The oil and gas industry is one of the most demanding sectors from an environmental point of view. It has numerous legislative obligations, risks and challenges that other industries do not have to face. 

In response to these challenges, a number of leading oil and gas companies are making significant commitments to reduce their impact on the environment . 

They do this through a combination of new technology and changes to operating procedures. 

These companies see it as an investment in the future, where they can continue to operate with a clear conscience and without facing increasingly harsh scrutiny from environmental groups, regulators and consumers. 

Environmental risks in the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry faces numerous risks that threaten its ability to function, including the rising cost of capital, potential slack demand, and the impact of government regulations. 

However, environmental risks are the most pressing facing this industry, and they include: 

  • Air quality issues : Air quality issues encompass a number of emissions, such as greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. 

They are especially important in the exploration and production process, but also affect the transport of the product. 

  • Water-related issues : Water-related issues affect both the exploration and production phases, as well as the transportation of the product. 

The water is used in the exploration phase to drill wells, and in the production phase to clean equipment and remove natural gas liquids. These amounts are expected to increase as more water-sensitive technologies are used. 

  • Land-Related Issues : Land-related issues include habitat destruction, species loss, and soil contamination. 

They affect both the exploration and production phases, as wells need to be built and land cleared for drilling rigs.


Commitment to environmental responsibility

These risks are driving a greater commitment from the oil and gas industry to reduce its environmental impact. 

This commitment is manifesting itself in five important areas, including the following: 

– Adoption of new and cleaner technologies : The sector is adopting a new generation of technologies that reduce emissions, such as electric propulsion equipment and the development of biocrude, which is a fuel that burns cleaner than oil.

 – Better regulations : The industry is working with regulators to push for more stringent emissions regulations to be enforced more quickly and effectively. 

– Greater conservation efforts : The sector collaborates with environmental groups to sustainably develop the country’s resources. 

– Co-creation and collaboration with renewable energy industries : The sector is collaborating with renewable energy industries to develop and implement combined cycle projects that integrate the production of both types of energy.

 – Building trust through transparency : The sector is more open and transparent in its operations and shares its best practices with other industries.

Cases of industry leaders who are making a difference :

BP: Driven by quicksand – Looking beyond 2020

BP was one of the first oil and gas companies to adopt an environmental strategy, with its “Beyond 2020” campaign launched in 2015. 

This campaign is responsible for a wide range of initiatives focused on the environment, including the following:

  • Using biocrude – BP has developed a biocrude that can be used to produce advanced fuels, such as those used in aviation and shipping. 
  • Electrification – BP is making significant investments in the electrification of the global energy economy, including the development of charging infrastructure for battery-powered vehicles. 
  • Carbon Capture – BP is leading the development of carbon capture and storage technologies, which can be used to reduce emissions from a wide range of industries and sectors. 
  • Geothermal Energy – BP partners with several renewable energy companies to develop geothermal energy resources.


Chevron: Net Condensate Discharge Commitment

Chevron’s “Net Zero Discharge” campaign is designed to reduce the amount of natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons released into the environment. 

The campaign has three strategic objectives:

  1. Reduce emissions from Chevron operations.
  2. Reduce emissions from joint venture and third-party operations.

3.Reduce emissions from Chevron’s procurement activities. 

To achieve these objectives, Chevron is carrying out the following initiatives: 

  • Product Mix Change: Chevron is changing its product mix to reduce the amount of natural gas liquids being discharged as a by-product. 
  • Use of gas-to-liquid technologies: Chevron is using gas-to-liquid technologies to convert natural gas liquids into a synthetic crude oil, which can be refined into diesel and jet fuel.
  • Liquid Discharge – Chevron is converting its facilities to liquid discharge using vapor extraction, which prevents the release of vapors into the atmosphere.

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