The industrial revolution led to an increased emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases have the property of trapping heat in the atmosphere that would otherwise escape into the solar system. As a result, severe climate change cases have occurred in the past, which disrupted many businesses and life in general. We need to take urgent action against climate change before it reaches the point of no return.
Following the IPCC Paris COP 22 treaty, governments across the world are making plans and implementing policies to support and strengthen worldwide initiatives to achieve the global ambition of limiting global temperatures rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To add to the momentum, corporations too are participating by crafting and implementing strategies to achieve Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner.
Major sectors that contribute to global warming and carbon emissions like industrial (steel, cement, plastic), energy and electricity (coal, oil, gas), farming, transportation, and heating and cooling (AC, refrigeration) are the ones that need to take most urgent action.
One of the key areas that organizations can benefit from is investment into low-carbon manufacturing, energy efficiency, clean electricity production, and use, fleet electrification, smart infrastructure and buildings, sustainable supply chains and circularity with the help of IT solutions.
This blog explores how IT solutions for the oil and gas industry can play a crucial role in driving real breakthroughs in sustainable energy usage and decarbonization.
E&R Industry’s Efforts Towards A Sustainable Future
The oil and gas sector is under pressure from all sides to reduce its carbon footprint. Investors want to understand the long-term investment strategies of oil and gas companies to ensure that they are well on the path of reduced carbon emissions and temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
On the path to making energy more reliable and affordable through decarbonization, IT solutions for the oil and gas industry prove to be a worthy choice. This is because technology offers a way to the energy industry to work in a cleaner, more efficient, and connected way.
Let us explain this further!
Decarbonization Framework for Energy and Resources Industry Players
There are many ways for a company to decarbonize its operations. To manage its greenhouse gas footprint, it is first important to review and report current emissions. After setting the baseline, targets can be set, and it becomes an ongoing set of management processes.
There are various avenues to meet those targets using digital technologies, mainly via four pillars as discussed below –
This is the most commonly known way to mitigate carbon emissions. It involves switching to lower-carbon energy sources, either directly (Scope 1) or indirectly (Scope 2). For instance, ultra-efficient gas turbines imbibed with latest technologies can help lower GHG emissions from natural gas power to unprecedented levels. Other low-carbon energy sources such as wind, solar, dam hydropower, nuclear fission, hydrogen, and compressed air are also emerging as mainstream energy resources for organizations.
This method involves sweating or using existing operations and supply chains to minimize carbon intensity incrementally from existing resources. This is similar to sweating costs from operations and supply chains. For instance, the IoT can help monitor energy patterns and intervene automated, intelligent light switching to much more sophisticated operations like real-time switching of energy sources.
This efficient strategy entails capturing, storing, and utilizing the carbon dioxide produced from power plants, thereby stopping it from reaching into the atmosphere. This carbon is stored underground to be later used for better oil recovery. CCS or carbon capture technology is used for the same. Currently, 20 large-scale CCS facilities are already operating globally, while more such facilities are under construction.
While managing the amount of carbon produced in any supply chain is tough, actions can be taken to offset or swap the carbon produced. For example, by trading or buying carbon offsets and via other paper-based instruments to reach net-zero emissions.
The approaches mentioned above have overlaps and are not consecutive. They can be implemented in any order.
Regardless of the chosen energy source, oil and gas technology solutions can help producers with carbon tracking, remote monitoring of facilities, predictive maintenance, downtime optimization, and power output optimization. Furthermore, BlockChain can be used to track carbon credits, applications can effectively manage carbon trading, and Big Data, AI, and analytics can be used to optimize the processes.
Conclusion – Plausiblities for A Sustainable Future
Existing and emerging technologies are helping energy sector organizations with decarbonization in a quicker, smarter, and less expensive way. Rather than just being a part of the wiring within the process, oil and gas technologies are tools that can be used for a big leap towards net-zero emissions.
These technologies also generate a substantial amount of carbon footprint, and it is a valid point for argument. Nevertheless, it stays that IT solutions for the oil and gas industry need to be implemented in a sustainable way for the greater good of humanity and the world.