For the second YEPP event in 2005, Wim Turkenburg, Professor at the Copernicus Inst. of Sustainable Development and Innovation Science, Technology, and Society Div. of Utrecht U., gave a comprehensive lecture on CO2 emission reduction. Thirty-six young (and some more experienced) professionals of the E&P industry in The Hague and surrounding area attended. In 2001, fossil fuels made up almost 80% of our world's energy consumption, and CO2 emissions are related mainly to the consumption of fossil fuels. Because western countries cause 58.6% of global CO2 emissions and the emerging regions in Asia Pacific are rapidly gaining ground, those consumers should take the lead in reducing emissions and their adverse effect on global climate change, he said. Energy conservation and the use of renewables would lead to the largest drop in emissions, but CO2 recovery and storage remains a good number three on the list of methods that should be tried, he said.
Gardiner Hill, Group Environment Technology Manager with BP, spoke at the second event that the Aberdeen Emerging Leaders Program has organized with the SPE Aberdeen Section. Hill is also Chairman of the CO2 Capture Project, a Vice Chair of the European Union Technology Platform for Zero Emissions Fossil Fuel Power Plants, and Chairman of the Industry Assn. Attendance at the event was 130. Hill said that most scientists now acknowledge a direct link between the dramatic increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and the rise in global temperature. The Earth can absorb CO2 only at a limited rate, and to stabilize at the required atmospheric concentration of 550 ppm, emissions would have to drop to half their current value. And energy demand will double in the next 50 years.
The first SPE North American Young E&P Professionals Workshop was held in Keystone, Colorado, during 10–11 April. The event was attended by young E&P professionals from all over North America, including engineers (reservoir, facilities, drilling, completion, and production), sales representatives, land negotiators, and advisers from many companies. Participants from New Orleans to Calgary gathered to discuss their futures within the industry. Experienced members of the oil and gas industry also attended to present various topics that focused on how young professionals can guide their own careers and decide what their futures will hold regardless of industry cycles. The first day begin with an overview of industry statistics, including the staggering fact that approximately 60% of SPE members are age 45 or older.
The SPE Bangalore young professionals (YPs) group conducted its first activity last June on the occasion of World Environment Day. A poster competition and an environmental workshop were organized as part of the event, which drew more than 50 YP participants from the Bangalore area. The poster competition received good response, with more than 20 posters submitted. During the environmental workshop, Nick West, Shell Technology India, Bangalore, gave an interesting talk about health, safety, security, and environmental practices, which can reduce fuel and energy waste in day-to-day life. He discussed the efforts of Al Gore to elevate awareness of the climate-change issue and seek measures to reduce global warming.
Stanford University's Natural Gas Initiative and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are calling engineers and technology developers to submit proposals for the mobile methane leak monitoring technology competition. The oil and gas industry accounts for about one-third of all methane emissions in the US, but with natural gas prices at record lows--about $3 per million cubic feet--the economic incentive to employ expensive leak solutions is reduced. Therefore, in the co-sponsored Mobile Monitoring Challenge, Stanford University and EDF are calling for promising solutions for methane leak detection that are rapid, low-cost, and mobile. This challenge will be an independent and peer-reviewed effort to test methane detection and quantification technologies. Selected teams will participate in single-partial blind study of controlled methane releases over a 3-week period in early 2018.
The recently held CERAWeek conference in Houston brought together top executives of the oil and gas industry and provided insight into the global and regional energy future by addressing key issues such as geopolitics, technology, and cyber risks. Two young professionals from the industry who participated in the event's Future Energy Leaders program share their takeaways with TWA. Just another conference I thought, but I was proven wrong. It was a gathering of the minds, the who's who in the energy industry, political leaders, and key influencers, and decision makers driving a global discussion on the current state of the industry and the future ahead. Each day focused on a different aspect of energy, whether it was about oil, gas, or power and transportation, all were tied by technology and the impact that has on each one.
Offshore oil and gas installations are (by their nature) located in remote locations that are both difficult and costly to access. While such challenges exist, the operate & maintain requirements associated with such assets are consistent and must be addressed, requiring operators to identify the most efficient form of service to reduce staffing levels, risk and cost.
Offshore hydrocarbon production assets commonly incorporate equipment and processes that can lead to significant (fugitive) gas emissions. The consequences are both economic and social (environmental) in nature, requiring operators to perform emissions surveys with the objective of leak identification and remediation within the shortest possible timeframe. The frequency of this activity is naturally limited and must be balanced with the staffing and operating needs of the broader facility, which in-turn can lead to sub-optimal leak detection to fix timing and reliability.
Addressing the three key challenges of access productivity, detection reliability and results quantification, Worley has developed a remote sensing platform that incorporates the use of productive remote access equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and in-situ monitoring, with machine based emissions detection and algorithmic quantification to provide a solution that allows the operator to increase survey frequency, obtain more reliable results at lower cost, and perform the work in a manner consistent with safe and low-risk operations.
In both testing and field deployments, the results have provided for significant reductions in both false positive and negatives and have produced datasets that allow for accurate indications of greenhouse gas reduction via comparison of volumetric emissions before and after leak repair activity has taken place.
The technology is largely mathematical, utilizing coded routines for machine learning to perform gas detection under (initially) supervised modeling conditions, and algorithmic gas dispersion models for further emission quantification. The performance of the survey is typically carried out through the integration of existing, proven manufactured sensing equipment across several types of UAV or in-situ monitors which collect field data for transmission to a cloud-based portal which further processes the results.
