Sustainability Report
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Protecting the environment

5 minute read
Accident prevention and management


Accident prevention and management correspond to the set of strategies, plans and management practices adopted by the company to promote safe operation of assets and logistical activities and maintenance of the readiness of emergency response systems to mitigate impacts on human life and the environment, infrastructure, and reputation. It includes the ability to perform integrated work with public authorities, partners, the community, and other actors in emergency situations, such as, for example, response actions for offshore spills to prevent touching the coast and in sensitive areas. It also covers corporate security risks arising from acts of intentional interference by third parties in pipelines and nearby areas, especially clandestine oil and products tapping.


In our activities we produce and move large volumes of oil and oil products, therefore, proper management of processes and activities is essential to prevent loss of containment and spills that may result in impacts to the environment and people and are therefore included in the principles of Petrobras' Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Policy.


Hence, we constantly seek to improve the integrity and reliability of our facilities and improve our processes, with our ambition being to achieve Zero Fatalities and Leaks, as disclosed in our 2024-2028+ Strategic Plan. 


Among the main initiatives for accident prevention we can highlight:

• The Mar Azul Program: aims to manage actions to prevent losses of containment in offshore production E&P operation activities, including the incorporation of lessons learned from past events;

• Dynamic Management of Process Safety Barriers Project: a technological solution aimed at monitoring the situation of process safety barriers in an integrated, dynamic, and real-time manner, helping decision-making based on risk analysis.


We invest in the continuous improvement of the integrity and reliability of facilities, the improvement of our processes, and operational practices. In 2023, a volume of 16.9 m³ relating to seven oil and oil product spills above one barrel (0.159 m³) was recorded a value below the alert limit of 120 m³. Out of the total volume spilled, 9.1 m³ occurred in the soil, with 7.7 m³ recovered. The remaining volume spilled in the terrestrial environment (1.4 m³) resulted from a pipeline spill, in which, due to the small volume spilled, it was not possible to collect it. Appropriate emergency response measures were adopted, with the launch of barriers in adjacent riverstreams and removal and treatment of the affected soil. The rest of the spills occurred in a marine environment, making it not possible to recover the oil, as the volumes, types of oil and environmental conditions made recovery by vessel unfeasible, and the stains were monitored with eventual mechanical dispersion when activating the PRE. There was no impact on marine sensitive areas or unusual sensitive areas.


The development of safer technologies and the application of HSE requirements in investment projects are extremely important for our performance. We have accident rates that are a benchmark in the oil and gas  industry, and even so, we challenge ourselves to further improve the safety of our employees.


Throughout 2023, the Safety Innovation Lab, located at Cenpes, developed technological innovations focused on products that contributed to our ambition to zero fatalities and other HSE impacts. The laboratory seeks to implement solutions that are developed and tested quickly, in controlled and representative environments, to prevent and mitigate risks through active monitoring of workers and the workspace. To achieve this, we apply technologies such as wearable devices, intelligent video analytics, robotics and drones aiming to reduce human exposure to risk.


The main deliverables include:

• Medium-scale pilot testing of wearable geolocation and biomedical monitoring devices for occupational health and safety;

• Testing the application of a submerged heat source to neutralize biofouling, for the first time in the Industry;

• Proof of concept and implementation of an anticollision sensing system for interaction between people and large machines; and

• First implementation of the gas sensor system for use in confined spaces with IoT technology in industrial units.

Still in 2023, we became the first oil and gas company among the largest companies in the world to completely replace deep-sea diving, considered the second most dangerous profession in the world by the International Labour Organization (ILO), with the use of underwater robots.


In 2023, we made 57 turnarounds at thermoelectric assets, 148 at natural gas assets, and 80 at refining assets. At PBio, four total turnarounds were carried out at the biodiesel plants and ten partial ones.


Furthermore, in our exploration and production assets, we carried out 27 scheduled turnarounds on platforms. In 2024, we plan to carry out 38 full turnarounds on platforms, 65 thermoelectric plants, 287 natural gas assets, 58 refining assets, and 127 at Petrobras Biocombustível, of which 21 are partial and six are full shutdowns.


Our commitments to life, the environment and operational safety have always been present in our activities carried out in 2023.


Our integration with Transpetro was further reinforced in actions to combat the theft of fuel in pipelines, also known as clandestine tapping.


Aiming at greater effectiveness in the fight against clandestine tapping, we strengthened ties with the communities neighboring the pipeline ranges with the expansion of social and awareness projects. We also invested in the improvement of technological solutions and strengthened relationships with public safety bodies.


These actions enabled a drop from 58 occurrences recorded in 2022 to 28 occurrences of clandestine tapping in 2023, what represents a 52% reduction. When comparing this to the historical high in 2018 when 261 occurrences were recorded, we have a 89% reduction in fuel theft.


There was a reduction in the number of occurrences in urban areas, what, consequently, minimizes the risks for the population close to the pipelines.


In 2023, we recorded 21 Tier 1 process safety accidents and 40 Tier 2 accidents. It is worth mentioning that, in the same year, our subsidiary Transpetro recorded two Tier 2 accidents and no Tier 1 accidents.


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