Over the past several years, the oil and gas industry has adopted initiatives to meaningfully impact emissions reduction. As an example, the industry announced the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which is a CEO-led consortium that aims to accelerate the energy industry’s response to climate change. The companies that comprise the group include major players like BP, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Shell, and others. These companies represent approximately 30% of global oil and gas production and collectively OGCI has more than $1 billion in funds to invest in technology and projects that accelerate decarbonization in oil and gas, industry, and commercial transport.
Opportunities for Emissions Mitigation
As E&P companies start to think more proactively about their impact on the environment, there are several approaches they can take to reduce emissions including:
Implementing internal corporate programs and initiatives that require a proactive approach to recognizing the company’s carbon footprint and setting goals to reducing emissions.
Statistics show that up to 30% of all gas is flared primarily because there’s a lack of pipeline and gas facilities infrastructure to store and transport it. Increasing infrastructures could help to reduce flaring as a contributor to emissions. Not surprisingly, this approach can be quite costly and the negative impact on the bottom-line can be a deterrent.
In this case, recovery is defined as catching or collecting emissions rather than releasing them into the atmosphere.
Operators can take a proactive maintenance approach by replacing parts before they fail as a means to stymie emissions releases before they start. Replacing compressor seals, rods, leak detection repair, and even installing new lift systems are ways of reducing emissions. Plunger lift is a good example of an artificial lift system type that has lower emissions compared to others.
Regulation tends to come in two forms – both carrot and stick. Stick is less desirable and includes fines, fees, and/or penalties. The carrot initiative is a more rewarding approach that exists by proactively incentivizing activities that can stave off the enforcement of new and potentially more rigid regulations.
Production optimization technologies allow operators to more efficiently manage large well populations ensuring maximized operations effectiveness. Leveraging the right automation technology to streamline efforts can make a significant impact in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.