Spill prevention and mitigation

Galp implements measures to prevent and mitigate spills, protecting the quality of the environment and the species and habitats that depend on it.

We monitor all primary containment losses, regardless of the volume released or the affected medium.

We encourage the dissemination of lessons learned by investigating the causes and effects of each event.

During 2017, we maintained our commitment to preventing and minimising loss of containment events.


We believe that the practices of reporting, followed by incident investigation, remain key to monitoring these events and improving our performance.

We have included primary containment loss indicators in the Balanced Scorecards for our operations, for use as information relevant for performance monitoring and regular tracking by senior management.

Learn more about safety in our operations.

Emergency prevention and response

We believe in sustained prevention by assessing risks and impacts throughout the life-cycle of projects.

We strive to improve understanding of the environment in which our activities take place, at different levels:

  • ecological vulnerability;
  • local hydrogeology;
  • quality and characteristics of water resources;
  • type and characteristics of soils and bioclimatic conditions.

This knowledge is relevant for preventing and minimising the impacts of our activities, particularly at the planning and emergency response levels.

We prepare emergency response plans specific to our operations, which are periodically reviewed and tested.

Emergency plans cover all phases of emergency response, from emergency identification to closure. They include all scenarios that could result in a serious event, and they define the resources, roles, responsibilities, competencies and experiences required for each situation.

Communication channels with internal and external stakeholders are also identified, in order to minimise adverse effects on human life, the environment and assets.

More about prevention and safety in our operations

Soil protection

Recognising the importance that our operations have on soil conservation in the areas where we operate, we have developed action plans and we are proactive.

We have internal standards and procedures for the sustainable management of soil and water resources. We have established methodologies, and we have aligned our activities with internationally accepted good practices and the expectations of the competent authorities and other stakeholders. From an integrated perspective of the life-cycle of our facilities, the protection of soil and water resources is ensured through:

  • proper management of contaminants, waste and effluents;
  • incident prevention;
  • preparing responses to emergency and crisis situations.

In principle, we always have ready a responsible action in case of any threat of environmental damage.

We apply procedures to investigate and evaluate the contamination whenever loss of mechanical integrity and consequent loss of containment is suspected.

Methodology for assessing soil and/or groundwater quality and site management, applied after the occurrence of an event that could cause contamination.

In recent years, together with APETRO and other partners, we have taken steps to promote know-how about soil and groundwater protection in Portugal.

The first phase, completed in 2014, consisted of drafting and publishing a legal and methodological benchmarking report (Portuguese version) for the protection of soil and groundwater from contamination by petroleum products.

The second stage of the project was completed in 2016, with publication of the Sector Guide for the Protection of Soil (Portuguese version) and Groundwater in the Oil Sector. The Guide consisted of a reference document covering the techniques and methodologies to be applied in assessing the quality of potentially contaminated soil and groundwater.

Its purpose is to define guidelines on "what to do" and "how to do it" when faced with potential contamination of soil and/or groundwater by petroleum products.

Galp accountable and proactive

Graça Brito, a specialist in soil and groundwater protection, has been part of the FCT teams that support Galp in its decontamination and remediation processes. The professor and researcher believes the company cares about the environment and identifies problems in a timely manner.

Galp often uses independent experts to carry out studies at various levels, especially with an environmental dimension. Their link with university centres enriches their knowledge and their work, and can even ensure the necessary exemption in procedures. Graça Brito, assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and researcher at the Geobiotec Centre of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology at the New University of Lisbon, leads one of the teams that frequently works with Galp on decontamination and soil remediation.

In an interview with our channel, the expert says that she considers the performance of companies in the oil sector in Portugal to be positive, as through APETRO, a business association, they have encouraged preparation of a specific guide for soil contamination and remediation assessment, which demonstrates environmental concerns. Graça Brito also points out that Galp, in particular, has been proactive.

She also reports that there are other positive aspects of the Company, such as the excellent training received by its technicians and their autonomy, and the way they collaborate quickly to evaluate contaminated areas. "In fieldwork, where it is sometimes necessary to make rapid decisions, this represents tremendous added value."

Read the full interview with Professor Graça Brito.

Environmental Provisions for Remediation and Decommissioning

We establish provisions for environmental liabilities every year. These are generally established in order to provide resources for soil and groundwater decontamination processes, as well as for block abandonment projects arising from the E&P activity. In 2017, the total provisions to cover these matters was €299,589(*).

Provisions (k€) 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017(*)
Environment 3,781 2,021 2,208 3,454 18,092
Abandonment of E&P blocks 88,227 111,360 128,795 177,163 281,497

(*) these values lack of statory auditor