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Four enterprises topped the Rating of Environmental Transparency of Oil and Gas Companies for the first time

30 november 2021
WWF-Russia, CREON Group and ACRA presented the annual results of the 2021 "Rating of Environmental Transparency of Eurasian Oil and Gas Companies." This year, four Russian companies have got to share the leadership. However, the environmental issues disclosure level in the oil and gas industry has decreased, and the companies are now clearly divided into transparent and non-transparent. The report is being conducted with the support of the European Union

Online presentation of the "Rating of Environmental Transparency of Eurasian Oil and Gas Companies" results took place on November 30, 2021, at the TASS press center. The rating includes 22 Russian oil and gas companies, as well as 14 enterprises from Kazakhstan and two from Azerbaijan.

In 2021, the global sustainable development agenda witnessed significant progress.  In Russia the two key documents were adopted: so called "Taxonomy for Green Financing" developed by VEB.RF and the Ministry of Economic Development, adopted by Government of Russia and "Recommendations of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on Non-Financial Information Disclosure by Public Joint Stock Companies".

"The adoption of these documents confirms the fact that both society and investors are now paying more attention to non-financial risks," says Alexey Knizhnikov, head of the WWF-Russia business environmental responsibility program, "Ratings contribute to the overall transparency of the companies and reliability of important environmental information, which helps investors improve the quality of the risk assessment process. Our tool facilitates interaction with all the stakeholders, society being one of the most important," stated Knizhnikov.

Intensified competition for the top positions of the rating

In 2021, the competition for top positions of the rating turned out to be more fierce than in previous years. The gap between the leading companies disappeared: first and second places were shared by Zarubezhneft and PJSC Tatneft scoring the same number of points; Sakhalin Energy and Surgutneftegaz took third and fourth places, showing the identically high result.

"The rating results clearly demonstrated the high level of environmental transparency for many Russian oil and gas companies. This fact testifies to the thorough preparation for the decarbonization of the Eurasian economy that will not be possible without the participation of the Russian oil and gas sector," stated the co-founder of the rating Fares Kilzie, CREON Group Board Chairman, "We will insist on a more detailed dialogue with the oil and gas sector and the regulatory authorities of the European Union and Eurasia, and will also continue to develop mechanisms for independent monitoring and non-financial reporting verification. Achieving full environmental transparency in the oil and gas industry in the process of the energy transition is our main goal," says the head of CREON Group.

RUSSIAN OIL AND GAS COMPANIES:

The record in growth was set by Tatneft that moved up five positions from 6th to 1–2 places. Salym Petroleum Development (5th place) and Gazprom (6th place) moved two positions up. 

As for downward trends in the rating, PJSC Exxon NL had a dramatic 9-position drop, from 5th to 14th place. PJSC Lukoil dropped out of the top three and took 8th place. Exxon NL failed to disclose the data on time; Lukoil did not publish the data required for calculations of two indicators related to waste disposal and utilization. As a result, the company's quantitative indicators worsened, leading to a decrease in the industry's average transparency score. Ranking organisers also developed penalties based on two criteria of the part III (“Information disclosure”) due to the high-profile emergency spill by LLC Lukoil-Komi on Kolva river

KazMunayGas (1st place), Karachaganak PJSC (2nd place), and North Caspian (3rd place) formed the Kazakh oil and gas companies TOP-3. The Azerbaijan companies rating includes two companies: BP (1st place) and SOCAR (2nd place).

“The ACRA Group of Companies actively promotes the principles of responsible investment and sustainable development initiatives on an ongoing basis. We conduct conferences, seminars and trainings, and also work closely with regulators, profile partner companies and professionals in the field of environmental protection and carbon management. For oil and gas companies, participation in the rating is a positive reputation component and an excellent opportunity to declare themselves as a responsible subsoil user. It is a great honor for us to become a partner of this project and to help increase the transparency of the oil and gas industry as the most difficult one in terms of negative impact on the environment, ”commented Alexey Mukhin, CEO of ACRA Risk Management.

A decrease in the average score; transparent and non-transparent companiesIn 2021, the rating experts presented both the final analysis itself and the results of their research of the overall rating dynamics over 8 years of its existence (2013–2020). Despite the intensified competition for the top places, the average final score of Russian oil and gas companies at the end of 2020 had decreased, indicating an overall decrease in their environmental transparency. The downward trend in transparency is also characteristic of oil and gas companies of Kazakhstan, where the rating has been calculated since 2016, and Azerbaijan (since 2018).

At the same time, the industry average disclosure score among Russian companies turned out to be higher than the score among companies in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. This is primarily due to the fact that the Russian companies provide feedback more promptly, disclose additional information more willingly, and provide more detailed and high-quality non-financial reports:

In addition to that, the 8-year analysis of the final scores of companies in Russia and Kazakhstan has revealed two stable clusters: transparent and non-transparent. The transparent cluster includes the top half of the rating where the active companies compete for the top places in the final standing; the non-transparent cluster relates to the bottom of the rating where the more passive companies still fail to adequately disclose environmentally significant information. It should be noted that there are next to no transitions being made from the non-transparent cluster to the transparent one.

State regulatory bodies in the field of nature protection; responsible investors and insurance companies, as well as environmental organizations should pay special attention to the increased environmental risks of the "non-transparent" cluster, emphasises Alexey Knizhnikov.

 

Year

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Transparent cluster companies

12

14

13

12

14

14

13

12

Non-transparent cluster companies

7

7

8

10

8

6

5

10

Total number of companies in two clusters

19

21

21

22

22

20

18

22



"We have thoroughly analyzed the trends for every year of our rating  and plan  to propose a number of rating methodology changes to adapt it to the increasing environmental demands in the near future," announced Alexey Knizhnikov.

Photo credits: (c) Alexey Knizhnikov / WWF-Russia
For additional information please contact
Head of the responsible industry Program