Engineering for a Greener Oil and Gas Industry

Among all the topics that are subjects of discussion in our industry there are few that generate strongly opposing views on the fundamentals. Obviously the “specialists” don’t always agree, but in most cases the disagreements deal with details rather than the entire concept.

A topic that does not fall in this category is global warming, and discussions on this topic can become very heated. It is not my intention to use this introduction to argue one way or another on this issue, but I do feel that as engineers we need to approach even this issue in a practical manner.

We need to remember the original meaning of “engineering:” to devise, which is to say, to plan or invent a system by careful thought. And if you have read previous introductions to this feature of the Oil and Gas Facilities magazine, you will recognize that this idea of remembering the meaning of engineering runs like a thread through the papers I tend to pick. More often than not my objective is to select papers to provide food for thought and to familiarize the readers with a concept so they can begin (or even continue) the thought process required to plan a system when they are asked to do so.

This selection of papers falls 100% in that category. If we must reduce emissions in our industry, if we have to make our industry “greener,” what are some of the options that we can apply? Last year four interesting papers were published with the following titles:

  • Promising pathways to lower atmospheric carbon without sacrificing the petroleum advantage

  • Offshore infrastructure reuse contribution to decarbonisation

  • Acorn—a northeast Scotland response to evolve and thrive through decarbonisation

  • Application of renewable energy in the oil and gas industry

Normally I include a short characterization of the selected papers in this introduction, but I think that the titles speak for themselves. What is more interesting to note it that as I write this introduction, the spellchecker on my computer is having a hard time with the word “decarbonisation”. It just doesn’t know what to do with that word and in a way that is a perfect illustration. Many of us feel the same way about this topic and that is why I hope that you will read at least some of these papers to become familiar in case you are asked to engineer something to reduce emissions or to make our industry greener.

Click below for a synopsis of these papers:

Solutions to Atmospheric Carbon Maintain Advantages of Petroleum

Offshore Infrastructure Reuse Can Contribute to Decarbonization

The Acorn CCS Project: A Plan To Evolve and Thrive Through Decarbonization

Application of Renewable Energy in the Oil and Gas Industry



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