1995 Society of Petroleum Engineers Paper on Securing the Future

This paper, “Securing the Future – in Partnership with the Environment” was selected by a program committee of the Society for Petroleum Engineers for presentation at the Offshore Europe 1995 Conference and Exhibition. A part of a larger collection discovered by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent in a trove of internal oil and gas industry documents, this report provides a brief overview of notable environmental policies and protections that are relevant to industrial energy production. Touching on events such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, as well as policies and theories that emerged from those events like Sustainable Development and the Polluter Pays Principle, this paper pieces together a crash course in environmental policy and history that also presses the urgency of industry leadership on environmental issues.

In the section on Sustainable Development, the author (A.L. Smith) writes: “we do not have time to wait until disaster overwhelms us before we make the radical changes necessary to protect our world for future generations. A sense of urgency as well as a realisation of the need for global involvement is essential, otherwise all the oil and gas industries best efforts will be undermined by those who refuse to shoulder their proper burdens.” Smith concludes: “As an industry we must be dedicated to continuous efforts to improve the compatibility of our operations with the environment while economically supplying the highest quality products and services to our customers.” However, the relatively action-oriented tone of this paper “does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.”

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