Governments in many parts of the world are setting targets for a greater presence of renewables with lower carbon emissions in their national energy mix. Like other sectors, oil and gas companies are also stepping up their sustainability commitments by adapting to newly emerging clean technologies in the global energy landscape.
We’re increasingly seeing many oil and gas producers trialling and enjoying success with an ever-evolving range of innovative energy solutions that are helping them minimize cost, reduce their carbon footprint, and become more sustainable.
Being in the industry since 2003, here’s what experts are predicting the oil and gas companies are likely to explore as the economies worldwide introduce diversified, sustainable strategies across the industry.
#1- Better Data Analytics
According to McKinsey, the oil and gas industry’s performance gap was nearly $210 billion. The research highlighted that offshore platforms run at only 70% of their maximum production potential on average.
Properly implemented data tools and analytic systems can overcome the operational complexity of operations in the oil and gas industry. Some solutions yield quick returns of as much as fifty times the original investments while reducing wastage, ecological impact, bottlenecks, and accidents.
#2- Reducing Freshwater Usage and Improving Recycling Efforts
Water is not only essential for living beings but has many uses in various oil production processes. From separating oil from elements to fracking, the industry uses millions of water barrels daily. While the global oil and gas industry is pro-recycling, companies are still looking for extraction processes to reduce water usage from the very outset.
They’re also exploring more effective ways of reusing water by including recycling in their operations. Organizations are aiming to use water that’s 100% non-portable by improving oxidization filtration methods and implementing chemical-free water treatment solutions to neutralize any contaminants.
#3- Reducing Methane Leaks
Using methods that help reduce methane leaks is a cost-effective opportunity for the industry. The International Energy Agency recently outlined that many emerging and currently available technologies make it financially possible for oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions significantly.
#4- Recycling Used Oil
Many companies are utilizing waste oil refinery units to transform used oil into fuels like diesel. This approach yields fuel for ongoing operations and proves relatively inexpensive than other traditional methods used to dispose of the oil.
#5- Improving Better Streamlined Processes
Many innovations that may not specifically make gas and oil processing cleaner and greener still improve the sector’s overall sustainability by enabling more cost-effective practices. For instance, ultrasound technology helps organizations create realistic 3D images of oil wells, making more cost-effective and informed production decisions.
Automation, analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence, enhancement capabilities, reserve replacement, and many other emerging technologies can help identify and eliminate operational inefficiencies.
When the ongoing operational processes’ efficiency improves even by a small fraction, the gas and oil companies can produce the same amount but with reduced energy expenditure and costs, leading to a lower overall carbon footprint.
#6- Digital Oilfield Creation
Going beyond incremental improvements in operations, the rapid pace of digitalization of the oil and gas sector has allowed for the creation of digital oilfields. The process is gaining prominence and utilizes big data and cloud technologies to monitor, analyze, and use operational data in real-time. Digital oilfields, therefore, enable more sustainable and safer decision-making.
#7- Greater Acquisition of Sustainable Equipment and Solutions
The industry giants are leading the way by investing in clean energy, which means expanding the investor base for renewables soon. Although many oil and gas companies are finding ways to lower emissions, some are looking to diversify into the market for renewables.
With fossil fuels—oil, gas, and coal—being non-renewable sources of energy and their formation taking hundreds of millions of years, companies are investing in sustainable energy solutions.
Wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power, bio-energy, and geothermal energy are some examples where energy is generated from sources that are available in plentiful amounts.
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