The oil industry is one of the largest pollutants and climate change contributors. However, scientists and engineers continue developing certain technological improvements allowing it to make it safer for the environment.
Oil and gas production are among the least sustainable industries one could imagine. The damage to the environment and the level of pollution it causes is difficult not to take into account, especially when reviewing the biosphere changes it has been imposing and the climate change contributions it makes.
However, let’s not forget about the fact that despite the technological advancements and the revolutionary development of alternative sources of energy, green technologies, and eco-friendly practices each resident may implement in his daily life, humanity can’t avoid the use of fossil fuels just yet.
The extent to which we rely on oil and gas is rather difficult to measure: an average consumer probably doesn’t even think about the fact that most products he uses on an everyday basis were made with the use of oil/gas in one form or another.
If you look into the impact this industry has on the world’s economy, the wealth it produces, the jobs it creates, and the spheres of production it’s involved in, you will realize that the oil/gas production industry, from initial drilling to processing, isn’t likely to retreat even under the increasing pressure of the eco-friendly technologies and energy producing practices.
Bearing that in mind and willing to contribute to the reverse of climate change, scientists, engineers, and practitioners are striving to develop new technologies to reduce the environmental impact of oil drilling and exploitation, as well as make the industry more sustainable.
1. Implementing safer drilling and transporting practices
Underwater spills caused by the explosions on the oil rigs, disastrous ocean spills caused by tanker accidents, and the damage to the rainforests caused by oil drilling are only a few examples that showcase the importance of safer oil drilling technologies not only for the sake of the wellbeing of the workers but also for the sake of protecting the environment. The damage may be prevented or/and decreased by:
- the use of more reliable pipes;
- the implementation of advanced deepwater well control technologies;
- the implantation of equipment that seals the well in case of a blowout and prevents a spill that pollutes the ocean and kills the wildlife;
- the implementation of a rule that obliges to carry out more frequent well inspections and equipment replacements;
- better general safety management at the wells;
- the introduction of the well owners’ environmental management duty;
- the improvement of oil digging methods and technologies.
Triol Corporation is one of the companies that strive to reach those goals and offers more sustainable solutions to those, who operate within the oil industry. Their equipment is designed in a way that allows them to reduce electricity consumption, extend the lifetime of motors and plumbing units while making them more reliable, and automatize the extraction process to lower the odds of human error.
2. Scaling down gas flaring and developing environmentally safe sanitation methods
In attempts to make the oil industry more sustainable, companies are introducing technologies and practices to decrease gas flaring – the method used to burn off natural gases – the byproducts of oil production. The damaging effects this commonly used practice imposes on the environment and the response of global society made the representatives of global oil companies and oil-based economies unite to develop gas-flaring reduction methods.
That should totally make the industry more sustainable, decrease air pollution, and eliminate the waste of natural gas.
Some companies that promote oil industry sustainability have also introduced sanitation solutions that don’t damage the environment as much as conventional chemicals and materials employed during the cleaning process of oil drilling equipment.
Those who operate on the land try to propagate the use of reusable wooden mats, designed to create the working surface for the crew and protect the ecosystem at the same time.
3. Working on oil efficiency
The simplest way to reduce the environmental damage of the industry is to decrease the amount of oil we consume. While some areas of production can’t avoid the use of this natural resource at all due to the inexistence of a better alternative and others just prefer it as a cheaper, more accessible version, there are certainly ways to improve oil efficiency.
Such countries as the U.S. and Japan demonstrated that it’s totally possible to become more oil/energy efficient, control carbon emissions, and still experience economic growth. Obviously, the results these and some other countries managed to reach aren’t as good as we would like to see, but the fact that the emissions don’t increase at the pace of the economic growth and output increase rates is still a positive thing.
The further implementation of eco-friendly advanced technological solutions within the oil industry and other spheres of human activities and the wider use of green energy should improve the situation, as well as prolong the period of time, during which humanity will be able to employ such a valuable, yet exhaustive natural resource as oil.
The harmful effects of the oil industry are impossible to deny. However, in view of its importance and financial impact, which makes it rather difficult to speed up the implementation of green energy and reduce the use of oil to a minimum, each attempt to make the industry more sustainable is exceptionally valuable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hire Rush