.
In accordance with regulations prescribed in this Circular, During the development stage drilling process, petroleum organizations must perform environmental monitoring. The background environmental monitoring is performed once before the commencement of development and extraction drilling; once within 01 year from the time of gaining the first commercial oil or gas flow. Executing the environmental monitoring program on a triennial basis that begins on the time of commencing the first environmental monitoring program in the post-development drilling stage. Similarly, as for oil and gas exploration drilling operations using non-water-based mud in the waters which are 3 nautical miles away from the shore and environmentally sensitive area, the background environmental monitoring must be performed once before each exploration drilling and once within 01 year from completion of such exploration drilling. Particularly, petroleum organizations are only allowed to use water-based drilling fluids in offshore oil and gas exploration drilling operations that do not require the environmental monitoring before and after completion of such exploration drilling.
Effluents discharged from offshore oil and gas extraction facilities shall be treated and disposed of in compliance with the national technical regulation on effluents discharged from offshore oil and gas extraction facilities. domestic wastewater from 03 (three) to 12 (twelve) nautical miles away from the shore must have collection, treatment, disposal and certificate of domestic wastewater pollution prevention in compliance with requirements in the MARPOL convention. Water used for cleaning machinery, equipment and oil hold must have collection, treatment in conformity with the maximum oil content of 15 mg/l before discharge into the sea from more than 12 (twelve) nautical miles away from the shore
This Circular takes effect on July 20, 2015.
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