Climate change

Our ambition is to achieve emissions neutrality in activities under our control, and to influence our partners to achieve the same ambition in assets in which we are partners but not in charge of the operation, in a timeframe compatible with the Paris Agreement.

The decision is aligned with the global positioning of the 12 member companies of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a consortium Petrobras has been part of since 2018.

Prospective evaluations point to the persistence and importance of oil and gas in the global energy matrix, even though their relative share may decrease in a scenario of accelerated energy transition. This importance is underlined by projections of growth in global demand for energy and by the limited possibilities for expanding the energy supply based on economically viable, sustainable solutions, using the available technologies.

It is our priority to operate at low costs and with low carbon emissions, delivering affordable and adherent energy to our carbon emission reduction commitments. In this way, we contribute to both economic growth and the transition to a low carbon economy.

Reconciling society’s demand for our products with concerns about climate change in our planning and decision-making processes is an ethical requirement, included in our safety, environment, health and social responsibility strategy and policies. It is also a business need, in line with the expectations of our stakeholders.

Transparency: Carbon quantified in critical processes

  • The environment of the energy transition is one of uncertainty, to which are added doubts regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the sector. Our decisions today affect carbon performance and the generation of value in the short, medium and long term.

    It is our priority to ensure that carbon risks and opportunities are adequately captured in scenarios, quantified and considered in our choices, ensuring the sustainability and resilience of our business, which requires attention to the continuous improvement of decision-making processes.

Resilience of the position in fossils in the face of the transition to low carbon

  • The strategic model adopted remains anchored on the premise of producing oil and gas compatible with scenarios of accelerated decarbonization of society, adopting the concept of double resilience: economic, resilient to scenarios of low oil prices, and environmental, with low carbon. Currently, production is in the first quartile in carbon intensity in the offshore oil and gas industry, being a low emission and high efficiency player, especially in the Pre-salt fields.

    Our scenarios point to the persistence of oil in the world matrix, albeit in decreasing volumes. It is our priority to operate at low costs and with superior performance in carbon, safeguarding the competitiveness of our oils in world markets in a scenario of deceleration and subsequent retraction in demand.

    In our understanding, companies will be as much more competitive for the long-term market as they are able to produce at low costs and with less emission of greenhouse gases, thriving in scenarios of low oil price, carbon pricing and possible practices of differentiation of oil according to its carbon intensity in production.

    We are currently carrying out our quantification of value and portfolio decisions in accordance with the premises of our internal “Base” scenario, which considers a moderate energy transition.

    In order to guarantee the resilience of our portfolio, all approved projects must also be profitable in our “Resilience” scenario, which provides for an accelerated energy transition with a significant reduction in the price of fossil fuels.

Investments to strengthen our low carbon positioning

  • Our current focus is the investment in decarbonization of our operations, with emphasis on CO2 separation, methane detection systems, commissioning of the closed flare, HISEP technology, carbon reduction projects at the refineries, among others. Most of these initiatives are related to production optimization and/or operational efficiency, with important consequences in the reduction of emissions. The  2022-26 SP CAPEX includes the amount of US$ 1.8 billion in projects related to these initiatives of decarbonization of operations.

    In line with the ambition of achieving neutrality of greenhouse gas emissions from operations under the company’s control (scopes 1 and 2), a corporate decarbonization program is under development, aimed at accelerating and reducing the costs of decarbonization solutions, bringing greater competitiveness to the company. The program will also evaluate opportunities related to scope 3 and will be supported by a dedicated decarbonization fund, with an initial budget of US$ 250 million, which may be used in initiatives involving scopes 1, 2 and 3.

    Investments are also planned in bioproducts, to produce renewable fuels, including second generation, such as renewable diesel, the BioQAV, and R&D in biobunker. The forecasted CAPEX in the 2022-2026 SP is US$ 0.6 billion in this line.

    And we also have the so-called skills for the future, with forecasted CAPEX in 2022-2026 SP of US$ 0.13 billion, where we look at a longer-term horizon, and includes R&D in modern renewables, low carbon footprint products and CCUS, and profitable diversification into new businesses.

    Thus, the total  2022-2026 SP CAPEX for carbon efficiency between decarbonizing our operations and developing products aligned to the lower carbon footprint adds up to US$ 2.8 billion.


Reduction of total operational absolute emissions by 25% by 2030

  • Our goal of “Reducing absolute operational emissions by 25% by 2030” encompasses 100% of the assets operated in all of our businesses, including energy generation, for all greenhouse gases. It is important to note that there has been a drop in the company’s absolute emissions for the last 5 consecutive years.

