Soils Monitoring

The study is focused on the soil cover in the area outside the right-of-way within the potential environmental footprint of the onshore infrastructure.

The potential impact on soil cover during the operation of the Sakhalin-2 onshore infrastructure may have the following causes:
• pipeline maintenance and repair activities,
• altered subsurface runoff and disrupted surface runoff as a result of pipeline or road construction,
• development of erosion processes due to the natural shrinkage of soils within the land remediation strip, as well as the slow re-vegetation of the land remediation strip,
• increased active recreational use of the area,
• airborne contamination of the area by emissions from the OPF, BS-2, and the LNG plant,
• vehicle exhaust emissions in areas affected by federal and regional motorways,
• active recreational use of the area,
• fires,
• man-induced impact from dachas and gardens.

The soil monitoring programme covering the footprint of the Sakhalin-2 onshore infrastructure includes the following:
• identification, mapping, and assessment of soil degradation processes, specifically:
− mechanical disturbance, compaction and littering of the soil cover,
− soil erosion,
– water-logging.
• identification, mapping, and assessment of soil contamination processes.

Soil monitoring studies are carried out in accordance with the Degraded and Contaminated Land Identification Guidelines approved by the Russian Federation's State Committee for Land Resources and Management (Roskomzem), the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.

Environmental surveys of soils within the footprint of the LNG Plant and the OET are carried out at 12 local soil monitoring sites arranged in three directions (bearings) at distances of 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kilometres from the battery limit at locations with the most distinctive terrain conditions, and at two baseline sites. The content of organic matter in soils varies greatly, from elevated (lowland bog soils) to relatively low (upland bog soils) to low (brown forest soils).

No soil disturbance or degradation events have been registered at any of the sites that monitor the activities of the Prigorodnoye Asset. The concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons and benzo(a)pyrene in soils at all the monitoring sites under review are within the baseline limits across the monitoring profile and do not exceed standard values.

No contamination by the ecotoxicants under review has been detected: the average levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in a 0 to 25-cm thick layer ranged from 32 to 235 mg/kg, which is also well below the permissible level (1,000 mg/kg); the average levels of benzo(a)pyrene in a 0 to 25-cm thick layer were below the detection threshold.

The monitoring of soils and soil cover along the onshore pipeline route is done at 24 fixed RoW sampling sites featuring diverse orographic (terrain) conditions and man-made soils, and at 24 reference sites with undisturbed natural soils. Virtually all monitoring sites have developed pronounced vegetation with a protective cover of 75 to 100 per cent, resulting in the formation of a good turf horizon.

The content of TPH and the main monitored ecotoxicants in soils (0 to 25-cm thick layer) ranged between 15 and 289 mg/kg, which is well below the permissible level (1,000 mg/kg).

Soils around BS-2 are acidic and low in nitrogen and phosphorus. The high potassium content may be due to the close proximity of the Sea of Okhotsk, the salts from which are carried by the wind and transferred from the atmosphere to the soil (the salt impulverisation phenomenon). The content of petroleum hydrocarbons, as the main ecotoxicants in soils, (0 to 25 cm thick horizon) averaged 380 mg/kg, which is significantly lower than the permissible level (1,000 mg/kg). Benzo(a)pyrene, which serves as the main indication of potential contamination, was not detected in the 0 to 25-cm-thick soil layer.

Within the OPF battery limit, the content of petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, ethylene glycol, and mobile forms of nitrogen (NO3, NO2 -, NH4 +) in soils is within the baseline range, well below the maximum permissible concentrations, and sometimes below the detection limits of conventional techniques.

No lands contaminated with oil and petroleum products as a result of the operation of infrastructure facilities or of activities at the Company's sites have been identified.