The approach has been shown effective in accessing hard or costly to reach areas, improving survey productivities, while the data processing and quantification allows the operator to benefit from improved measurability and prioritize leak repair accordingly.
Innovation is critical to the future success of the oil and gas industry (
As a way of addressing this, the TechX programme at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre has launched TechX Ventures in July 2018 – a partnership with Deep Science Ventures (DSV) – that combines deep science with engineering to create the next generation of start-up companies with technologies that will position the oil and gas industry for a sustainable future in a low carbon economy.
The start of the programme was a workshop held with industry, academia and the scientific community, to identify areas where new thinking and technology could open up significant opportunities. Three challenge themes were developed, each of which became an opportunity areas for DSV to address. These are:
As part of the TechX Ventures programme, DSV recruited thirty scientists and engineering experts from across the world to tackle the opportunity areas and at the end of the nine-month programme a total of six new start-up companies with new intellectual property were created and invested in by DSV. Of these six, two were selected to join the coveted TechX Pioneer accelerator programme run by OGTC in Aberdeen. These companies are called Eltera and Optic Earth.
We all identify the need to integrate climate change into corporate strategy, with a profitable Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) business model the elusive goal. Today, CCUS forms 10% of the R&D program of Total, a founding contributor to the OGCI Climate Investments fund. Here in the North East of Scotland, UK and Scottish Governments, along with project developer Pale Blue Dot Energy and Total are providing match funding to the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facilities fund to progress feasibility work on the Acorn CCS project. As society continues to drive an expectation beyond hydrocarbons, what proposal might the North East of Scotland offer in response?
To meet ambitious emissions reduction targets, the UK must envisage radical changes to the energy economy. Already affecting power generation, these changes must drive further into transport and domestic/industrial energy consumption. Two technologies which may play a part in the decarbonisation of the UK energy business are CCUS and the use of Hydrogen as an energy carrier and energy store, with several studies showing that clean hydrogen is potentially the lowest cost route to meeting UK emission targets in multiple sectors. This builds on the UK’s world class gas network infrastructure, which can be repurposed to avoid becoming stranded, avoiding the enormous expense of increasing the capacity of the electricity transmission network, much of which would lie idle during the summer. The UK gas network carries approximately three times more energy than the electricity network, at one third the unit cost to consumers, and meets winter peaks that are five times greater.
Different to previous CCUS projects, and having the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)’s first carbon dioxide appraisal and storage licence award, ACORN is an opportunity to evaluate a brownfield CCUS solution to capture, transport and store post-combustion CO2, combined with an upside through emerging pre-combustion CO2 capture technology relating to the production and sale of bulk hydrogen produced from natural gas with a zero-emission target. Located at the St Fergus Gas Terminal – an active industrial site where around 35% of all the natural gas used in the UK comes onshore. ACORN is designed as a "low-cost", "low-risk" CCUS project, to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and well understood offshore storage sites. The Acorn Hydrogen project undertakes to evaluate and develop an advanced reformation process which will deliver the most energy and cost-efficient industrial hydrogen production process whilst capturing and sequestering CO2 emissions. An initial phase offers a full-chain demonstration project, an essential step toward commissioning the concept and subsequent commercialisation of large-scale CCUS and Hydrogen deployment in the UK.
SPE Offshore Europe represents an ideal opportunity to update both the region and industry on results, observations, and conclusions with respect to the evolving development architecture, selected process technologies, Government and gas transportation regulatory engagement as this, the leading Scottish CCS project continues its journey toward a final investment decision.
The UK and the international community have an increasing interest in the benefits of a hydrogen-based economy. Existing and emerging technologies that are inherently carbon-neutral and potentially carbon-negative are increasingly attractive, given the challenge of meeting climate targets to prevent climate change and build a clean growth strategy. The integration of clean energy technologies across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) can increase the flexibility of the energy system, driving efficiency, cost reduction and enhancing the value of natural resources.
There are over 250 platforms and 45,000 kilometres of pipeline installed within the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). As these assets near the end of their economic life oil and gas operators are planning to decommission these facilities in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Current cost forecasts for this activity exceed £58bn with approximately 50% borne by the operators and 50% borne by UK taxpayers.
The Hydrogen Offshore Production (HOP) project identifies an alternative to decommissioning by providing re-use options for offshore infrastructure while addressing the national challenge of a low carbon energy supply. In doing so, the project will prove the feasibility of several decentralised hydrogen generation, storage and distribution options that collectively provide a scalable offshore hydrogen production solution, whilst offsetting a portion of decommissioning costs that are currently forecast for all offshore assets and infrastructure.
HOP will tackle the challenge of bulk hydrogen production by (1) proposing viable environmental and economic technology solutions to be deployed offshore, (2) developing a new Industrial Hydrogen Production test site to both prove the industrial benefits and to aid commercialisation of emerging technology and, (3) conducting market analysis and producing the business case for the transformation of existing offshore infrastructure, re-purposing assets and demonstrating the viability for decentralised generation of hydrogen.
As part of the project, an Industrial Hydrogen Production test site will be established with Flotta (Orkney Islands) being proposed as the location. This will provide a test bed for technology, fast-tracking its development and providing a route for accelerated commercial deployment. Within a region of considerable renewable energy generation, the island of Flotta is ideally placed to benefit from local expertise, existing supply chain and advanced technology solutions. For example, the Industrial Hydrogen Production test site would greatly benefit from lessons learnt at the nearby Orkney Water Testing Centre.