Managing Air Emissions

Through investments in technology, we’re working to ensure the oil and natural gas products we generate are produced in a manner that meets, or exceeds, regulatory requirements that preserve regional air quality.

Over the past three years, oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions from our facilities have steadily declined. While the improvement between 2010 and 2011 was due to decreased flaring at the Long Lake oil sands facility and decreased fuel use in Yemen, the 75% drop from 2011 to 2012 primarily reflects a reduction in production in Yemen. In December 2011, our production sharing agreement on Block 14 (Masila) expired and our facility was turned over to another operator. We continue to produce about 4,000 barrels of oil per day from Block 51 (East Al-Hajr).

Company-wide sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions have also declined since 2010 by approximately 47%. The decrease in 2012 reflects the cessation of Yemen Block 14 operations and the shutdown of our Balzac gas plant.

In 2012, Nexen experienced a 30% increase in gas flared from our facilities over 2011, primarily due to maintenance turnaround activities at our Long Lake oil sands facility.

Methane gas vented from facilities has been reduced since 2010 mainly due to the divestiture of our heavy oil operations in July of 2010.

Methane Vented
Units 2010 2011 2012
Company-wide million m3 7 1 0.3

SO2 Emissions
Units 2010 2011 2012
Company-wide tonnes 6,657 4,266 3,503

Gas Flared
Units 2010 2011 2012
Company-wide million m3 238 230 298

NOx Emissions
Units 2010 2011 2012
Company-wide tonnes 30,012 27,734 7,026