As time goes by, the realities of the global environmental state create quite a heavy pressure on the countries and the industries that have previously shown little interest for the environmental issues to adopt new, sustainable practices.
The price we had to pay so far may be steep but the changes are fundamental and give much hope for a better future.
Let us take a look at how this global movement can reshape the face of the oil and gas industry that has always been considered to be deeply rooted in unsustainable practices.
Increased Social Responsibility
The oil industry always had a certain clandestine aura around it.
Whether that reputation was earned or not is up to debate.
Still, there is no arguing that the entire industry would benefit from more transparent and socially responsible practices.
That means allocating more resources for charitable causes and creating a more humane work environment, as well as releasing accurate information regarding the environmental performance of the involved companies.
Better Use of Analytics
According to recent research, offshore oil platforms are, on average, running at only 77% of their total capacity.
Up until recently, these numbers could be contributed to insufficient technology.
Today, they are the product of the lack of effort in the field of analytics.
If companies would put more effort into understanding the ongoing oil drilling processes and invest in advanced control systems, they could reduce ecological impact, and make their operations safer.
Implementation of More Efficient Tools
Any technology that can make the O&G industry more efficient can make a huge contribution to making the environment more sustainable.
Shorter time frames combined with increased performance are reducing the production of waste, cutting the chances of workplace accidents and practically eliminating dangerous bottlenecks.
Because of that, all productivity tools, like for instance a durable drill collar, are more than welcome.
Implementation of More Refined Technologies
Similar to the previous example, it is hard to deny that various technologies like automation and artificial intelligence that are currently changing the foundations of different industries around the world could find a wider application in the O&G industry as well.
Still, we would like to point out recycling as one of the factors with the strongest contributing potential.
At the current state, advanced separation technologies are capable of recycling as much as 80 – 95% of the water used for oil extraction.
Greater Focus on Renewable Energy
The oil and gas industry is inherently unsustainable.
That doesn’t mean that the operations performed by O&G companies can’t be made more sustainable by shifting the focus on renewable energy.
Oil drills supported by solar power?
The idea may sound very novel but remember – every step made toward cleaner practices and lowering the global emission is the step in the right direction.
Of course, we should not overlook the potential of biofuel that can drastically affect the production levels in the near future.
Increasing Overall Security
All the measures we have previously covered are making the O&G industry not only productive and efficient but much safer as well.
And we are not talking only about the safety of the on-site workers.
The process of oil extraction has always been plagued by frequent accidents that had a devastating effect on the environment.
Who could forget the examples like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy that devastated the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico?
Fortunately, the O&G companies have made huge steps in the prevention of such tragedies.
The Untapped Potential of Oil Recycling
Finally, we have to mention one last ongoing process that threatens to completely change the way we look at the O&G industry.
We are, of course, talking about the growing interest in oil recycling.
The idea behind the movement is to turn the oil waste into base oils that can be used in the automotive industry.
The results, so far, have been impressive.
The fact that Eastern Europe that was never at the forefront of the sustainability movement is leading the pack is more than commendable.
As we can see, the oil and gas industry is currently at a turning point.
If sufficient effort is made, the future of this entire sector can be made far more environmentally friendly and the practices that have up until recently defined the industry a part of the past.
Of course, that doesn’t change the nature of oil and gas and their role in the global environmental story.
But, even the small victories are better than none.