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Oil Industry and the Environment: Ways to Make It Greener

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Tracey Clayton

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More and more companies in the oil industry are now going eco-friendly. Preserving the planet is everyone’s responsibility and oil companies are no exception. In fact, with the governments all around the world raising the bars for lower emissions and the use of renewable sources, keeping up the pace with the global sustainability trend is a must. Luckily, there are quite a few ways oil companies can make their operations greener and less harmful. Here are seven of these that are really worth taking a look at.

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Reducing freshwater use

Water is the element the oil industry simply can’t operate without. It’s used to cool the drills and remove dirt or rock debris. Hundreds of millions of barrels of freshwater end up being used on a daily basis and in order to preserve the environment that number needs to be reduced. Even though up to 95% of the water used in the oil industry is recycled, it’s still very important to rethink the extraction process and reduce freshwater use even more.

Relying on solar energy

There’s no need to say that oil companies rely on energy to keep their operations running. However, when going green, it’s extremely important to reduce energy use to a minimum. That’s why we see homeowners and small businesses installing solar panels on their roofs. When it comes to the oil industry, companies such as BP are creating investment funds that are to be used on producing clean energy for their operations. Therefore, we can expect to see oil companies connecting with solar producers and relying on solar energy more than ever before.

Creating 3D images

3D technology has changed many industries and oil companies can rely on it to make their operations more efficient. The way this works is that they can create 3D images of the oil wells they’re drilling and use those images to make more accurate decisions. Moreover, they can utilize 3D images to eliminate any operational inefficiencies and come up with backup plans for their operations. By doing this, they can still produce the same amounts of oil but using less energy and resources along the way.

Reducing gas and fluid leaks

The process of drilling can result in gas and fluid leaks and developing methods for managing them is critical. Luckily, the development of new drilling techniques has resulted in both improved waste management and reduction of potential leaks while drilling. More and more oil companies now implement closed-loop systems that allow them to stay in control of their impact on the environment. Besides this, the use of quality oilfield equipment can help both onshore and offshore operators reduce the risk of gas and fluid leaks.

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Using advanced drilling techniques

Not so long ago, oil companies had to drill at big depths in order to collect oil. But now, engineers have come up with techniques that allow these companies to drill smaller holes and still get the same results. Not only this but innovative drilling techniques also help them reduce noise and produce less waste when drilling. The way these new techniques works is that oil wells are being extended horizontally, resulting in less disturbance to the surface.

Collecting more data

According to some reports, companies in the oil industry only run at 77% of their true potential. This means that if more data is collected and changes are made in their approach, they could essentially reduce their energy use even more. On top of this, they could also end up reducing the amount of waste they produce. By making most of the data they collect, oil companies could also prevent accidents that occur at their rigs and create a safer working environment for their employees.

Going paperless

Just like with most other industries, a large amount of documentation in the oil industry is printed every day. With the Cloud technology allowing companies to store documents on the web, the amounts of paper oil companies need could easily decrease. By moving from paper to electronic systems, these companies can help save trees and eliminate human errors. Not to mention that they could save time it takes to file papers and help their employees get more work done. The use of smartphones and tablets can help eliminate the need for paper even more.

The trend of going green is increasing and we can finally say we’re moving towards a more eco-friendly future. With the implementation of the right techniques and technologies, companies in the oil industry can play their part and help preserve the planet.

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