Seven of the world’s eight species of sea turtles nest on the beaches of Mexico, including the Olive Ridley, or “Lora”, turtle. Sadly, this particular turtle is classed as an endangered species, with very few nesting sites remaining around the world.
Environmental and social studies conducted for the Arenque field, off the coast of Tamaulipas in north-east Mexico, identified both the presence and the importance of the Lora turtle, and highlighted the fact that their endangered status had actually become worse over time.
In line with our commitments to manage the impact that our business has on local communities and the environment, we entered into a partnership with PEMEX, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, and other public and academic institutions to create a scheme dedicated to protecting the turtles.
Over the last two years, Petrofac and PEMEX have invested over US$162,000 into this scheme. The money has paid for eight quad vehicles to monitor nesting sites, specialist satellite equipment to study the behaviour of turtles and scholarships for local university students to research the ecology of the species.
Thanks to Petrofac’s involvement, the situation has significantly improved. In 2015, the turtle nesting site was at maximum capacity with 400,000 new born turtles released into the ocean. In addition, our funding of research programmes is expected to increase substantially the number of turtle eggs under conservation over the next few years.