An Increasing Focus on the UK Oil & Gas Industry's Emissions Management
- Robert Thorne (Oil & Gas UK) | Raaghav Mittal (Oil & Gas UK)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition, 3-6 September, Aberdeen, UK
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- UK Oil & Gas, Environmental Performance, Energy Transition, Paris agreement, Emissions
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- 144 since 2007
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As a result of the 2016 Paris agreement, the challenge of climate change and the imperative of moving to a low carbon economy has intensified. This challenge has been added to the traditional objectives of affordable and secure energy sources. These three criteria are the basis for the Energy Transition. Increasingly, investors, consumers and policy makers are looking to energy businesses to reflect all these criteria as the basis of their company culture and objectives.
This paper looks to explore opportunities for the UK oil and gas industry to further align itself with the drivers set out above and continue to promote investment into a sector that is key to delivering the Energy Transition:
Improved communication of carbon reduction and mitigation efforts at both a national and global level
Increased collaborative efforts aimed at reducing emissions resulting from exploration and production offshore
The potential for UKCS oil & gas companies’ involvement in carbon mitigation and storage
Over recent years, the offshore UKCS oil and gas sector has focused on improving cost efficiency in its offshore operations. This implies a commitment to continuously improve environmental performance despite the challenges of doing so in a maturing oil and gas basin, where maximising economic recovery from fields requires greater effort. Notwithstanding these challenges, the overall long-term trends in environmental performance are improving as a result of efforts by the industry.
Moving forwards, the benefits of effective emissions management will continue to intensify, beyond the regulatory requirements of environmental protection, as a result of two key drivers:
To maintain investor and public confidence – reducing both the carbon footprint of operations and carbon intensity of products used by consumers, will help position companies for a lower carbon economy.
The business case - EU ETS Phase IV is modelled to cost the sector £2.2 billion from 2021 to 2030 as the cost of allowances is projected to increase combined with the reduction in free allowances. Therefore, reducing emissions at installations will continue to be imperative for improved environment performance as well as the continued economic viability of the installation.
The sector must therefore continue to adapt to these ongoing fundamental changes that are taking place in energy supply more widely. As with any industry, businesses need to respond to shifting economic and societal demands and the consequent changes in energy needs. Hence, the effective management of emissions must proliferate through both operations (exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons), and use of the products delivered.
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IPCC. an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. 2018
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