Auckland's Climate Action Plan

How Can Oil and Gas Companies Show Alignment with Climate-Change Goals

by
Tracey Clayton
Tracey Clayton | 2 months ago | in Open Ideas

There are some industries where it’s both easy and budget-friendly to go green. However, some industries are polluters by their very nature. Contrary to popular belief, it is these companies that can change the most by introducing some green policies and slightly altering their way of doing things. Is this easy to pull off? Definitely not. However, the end goal is more than worth any effort made on their part. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several things that oil and gas companies can do to show their alignment with climate-change goals and make the world a better place for it.

1.     Pumping CO2 underground

Several years ago, there was a groundbreaking theory according to which pumping carbon dioxide underground may help deal with climate change. While it may not be real carbon sequestration, it’s still a solution that can help keep this substance out of the atmosphere, thus providing us with a much greener and optimistic-looking future. The reason why this is becoming relevant to oil companies is due to the fact that injecting this in a field that’s potentially rich frees up the oil, thus making this into a lucrative move. For this to work, a single major oil company would need the equivalent to the CO2 emissions of a small state. Needless to say, the potential of this method would be huge if all oil and gas companies were to turn towards it with a somewhat greater interest.

2.     Efficient practices and adequate equipment

The next thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that efficient oil drilling isn’t supposed to cause more damage than absolutely necessary. After all, the goal of oil drilling is the extraction of resources from the ground and not the disruption of the environment or causing pollution. Moreover, efficient practices and adequate equipment can help this process have a lower environmental impact and waste less energy. This is why regular inspection and replacement of parts like tubulars may lead to higher energy efficiency, seeing as how the equipment doesn’t take more power to give the same effect. Due to the fact that a halt in production causes a significant overhead, you need to pay close attention to the state of your equipment at all times, even stock up on spare parts.

3.     Climate-competitive incentives

Another thing that you need to understand is the fact that not everything is up to entrepreneurs behind the industry in question. Sometimes, going green simply doesn’t make one competitive enough. In that scenario, the only eco-friendly option would be to either retire or to keep working at a loss (which is not a logical alternative). Fortunately, with the government stepping up with some climate-competitive incentives, things might soon change for the better. This way, even companies from industries that aren’t exactly considered green might benefit from this is a way in which the landscape of the anti-climate change struggle can be transformed.

4.     High-cost projects might get sanctioned

In a scenario where starting a new oil might bring numerous penalties, oil businesses are more likely to invest in methods that will provide them with a higher extraction rate. As a result, we’ll get the same amount of oil from fewer sources, thus setting a much greener precedent while, at the same time, keeping this industry sustainable.

The biggest concern behind this is the idea that research and development might lead to a bump in prices, yet, there are always measures to insulate the market from such turmoil. In agreement with the Paris agreement, low-budget projects will still go, fairly unsanctioned, seeing as how their impact on the environment isn’t nearly as devastating. While some may see this as yet another half-measure, it’s a great starting point, as well as something that could slowly start shifting the tide in favor of green Earth.

Conclusion

Sometimes, all it takes is a gesture to start moving the world in the right direction. For an oil company, this takes a lot of effort, investment and repurposing of old policies. So, if an oil and gas company is willing to undergo this ordeal, this completely robs those from “cleaner” industries of any excuse. This is one of those instances where change needs to come from the top instead of slowly working its way towards it.

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