Geospatial Analytics Case Study
Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) | Ecuador
# January 2023
Understanding an infrastructure project’s interface with protected areas, biodiversity, and endangered species previously involved an enormous amount of manual research and coordination, making actionable insights virtually unattainable at the asset level – especially at scale. The release of RepRisk Geospatial unlocked a new dimension of RepRisk’s already robust due diligence arsenal: precise, on-the-ground proximity data that reveals biodiversity vulnerabilities and possibilities for related risk. The illumination of proximity risks for companies and projects combined with a rich history of risk incident data provides a comprehensive picture of biodiversity risk to support sound financial decision-making. The insights provide unprecedented and much needed insights into impacts on biodiversity. For example, approximately 80% of oil and gas pipelines worldwide crossing within 10 km of at least one environmentally sensitive site.
In this case study, we explore the proximity risks of a pipeline in Ecuador and trace the recent history of ESG risk incidents that had an impact on biodiversity. The results reveal the nature of the risks around projects of similar scope operating near Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and protected areas, helping to understand current and future implications.
# Placement of the pipeline
The Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) heavy oil pipeline is an oil and gas project in Ecuador, capable of moving 450,000 barrels per day. Spanning from the crude oil fields in the Ecuadorian Orient Region to the Pacific Coast, it is within a 30 km range of 28 environmentally sensitive sites. More than 450 bird species, 45 of which are threatened, inhabit the land within its path. As it crosses the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Andes mountains, and Indigenous land, its construction in the early 2000s faced stark criticism from both environmental and social groups. Geologically unstable placement of the pipeline exacerbated concerns, with a landscape that is prone to erosion and is near multiple fault lines and active volcanoes.
To assess proximity risks, RepRisk scans the area surrounding a project for environmentally sensitive sites, utilizing the world’s most authoritative biodiversity dataset, provided by the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT). This dataset covers locations of sites such as natural and mixed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ramsar Wetlands, and Alliance for Zero Extinction Sites.