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BP, Other Oil Companies Update Transparency Guidelines

Oil and gas companies including BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil have contributed to updated guidance on improving transparency in environmental reporting.

Three oil and gas associations have published a second edition of their joint guidance, which they say will help the industry keep its stakeholders informed about company performance.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and IPIECA, an industry association for environmental issues, say that the 156-page document clarifies indicator definitions and sustainability reporting protocols.

According to the associations, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is also developing guidance for the oil and gas sector, due by the end of the year.

IPIECA, GRI and their common working group members – BP, ENI, Hess, Shell, Statoil and Petrobas – are working to align the two sets of guidance wherever possible, IPIECA said.

The update involved independent experts as well as public consultation, IPIECA said. “The result is a broader perspective on reporting issues that are critical to those interested in global oil and gas operations,” the association said in a statement.

IPIECA said the guidance will help the industry to share good practice and encourage all oil and gas companies – including those new to environmental reporting – to keep their stakeholders informed about company performance.

“Our revised Guidance recognizes that certain sustainability issues will be more important to some companies than to others…Therefore, we have placed more emphasis in this revision on reporting as an engagement process and we encourage companies to determine which issues are most important for reporting to their own stakeholders,” IPIECA executive secretary Richard Sykes, OGP executive director Michael Engell-Jensen and API president and CEO Jack N. Gerard write in the foreword to the revised guidance.

BP came out on top in a March 2010 ranking of environmental and social impacts from major oil and gas companies, shortly before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In the rankings, the company gained kudos for responding to stakeholder concerns.

The other companies and associations involved in developing the second edition IPIECA guidance include Marathon, ARPEL, BG Group, ConocoPhillips, EUROPIA, Hunt Oil, Nexen, Petronas, Repsol, Schlumberger, SNH, Talisman Energy, Total and WPC.

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