The amount of climate gases emitted per produced unit is increasing, despite efforts over many years to make oil and gas production more efficient. DNV GL is now leading a common industry project on behalf of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association that aims to enhance energy management, energy efficiency and the exchange of experience and expertise between companies even further.
Increasingly the oil and gas industry is searching for cost-effective solutions that also cut emissions. Fourteen operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are actively participating in this project through seminars and work meetings where they learn about each other's challenges, opportunities and solutions. The project has also revealed that the industry has made important steps forward. The goal is to further develop and share best practices so that the industry can become even better in the future.
“CO2 emissions per produced unit in Norway are among the lowest in the world and about half the level compared to the global average. This is of course also helped by the reservoir qualities, nevertheless this project has revealed substantial benefits that can be gained from collaboration and knowledge sharing,” says Liv Hovem, Director of Division Europe and Africa, DNV GL Oil & Gas.
Energy efficiency is an area where the oil and gas industry can achieve great impact, with both environmentally and financially sustainable solutions. Hovem also pointed out that oil and gas have a lot to learn from other industries. "Other industries, for example in the maritime sector and refineries, have introduced initiatives that have led to substantial financial savings and emission cuts."
Many of the measures identified in the project use a systematic approach to run the facilities optimally without additional investment. For example, gas turbines operate at a higher efficiency because the loads are planned better.
"The experience gained from the project indicates that there is still a great need for innovation. By challenging the way in which facilities are operated through a risk-based assessment, we can safely challenge current practices," says Hovem.
There are still many ways to reduce climate gas emissions in the petroleum industry without incurring major investment costs. Here are a few examples:
- Compare fields with similar characteristics to identify efficiency opportunities. This can also be done across industries. For example, in the refinery sector, the implementation of the ISO 50001 Energy Management System contributed to energy savings of Euro 3.2 million per month (around NOK 25 million).
- Smart data solutions that extract operational data, analyse operational patterns and identify the reasons for optimal energy operations.
- Operational assessments in a strengthened energy culture where established practice and comfort zones are evaluated to achieve better solutions. The goal is continuous improvement over time so that the facilities are constantly better run. This includes topics such as the better utilization of pressures and temperatures in the process, energy wastage, condition-based maintenance and monitoring the loads on rotating equipment.
“DNV GL has helped other industries to cut emissions and achieved good results, as the example from the refinery sector shows. We are confident that this project will do the same for the oil and gas industry," concludes Hovem.