The oil and gas industries have undergone major development and evolution over the last decade or so, both in regard to “downstream” refining processes and “upstream” exploration and drilling operations. Today, Paul Favret and other experienced industry professionals are quite proactive about following formidable safety practices and stepping up their sustainability commitments. Oil and gas companies across the world are now exploring ways to adapt to the new realities of the global energy landscape, and are trying to leverage clean-tech innovations to pivot towards their future energy vision.
With every passing day, an increasing number of oil and gas companies are widening the range of new-age technologies, techniques and practices used by them to reduce expenses, become more sustainable and manage their carbon footprint. Here are a few of those practices:
- Reducing freshwater usage: Water is a crucial element in a variety of oil production processes, starting from separating oil and other elements present in oil sands to fracking. Several hundreds of barrels of water are used every day for such purposes. A lot of companies are today rethinking the extraction process to cut down freshwater from the very outset. Many oil and gas companies additionally try to recycle a vast amount of this water. The use of 100% non-potable water by improving filtration oxidization methods has become a popular practice.
- Reducing methane leaks: Following practices that help reduce methane leaks helps oil and gas companies to manage their expenses. There are particular emerging technologies that help such companies with the process.
- Used oil recycling: An increasing number of companies are making use of small-scale waste-oil micro-refinery units that helps in transforming used oil onto diesel fuel. This approach yields fuel for ongoing operations, and is also comparatively more affordable than the traditional oil disposal methods.
- Creating digital oilfields: Going beyond just incremental operational improvements and boosting the pace of the oil and gas industry allows for the development of the ‘digital oilfield’. This technique has caught the interest of several industry professionals including Paul Favret. With the use of big data and cloud technologies, digital oilfields allow operational data to be effectively utilized, analyzed and monitored in real-time, so that safer and more sustainable decisions can be made.
While all innovations in the industry are not focused on making gas and oil processes cleaner and greener, they can improve the sustainability of the sector on the whole by enabling more cost-efficient processes. For instance, with new ultrasound technologies it becomes possible to create 3D images of the inside of oil wells. These images help in making informed, affordable and efficient production decisions. In a similar manner, automation, analytics, reserve replacement and enhancement capabilities, as well as emerging AI tools can all help find and eliminate operational inefficiencies. With such operational improvements, oil and gas companies can produce the same amount but with lower costs and energy expenditure, thereby having reduced carbon footprint.