The oil industry often gets a bad rap, especially among ecological activists. Although there’s been a wide-accepted effort to abandon fossil fuels in favor of greener energy sources, currently the oil industry is still dominating the energy industry sector. So it is safe to say that the oil industry is here to stay for the time being. But there is one thing that can be done to maximize the harmful effects of excessive oil use: make the oil industry greener and more eco-friendly. So here are some ways that it can happen.
1. Lower the usage of freshwater
Fresh water is one of the most precious resources that we have in the world. And since water is a crucial part of the oil production process, it is important to find ways that will decrease the usage of fresh water, without derailing the process itself. All the parts of the production process, from fracking to separating oil from other elements, require hundreds of barrels of fresh water. Recycling the water is a good step in the right direction, however, many oil companies are also trying to come up with processes that will reduce the water used in the extraction process.
2. Reducing the methane leaks
Methane leaks can be dangerous to the environment, which is why it is essential to reduce those leaks. Companies that aim to become greener, should employ efforts that will make that happen. Recent research figures have found that it is financially sound to reduce emissions of methane and other gases. Also, finding ways to reduce these leaks can be very cost-effective for the entire oil industry.
3. Using data the right way
Recent data confirmed that the oil and gas industry generates a whooping 200 billion dollars a year. That’s the industry performance, according to the McKinsey agency. Also, offshore platforms currently operate at 77% of production capacity. Using data the right way can increase the maximum production potential. The companies that learn how to implement the data correctly and use the right tools will also yield returns from their initial investments. Learning how to do this properly will also reduce waste, bottlenecks and accidents. This effort will also have a tremendously positive effect on the environment.
4. Having the safest tools and parts available
This is of utmost importance. Proper tools and machinery parts make sure that everything is running smoothly and according to the highest ecological standards. This will also reduce the risk of potential spillages, leaks and other serious accidents that can harm the environment and cause a further ecological catastrophe. Using proper tools and parts such as a composite frac plug for oil fields can significantly reduce the environmental issues related to fracking and other activities. Safety is a huge part of the oil and gas industry that should always be taken seriously. And paying attention to the equipment and its quality is a huge part of that.
5. Streamlining process in order to improve them
This is crucial, as it makes everything easier. Not every innovation can make the gas and oil industry greener automatically. However, the overall sustainability of the industry relies heavily on employing streamlined work practices. These streamlined practices and innovations make the entire process easier and more eco-friendly. But also, it contributes to more cost-effective work. Innovations such as the new ultrasound technology let companies create 3D pictures of the inside of oil wells, which then allows them to create cost-effective production decisions that will also be more informed. Improving the efficiency of current operational processes by the smallest percentage can reduce unneeded costs and expenditures, which will inevitably lead to a reduced carbon print.
6. Creating digital oilfields
Digital oilfields are the innovation that is the true sign of O&G’s digitalization path. The Thai concept is starting to gain traction, thanks to numerous technological advancements. Using cloud technologies together with big data, the digital oilfield can allow for all operational data to be analyzed, utilized and monitored, in real time, which will also lead to more eco-friendly and safer decisions.
7. Using renewable energy in the process itself
In order to get the maximum out of renewable energy, it is important to use it as much as possible. Oil and gas companies are generally looking to reduce their emissions, by diversifying the energy sources that they use. Many big players in the industry are focusing on capital investments that can utilize renewable energy in the decades to come.
These are the ways that the oil industry can implement and become greener and more sustainable. Although the elimination of fossil fuels is impossible, employing greener business practices is a great place to start. Helping the environment through using the right tools, digitized oilfields and renewable energy sources will make sure that the O&G industry remains relevant without harming the environment.