History of GHG Emissions (million t CO2e)

Source: Petrobras Sustainability Report, 2020

Zero routine flare burning until 2030, according to the World Bank's Zero Routine Flaring initiative

  • In 2018, we announced our support for the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, meeting its criteria as one of our Sustainability Commitments. We emphasize that Petrobras already has a high rate of average utilization of gas produced, reaching, in 2019, the value of 97%.

Rejection of ~ 40 MM ton CO₂ by 2025 in CCUS (Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage) projects

  • The reinjection of CO2 in fields, associated with advanced oil recovery (EOR), will continue to play an important role in the trajectory of reducing the intensity of greenhouse gases. As one of our Commitments, by 2025, we project to achieve a cumulative total of reinjection of around 40 million tons of CO2, which will contribute to the technological evolution, cost reduction and demonstration of the security of the CCUS technology for application in the industry. oil and gas and other sectors. In 2019 alone, we injected 4.6 million tons of CO2, and reached an accumulated volume of 14.4 million tons of CO2 between the years 2008 and 2019.

CO2 reinjection

CO2 reinjection technologies (CCUS EOR) in ultra deep waters awarded at the OTC 2015 – Offshore Technology Conference (2,220m water depth):

  • First separation of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with natural gas, with CO2 injection into production reservoirs;
  • Deepest submarine well for CO2 gas injection;
  • First use of the alternate water and gas injection method.

32% reduction in carbon intensity in E&P until 2025 (15 kgCO₂e / good, maintained until 2023)

  • The planned actions aim to continue improving the carbon efficiency of our E & amp; P activities, with the goal of reaching the level of 15 kgCO2e / boe in 2025, which means a 13% reduction in carbon intensity over the horizon of 2019 to 2025.

    This commitment is in addition to the improvement of more than 40% already achieved in the decade 2009 to 2019 in the carbon intensity in the upstream. Such improvements led to an increase of around 40% in the production of oil and gas in our operations, without increasing absolute emissions from the upstream in this decade.

E&P Carbon Intensity (KgCO2e/boe)

** AML = Acceptable Maximum Limit

Main vectors for reducing the intensity of emissions in the E&P:

  • Profile of new assets;
  • Reduction of torch burning, fugitives and losses;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Portfolio management;
  • CCUS (reinjection with Enhanced Oil Recovery – EOR).

40% reduction in the intensity of methane emissions in the E&P segment by 2025

  • Our carbon intensity targets incorporate different greenhouse gases, including methane. However, given the characteristics of methane, whose heating potential is very high in the short term, we monitor this gas with a specific metric.

Main vectors for reducing the intensity of emissions in the E&P:

  • Expansion of the use of the flare gas recovery system (FGRS);
  • Fugitive Emissions Control Program;
  • Torch efficiency check

30% reduction in carbon intensity in refining by 2030 (30 kgCO2e / CWT)

  • In refining activities, we set a goal of reducing carbon intensity by 16% by 2025, expanding to 30% by 2030, reaching 30 kg CO2e / CWT. We highlight that the actions to reduce carbon intensity also have gains projected to reduce emissions of other gases (particulate matter, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides).

Refining Carbon Intensity (kgCO2e/CWT)

*The CWT (Complexity Weighted Tonne) of a refinery considers the potential CO2 emission, in equivalence to distillation, for each process unit.
** AML = Acceptable Maximum Limit

Main vectors for reducing the intensity of emissions in the Refining:

  • Load optimization;
  • Reduced gas delivery to the torch;
  • Optimization of the thermoelectric balance;
  • Improvements in energy performance

For all targets, direct (Scope 1) and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the acquisition of electric and / or thermal energy produced by third parties (Scope 2) are considered.

Goal 1: Zero growth considers the absolute emissions of the Petrobras System in 2015, which totaled 78 million tons of CO2e. Petrobras’ commitment is not to exceed 78 million tons of CO2e in any year until 2025, unless there is a strong pressure for electricity generation from thermal plants due to national water stress events.

Goal 2: The World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative aims to eliminate routine torch flaring, that is, that resulting from the impossibility of draining or making use of the gas produced in the E&P segment. Non-routine burns, such as during startup, malfunction or maintenance of assets, as well as burning for safety reasons are outside its scope.

Goal 3: The kg CO2e / boe indicator considers gross oil and gas production (“wellhead”) in its denominator.

