IHS Energy and UNEP-WCMC Launch New Product To Deliver Global Biodiversity Information

IHS Energy, an oil and gas information and consulting company, has entered into an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) to market a global biodiversity information module to the oil and gas industry. The offering will provide an early warning system for companies to evaluate potential environmental impacts early when planning oil or gas projects. According to UNEP-WCMC, legally protected areas are growing in both the number of sites and the total area protected worldwide. (Graphic: Business Wire)

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HOUSTON & CAMBRIDGE, U.K.--()--June 9, 2005--IHS Energy, a leading provider of oil and gas information, and related software and consulting services, announced today it has signed a landmark agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) of Cambridge, U.K., to market a global biodiversity information module to the energy industry. The module delivers desktop access to protected areas and other sensitive terrestrial and marine habitats, including WWF(R) Ecoregions -- in context with IHS Energy's own comprehensive exploration and production (E&P) datasets and map-based analysis tools.

Integrating IHS Energy's comprehensive data on licensed areas, lease blocks, field outlines, basins, reserves, pipelines and other related E&P information with the biodiversity module's key information on national and internationally protected areas, habitats and ecosystems, will provide an "early warning system" for oil and gas companies to identify and consider the potential impacts of their activities on wildlife and their habitats at any stage of an oil and gas project's life-cycle.

The integration and development of such analytical tools creates a critical information resource for minimizing, avoiding or mitigating environmental impact on sensitive natural areas, as well as serving as a useful assessment tool for monitoring company biodiversity performance.

Early access to this information will aid operators in evaluating new acreage acquisition or in project initiation. Companies will be able to work closely with communities, governments and biodiversity experts to address potential negative impacts on wildlife and their habitats before operations begin, as well as review ongoing drilling, transportation and pipeline operations.

Under this agreement, IHS Energy has exclusive rights to market and license the "Biodiversity Module," provided by UNEP-WCMC, to the oil and gas industry. The agreement also calls for a significant amount of the revenue generated through this commercial arrangement to be returned to UNEP-WCMC for use in updating the datasets and enhancing the quality of the biodiversity module to support critical decision-making and research. UNEP-WCMC will also ensure that a proportion of the revenue is shared with its biodiversity data partner providers to assist with ongoing biodiversity data provision and management efforts.

"We are honored to be working with UNEP-WCMC to provide access to these critical biodiversity datasets," said Ron Mobed, president and chief operating officer of IHS Energy. "Having widespread access to this integrated information is currently a missing link for many oil and gas companies. It will help fill the gap between their stated biodiversity goals and the necessary decision-support data for entire E&P teams. Combining biodiversity and E&P data in a map-based view creates a powerful, 'early-warning' resource for our customers, helping them understand the 'footprint' of planned projects and how any overlap with certain areas might impact sensitive ecosystems. With this information, operators can further their best practices for avoiding impacts to sensitive areas," he said. "Such a product builds on our commitment to be a one-stop, integrated source for E&P teams needing to understand above-ground risks in frontier areas."

"When we looked at ways to expand the outreach to the energy industry and increase its use of the biodiversity data, it became clear that IHS Energy is the most respected and widely accepted provider of comprehensive E&P data worldwide. The company is a leader in managing and delivering integrated datasets and information services to the global oil and gas industry," said Tim Johnson, Ph.D., deputy director, UNEP-WCMC. "The Centre seeks to ensure biodiversity data is made widely available to users that need it most -- in relevant and useful formats. Combining the biodiversity module with IHS Energy's data and map-based E&P applications creates a unique tool to help oil and gas operators make informed decisions regarding issues of biodiversity and managing the world's growing energy demands. IHS Energy's tremendous global oil and gas industry customer base, combined with its data expertise and reputation, made this agreement a logical step."

The number of protected areas being designated is growing worldwide (since 1962, the number of protected areas has multiplied 100-fold to more than 100,000, representing nearly 19 million square kilometers, an area the size of the U.S. and China combined). As operators strive to meet growing demand for reserves, they are constantly evaluating "frontier" areas where the number, size and distribution of protected areas is growing rapidly, which makes the delivery of these biodiversity datasets in the context of E&P information even more essential to decision-making.

The combined datasets from IHS Energy and UNEP-WCMC (the Biodiversity Module) will be available in IHS Energy's international GIS/Web-browser and desktop applications. Datasets to be included in the Biodiversity Module in the first instance will be:

-- The boundaries and location of nationally and internally designated protected areas

-- The distribution of warm-water coral reefs

-- The distribution of seagrass beds

-- WWF(R) - World Wide Fund for Nature Ecoregions (including Global 200(R) priority ecoregions)

IHS Energy (www.ihsenergy.com) enables oil and gas companies worldwide to create and maintain best-in-class decision-making processes by providing and integrating essential E&P information, intuitive software and consulting services. IHS Energy is an operating division of IHS Inc. (www.ihs.com). IHS Inc. is one of the leading global providers of critical technical information, decision-support tools and related services to customers in a number of industries including energy, defense, aerospace, construction, electronics and automotive.

UNEP-WCMC is the biodiversity assessment and policy implementation arm of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the world's foremost intergovernmental environmental organization. Based in Cambridge, U.K., UNEP-WCMC aims to help decision-makers recognize the value of biodiversity to people everywhere, and to apply this knowledge to all that they do. The Centre's challenge is to transform complex biodiversity data into policy-relevant information, to build tools and systems for analysis and integration, and to support the needs of nations and the international community as they engage in joint programs of action.

UNEP-WCMC provides objective, scientifically rigorous global products and services that include ecosystem assessments, support for implementation of environmental agreements, research on threats and impacts, and development of future scenarios for the living world.

Ensuring environmental sustainability is Goal 7 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (see http://www.developmentgoals.org/). The area of land protected is used as an indicator of progress towards this goal. UNEP-WCMC provides information on protected areas to help other agencies and countries monitor progress.

For more information, please visit www.ihsenergy.com/products/biodiversity or send an e-mail to biodiversitymodule@ihsenergy.com.

Note to Editors: Video interviews with Ron Mobed, IHS Energy president and COO, and Tim Johnson, Ph.D., deputy director, UNEP-WCMC, are available online at www.ihsenergy.com/products/biodiversity. A written transcript of these interviews, or additional supporting images for print purposes, may be requested by sending an e-mail to media_relations@ihsenergy.com.

(R) "WWF" is a WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature (Formerly World Wildlife Fund) Registered Trademark. (R) "Global 200" is a WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature (Formerly World Wildlife Fund) Registered Trademark.

Contacts

IHS Energy, Houston
Melissa Manning, 713-369-0297
melissa.manning@ihsenergy.com
or
Cobalt Media
Marcus Stone, +44 0 117 966 7733
Marcus.stone@cobalt-media.com
or
UNEP-WCMC
Kirsty Mackay, +44 0 122 327 7314
Kirsty.mackay@unep-wcmc.org

Contacts

IHS Energy, Houston
Melissa Manning, 713-369-0297
melissa.manning@ihsenergy.com
or
Cobalt Media
Marcus Stone, +44 0 117 966 7733
Marcus.stone@cobalt-media.com
or
UNEP-WCMC
Kirsty Mackay, +44 0 122 327 7314
Kirsty.mackay@unep-wcmc.org