Water management

The oil and gas industry, consumes large amounts of water for the production facilities but it also produces large amounts of water due to the extraction of oil and gas. MOL Group is constantly focused on finding ways to improve the handling methods of these large quantities of water.

There are two separate type of water needs within MOL Group: the upstream and downstream. Each sector has specific and significant requirements in terms of process water, the treatment of waste water and recycling.

In Upstream business, process water is used as injection water for wells, in order to help recover crude oil and gas. The water produced must then be treated in order to be recycled and re-injected, or simply in order to comply with increasingly strict discharge standards.

Quantity of produced water from Exploration & Production activities in 2017 (m3)

  EU Operations Non EU Operations Total MOL Group
Amount of produced water 9,729,739 403,271 10,132,965
Total amount of re-injected produced water 10,870,151 441,476 11,311,618
Water sent to evaporation ponds 0 710 710

At all EU operations, produced water is re-injected, and in 2017 a water reinjection system has been commissioned in Pakistan. As result, the water volume that is sent to the evaporation ponds has been reduced by 99%.

In Downstream business, process water is mostly used to supply boilers and cooling circuits, and for some oil refining processes.

At MOL Group we are constantly monitoring the water efficiency of our Downstream units.


Issues related to water management are becoming increasingly critical in the lives of societies and companies, and require a permanent change in operations. Water management principles are similar to those followed in waste management; critical is reducing fresh water intake, the reuse and recycling of water and responsible water emissions (reductions and impact assessments).


Refining and PetChem are dominant in water withdrawals

In 2017, MOL Group’s total water withdrawals amounted to 95.63 million m3, which represents an increase of 1% compared to 2013 (94.51 million m3) and a 12% increase as compared with 2016 figures. The tendency is attributable to the acquisition of the CM European Power Slovakia and yearly change in production capacity that is based on market demand.

Climate change and Hungary: Mitigating the hazard and preparing for the impacts (The “VAHAVA” report).

As an important input for assessing the general environment, the so-called ‘VAHAVA’ report (issued in Hungary) calls attention to the fact that the practice of “fighting the floods” should be replaced with the principle of “living with the floods” in the areas in which we operate. As a result, action plans for extreme weather situations should be reflected in the operational regulations of our facilities and plants.

Overview – The Water Situation in Pakistan

In our international overview we share information about our operations in Pakistan where the long term availability of water sources has become a strategic issue.

Pakistan’s current population of 141 million is expected to grow to about 221 million by the year 2025. This increase in population will have a direct impact on the ability of the water sector to meet domestic, industrial and agricultural needs. Pakistan has now essentially exhausted its available water resources and is on the verge of becoming a water deficit country. Per capita water availability has dropped from 5,600 cubic meters to 1,000 meters. The quality of groundwater and surface-water is low and is further deteriorating because of unchecked disposal of untreated municipal and industrial wastewater and excessive use of fertilizers and insecticides.

Generally, water availability is assessed during environmental assessment (EIA/IEE) studies for each new project. In our last focused analysis we found that several of our production facilities are located in areas which have limited groundwater, but no water is being extracted from the surroundings of these sites. Other facilities where water is extracted are not water stressed areas. In these cases – independent from the present water status – we maintain records of water extraction from various sources and maintain records of water consumption at production sites.

We have not so far faced any major conflict with any stakeholder regarding water resources. However, in the case of complaints from local communities regarding water contamination, an environmental investigation is conducted by field SD & HSE officers or third party environmental consultants and a chemical & microbiological analysis of water is carried out. It has been established that no water source has been contaminated so far due to MOL’s Pakistan operations.