Improving energy efficiency for oil and gas operators
To stop global temperatures from rising more than 1.5° Celsius, society and actors across industries will need to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by around 2060.
For the offshore industry, the top priority is minimizing emissions that come from assets and equipment, followed by emissions from energy purchased and emitted throughout the value chain. To reach global and local emissions reduction targets, offshore asset owners are rethinking their approach to energy efficiency asset integrity and reliability, and inspection and maintenance.
Reducing methane emissions
For oil and gas operations, CO2 and CH4 (methane) are usually the most significant components of GHG emissions. While emissions are most commonly reported as measures of CO2, CH4 represents an equally grave threat to the environment. Limiting methane emissions is an immediate concern for industry leaders, who are taking a source-by-source approach, improving management of energy/combustion, flaring, venting and fugitive emissions.
Several options for improving energy management and reducing GHG emissions have come the forefront. Some oil and gas companies are adopting a measurable energy management system based on the ISO 50001.
This provides the opportunity to perform energy audit, assessing areas where heat is wasted and determining which utilities use the most energy. Companies can then improve production processes, reducing heat losses from steam systems, fired-heaters (furnaces, flue gas exhausts), flares, inadequate insulation and insufficient heat recovery.
Natural gas also plays an important role in limiting GHG emissions. Offshore operators can improve energy efficiency and reduce production losses with Bureau Veritas Fugitive Emissions integrated solution. This allows operators to identify and monitor fugitive emissions sources, quantify emissions and repair leaks.
The threat of flared gas
Oil production sites worldwide produce billions of cubic meters of flared gas annually. While this reduces direct methane emissions, it also releases CO2 into the atmosphere and results in significant energy loss.
Numerous situations and sources can feed gas into flare systems. These include pressure relief valve systems, asset start-up and shutdown operations, emergency depressurizing systems, overhead vapors from tank storage and well completion and clean-up operations. Further sources may be blow-down and pigging operations, blow-downs of vessels, piping, compressors and equipment during maintenance, vessel and loading emissions.
The main operational risk for maintaining energy efficiency is poor equipment reliability and maintenance, which is a common cause of gas flares. To counteract this, offshore owners and operators implement Integrity and Reliability Solutions that prioritize inspection and maintenance activities, including smart-scheduling, improving O&M procedures and manuals and maximizing plant performance.
Bureau Veritas’ Bolted Joints Management integrated solution also provides an energy efficient, safe start-up for assets coming back online after shutdown. These solutions put safety and reliability first, never compromising asset or personnel wellbeing in favor of efficiency.
Moving toward Green OPEX
As the offshore industry accelerates into the energy transition, Bureau Veritas is helping oil and gas clients achieve energy efficiency and minimize their environmental impact. Our key solutions for monitoring, controlling and ultimately eliminating emissions are helping energy providers worldwide take the next crucial steps to sustainable production and a net-zero future.