Goal 5: According to IOGP (International Association of Oil & Gas Producers) metrics.

Goal 5: The Flare Gas Recovery System (FGRS, from English Flaring Gas Recovery System) aims to minimize the sending of gas for torch burning through the operation of a closed recovery system. Torch firing occurs only when the required flow rates exceed the design specification, for example, in an emergency situation.

Goal 6: The kg CO2 / CWT indicator was developed by Solomon Associates specifically for refineries and was adopted by the European Emissions Trading System (EU Emissions Trading System, EU ETS) and by CONCAWE (association of European refining and distribution companies oil and gas). A refinery’s CWT (Complexity Weighted Tonne) considers the CO2 emission potential, equivalent to distillation, for each process unit. Thus, it is possible to compare emissions from refineries of various sizes and complexities. Petrobras monitors the kg CO2 / CWT indicator, according to its original identity. We also monitor an adapted indicator: kg CO2e / CWT, to allow the inclusion of emissions from other greenhouse gases (for example methane), which, however, represent a small portion of our refining emissions.


We recognize that the risk of accidents resulting in spills of oil and oil products with an impact on the environment is a material risk for our industry. For this reason, to prevent accidents, we comply with rules and adopt strict operating standards and procedures. We are trained to operate safely and in case of any doubt, during the execution of a procedure, we are instructed to stop it immediately.

We reinforced our safety actions with the Commitment to Life program, which focuses on accident prevention and we are always looking for new solutions for risk control. In our business areas and subsidiaries, we implemented the Zero Leakage Plan, with actions aimed at reducing the risk of leakage.

In 2020, we inaugurated the Security Innovation Laboratory in our research center, with the objective of developing new digital security solutions in collaboration with industry, startups and academia.

In case of emergencies, we have a team of specialized professionals at advanced Bases and Emergency Response Centers, distributed throughout Brazil. In 2019, we conducted 26 simulated exercises at the regional level, including leak response training.

In addition to the Environmental Defense Centers, we are also partners in Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), a specialized oil spill emergency response institution that provides support with resources for complementary action in the event of a national or international response.

Due to the increase in fuel thefts in our pipelines, which pose great risks of leaks, explosions and fires, in 2019 we launched the Petrobras Integrated Pipeline Protection Program (Pró-Dutos). In 2020, even during a pandemic, we carried out six regional simulated exercises 100% remotely, with the use of digital tools.


Leaked Volume of Petroleum and Derivatives – Vazo (m3)
Description 2020
Total number of leaks above 1 bbl 6
Total volume of leaks above 1 bbl 216.5 m3
Average volume leaked by other companies in the oil and gas sector in 2018* 616.8m3

*The volumes of oil spilled related to our operation (does not include clandestine derivations) are computed for all occurrences that individually account for a spilled volume above one barrel (0.159m3 ) and that reached water bodies or unsealed soil. The total of 216.5 m³ is equivalent to about 1,365.5 barrels.

* Average peer group: data on leaked volumes extracted from sustainability or similar reports published by the companies that make up our peer group. As of the close of this report, not all data regarding volumes leaked by companies in our peer group for 2020 had been released.

The leaked volume of oil and oil products (VAZO) is one of the top metrics in our Strategic Plan, impacting the variable compensation of our employees and executives. We aim to achieve zero leaks.


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

Our water resource management has as its basic principle the constant search for the rational use of water, which allows both to guarantee the necessary supply to activities and to contribute to its conservation and availability in the areas of influence of our facilities. In this sense, we seek the adoption of low-intensive technologies in the use of water, the minimization of its use in operations and processes, the reuse and the identification of alternative sources of supply, always considering the local water availability and the technical-economic feasibility of the actions .

With regard to the generated effluents, we seek to minimize the polluting substances discarded, segregate, treat and properly dispose of the streams, also observing the aspects of local water availability for the assimilation of effluents and the technical-economic feasibility of the measures.

We have a corporate database, through which we annually carry out our inventory of water and effluent resources, which, in 2020, included 344 facilities that use water and generate effluents.

To improve our management of water and effluent resources, we invested in knowledge and technology, including new studies to assess current and future water availability and to identify alternative sources of abstraction in 16 basins from which 26 of our facilities collect or receive water.

With regard to fresh water, we use 140 sources of abstraction, 129 of which are located in Brazil (accounting for about 99% of the total volume of fresh water we capture) and 11 in the other countries where we operate. In 2020, we did not identify any significant impacts on the water sources in which we directly collect water.

