Sustainability Report
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Protecting the environment

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Water and effluents


The availability of water quantity and quality is essential for our operations. We use water directly for our oil, gas and products production and processing units; for steam generation; cooling and human consumption, among others uses. As a result, practically all of our activities generate domestic and industrial effluents, such as produced water.


Understanding the strategic relevance of this resource for the sustainability of our business throughout the production chain (upstream and mid/downstream), whether in onshore or offshore operations, we make efforts to continuously improve the management of water resources and effluents, considering our value of respect for life and the integrity of our facilities.


The material topic of water and effluents includes variations in the availability or quality of water in our areas of influence due to the withdrawal/or discharge of effluents associated with the company's activities, including produced water. It covers negative impacts on biodiversity and human health in the case of water scarcity for water withdrawal or assimilation of our effluents, and positive impacts such as the return of water resources in better quality than withdrawn or in the implementation of conservation and recovery projects for springs and riparian forest, as well as technological adaptation of E&P and refining activities in scenarios of permanent water scarcity.


Our water resources management has as its basic principle the constant search for the rationalization of water use, which allows both to guarantee the necessary supply for our activities, and to contribute to its conservation (quantity and quality) and availability in the areas of influence of our facilities. Thus, we seek the adoption of low-intensity water use technologies, the minimization of its use in operations and processes, and the reuse and the identification of alternative sources of supply, always considering the local water availability and the technical-economic and environmental feasibility of the activities.


With regard to the generated effluents, we seek to minimize discarded polluting substances, through segregation, treatment, and adequate discharge of streams, also observing aspects related to the assimilation capacity of the receiving water bodies and the technical-economic feasibility of the measures, with the objective of avoiding or mitigating possible environmental impacts.


We use several tools for the management of water resources and effluents, the results of which are monitored by senior management. We develop process standards and specific technical guidelines, which establish requirements that must be observed and deployed by all our business areas and serve as a reference for our other companies.



1 The data includes the parent company and the companies Petrobras Biocombustível, Petrobras Bolivia, Petrobras Colombia Combustibles S.A. (PECOCO), and Transpetro.


We are committed to water security and one of our ESG drivers is to be “Water Positive” in the areas of water criticality where we operate, by reducing freshwater withdrawal and improving local water availability, contributing to water security. Thus, we made, and publicly reaffirmed in our 2024-2028+ Strategic Plan, the commitment to reduce our freshwater withdrawal by 40% by 2030, compared to 2021.


Based on the commitment, we established our annual goals for the freshwater withdrawn indicator. The achievement of such goals influences the variable remuneration of the company's executive manager (HSE) and the Profit Sharing (PLR)2 of our employees


2 The calculation of the reduction potential has been revised compared to the previous year’s report.



We withdraw water from shallow sources (rivers, lakes, etc.), underground sources (phreatic or artesian wells), receive water from third parties (public utilities or other companies), and generate water produced when we extract oil and gas from their formations.


In Brazil, the maximum limits for freshwater withdrawal from the environment are established by public bodies responsible for the management of water resources and consider hydrological criteria and the multiple human and ecological uses of water within a hydrographic basin. It is legally forbidden to withdraw more water than authorized by the competent body. We also continuously invest in assessment of the impacts
of our activities, observing protected and sensitive areas mapped in the regions influenced by our units, based on a specific and standardized internal process for this purpose. In 2023, we did not identify significant quantitative or qualitative impacts on water sources resulting from our direct water withdrawal processes.

The discharged effluents were previously treated in order to meet the quality standards for discharge established in the environmental legislation. In 2023, we did not identify any significant quantitative or qualitative impacts on the sources where our effluents are discharged.


During 2023, we withdrew 114,663 megaliters of freshwater for our operational and office activities, 13% below our target5 (maximum limit) of 131,900 megaliters. 


A significant part of our investments in rationalizing the use of water has been directed towards developing reuse projects. Among the benefits achieved, we obtained a reduction in our global needs for withdrawing “new water.”


5 For the purposes of the PLR specifically, the demand from thermoelectric plants is not accounted for, due to its significant variability depending on the needs of the National Interconnected Electricity System. For 2023, the target (maximum limit) was 119,400 megaliters and the volume captured was 109,995 megaliters.

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