To map water risks to our operations, we use the Water Shortage Risk Index (IREH), developed in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). This index allows the identification and prioritization of locations and operational units for the development of detailed water availability studies and for the implementation of risk mitigation or management measures. The methodology takes into account not only the susceptibility of the installations to the physical scarcity of the water resource, but also the vulnerabilities of the hydrographic basins and the resilience actions developed in the installations.

For our units identified as being exposed to relevant risks, we implemented specific actions such as participation in water resources forums, studies on water availability assessment and alternative sources of funding, studies on opportunities to rationalize the use of water, technological development on the topic , engagement with local communities, among others.


  • 50% reduction in fresh water collection in our operations by 2030.

Total Volume of Reused Water
Description 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Reused water (million m3) 24.8 25.4 84.0 82.2 73.9
Reuse in relation to the total fresh water used (%) 11.5 12.5 31.5 34.4 33.6

a) The data source used for the calculations was the 2020 Annual Report on Water Resources and Effluents.
b) As of 2018, due to a revision in the identity of the corporate indicator “Volume of Reused Water”, we started to account for the volumes of produced water reinjected for secondary recovery of oil and gas in onshore fields.


The spatial distribution and the variety of our operations make the interface with protected and sensitive areas frequent. The identification of these areas is configured in a stage of prevention and mitigation of risks and associated impacts and is carried out by crossing information from our operations with the data from the World Bank for Protected Areas, made available by the World Conservation Monitoring Center of the World. United Nations Environment Program and based on the systematic mapping of Brazil. We have 25 production blocks (949km2) and 23 refining and natural gas units (288km2) and 3,039 km2 of pipeline areas that intersect with protected areas.

We identify and assess impacts in order to support the definition of preventive, mitigating and compensatory measures in the phases of installation, operation and deactivation of our projects.

According to the stage of the life cycle of the projects, the types of operations, environmental factors, legal requirements, requirements of environmental agencies (in the case of license restrictions), among other factors, we have developed several studies and projects with the objective of assess risks to biodiversity and establish action plans.

Our Biodiversity Action Plans should consider assessments of risks and impacts on biodiversity, prevention, minimization, recovery or compensation measures and monitoring programs. In addition, stakeholders should be identified and involved in all stages of the biodiversity management process, including environmental monitoring.

We invest in research and development projects for technological solutions and methodologies that promote the improvement of environmental management and mitigate the impacts of our operations. The ongoing projects include environmental characterizations, mitigations or reduction of effects on ecosystems and biodiversity and the recovery of degraded and impacted environments through reforestation projects, restoration of native species and others.

We also work to preserve biodiversity through investments in social and environmental projects. In 2020, as a result of our many projects, we had more than 440 publications in technical and scientific events, over 98 thousand participants were directly involved in our initiatives and we protected more than 300 fauna species, 52 of which are endangered.


  • 100% of Petrobras facilities with a biodiversity action plan by 2025.


We strive for excellence in waste management, developing initiatives to minimize the generation of solid waste, in line with the concept of circular economy.

The methods of waste disposal, through treatment or final disposal that are environmentally appropriate, are determined by us and executed by specialized companies that are licensed by the environmental authorities.

The proper management of our solid waste allows that most of the hazardous waste mass generated in our processes is sent to RRR (Reuse, Recycling and Recovery) routes.

The volume of hazardous waste generated in our processes in 2020 was in line with the last two years. On the other hand, we generated less non-hazardous waste than in 2019. It is worth mentioning that the results of waste generation in 2020 indicate an improvement in our waste management processes, given that, this year, our total annual production (oil and natural gas) reached record levels, totaling 2,840 thousand barrels of oil equivalent a day (boed).


  • Zero growth in the generation of waste from processes until 2025.

    We have minimized the generation of hazardous waste over the past 4 years, with a reduction of 11% from 2016 to 2019. The increase in the generation of non-hazardous waste in 2019, when compared to the historical one, was due to the occasional increase in non-continuous activities cleaning and maintenance, as well as engineering works.

Oil, NGL and Natural Gas Production X Hazardous Process Wastes

Year Production (Mboe / day) Hazardous waste generated (thousand tons / year) Non-hazardous waste generated (thousand tons / year)
2016 2,790.0 132 210
2017 2,766.7 113 153
2018 2,627.8 120 158
2019 2,770.0 118 245
2020 2,840 124 201

Note: Effluents are not considered when calculating the quantity of waste.

Last updated on February 11, 2021.