For the natural gas and oil industry, the drive for more sustainable operations means developing new standards, innovative technologies and partnerships to accelerate safe, cleaner, affordable energy solutions for today and tomorrow.
America’s natural gas and oil companies are mindful of the responsibilities associated with delivering the energy that’s fundamental to the lives we want to live – while doing it in ways that protect the environment, lower emissions and reduce the risks of climate change.
Companies are committed to continuous improvement and innovation to advance sustainability – specifically, on environmental, social and corporate governance issues (ESG). This means focusing operations and community engagements in ways that can support progress toward achieving the UN 17 Sustainability Development Goals, including affordable and clean energy; jobs and economic growth; innovation and infrastructure; and climate action.
We’re doing this by continuously striving to make our operations and products cleaner as we produce the energy needed by a modern economy – energy that supports better lives and livelihoods, with broad economic and social opportunity.
As the only U.S. trade association representing all aspects of the natural gas and oil value chain, API has a long history of supporting member operations in these areas. These include, our new API Energy Excellence program, certifications and safety training programs, and industry-led initiatives to reduce methane emissions and natural gas flaring. API helps the industry enhance and expand a culture of safety and sustainability throughout all operations.
API members are actively working together to track and improve their sustainability performance while striving for increased transparency with stakeholders. API remains committed to building tools and platforms to support these efforts, as well as helping members engage with stakeholders to meet expectations for the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
API helps companies responsibly meet the world’s energy needs and report consistently on sustainability performance. API and its partners at IPIECA and IOGP created the “Sustainability Reporting Guidance for the Oil and Gas Industry,” now in its fourth edition, to aid companies in their sustainability reporting. These voluntary guidelines identify the most relevant sustainability issues to our industry and provide guidance for reporting on those issues. They provide a robust framework to help companies with their sustainability reporting, particularly for companies that are just starting to report.
The API-IOGP-IPIECA guidance covers issue areas the natural gas and oil industry has managed for decades. These are specifically correlated by five modules to the ESG categories:
Climate Change and Energy
Safety, Health and Security
IPIECA, in collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, has also generated a SDG Roadmap in order to advance environmental and social performance for companies the oil and gas sector.
For more detailed resources, visit the Environmental, Social and Governance pages in this section.
Breakthrough technology now available to help ethylene producers reduce emissions and meet sustainability goals
HOUSTON, July 14, 2022 – Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced the launch of a major enhancement to its leading ethane feed steam cracker that is capable of achieving zero CO2 emissions from an ethylene plant. Lummus developed this next generation design as part of its comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all of its technology offerings.
The cracker, which is the industry’s first, is now available for commercial use to decarbonize a process in petrochemical manufacturing that is very carbon intensive. It can be incorporated into both new and existing ethane crackers, and at sites and facilities of different sizes.
“Ethylene producers are looking for solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their investments, and this new net zero ethane cracker will help them achieve their decarbonization goals,” said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. “By launching the world’s first CO2-free ethane cracker, we are leveraging Lummus’ innovative culture and proven ability to commercialize technologies to play a critical role in the energy transition.”
The combustion of methane or other carbon-based fuels can be eliminated through innovations to the cracking heater design, resulting in significant reductions in the fuel firing demand, enhancements in the recovery section and a partial switch from steam turbine to electric drivers on the major compressors.
Lummus’ proprietary ethane feed steam cracking process is the most widely applied process for the production of polymer grade ethylene and polymer grade propylene. The process is noted for its performance including high product yield, energy efficiency, low investment cost and industry-leading reliability.
About Lummus Technology
Lummus Technology is the global leader in developing process technologies that make modern life possible and focus on a more sustainable, low carbon future. Lummus is a master licensor of clean energy, petrochemical, refining, gas processing and renewable technologies, and a supplier of catalysts, proprietary equipment, digitalization and related lifecycle services to customers worldwide. To learn more about Lummus, visit www.LummusTechnology.com.
Marketing and Communications, Lummus Technology
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Offshore wind turbines powered almost 40% of all the UK’s homes in 2020. The International Energy Agency says there’s enough potential accessible energy out there to power all of Europe, the US and Japan several times over. But to get at all of it, developers will have to go out into the very deep waters of the open oceans and find a way to make their turbines float safely and securely in all weather conditions. So how on earth are they going to do that? Video Transcripts available at our website http://www.justhaveathink.com Help support this channels independence at http://www.patreon.com/justhaveathink Or with a donation via Paypal by clicking here https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… You can also help keep my brain ticking over during the long hours of research and editing via the nice folks at BuyMeACoffee.com https://www.buymeacoffee.com/justhave… Download the Just Have a Think App from the AppStore or Google Play Interested in mastering and remembering the concepts that I present in my videos? Check out the FREE Dive Deeper mini-courses offered by the Center for Behavior and Climate. These mini-courses teach the main concepts in select JHAT videos and go beyond to help you learn additional scientific or conservation concepts. The courses are great for teachers to use or for individual learning.https://climatechange.behaviordevelop…
Meet the Well Done Foundation
Our mission is to fight climate change by plugging orphaned or abandoned oil and gas wells. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates there are approximately 2.15 million unplugged abandoned wells scattered throughout the United States. We work with farmers and landowners, local and state governments, corporations, and not-for-profit organizations to locate abandoned wells, measure and document the CO2 emissions, then plug the wells and restore the surrounding surface area to its original state.
IRVING, Texas – ExxonMobil today announced its ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for operated assets by 2050, backed by a comprehensive approach to develop detailed emission-reduction roadmaps for major facilities and assets.
ExxonMobil announces ambition for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
Comprehensive approach centered on detailed Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission-reduction roadmaps for major operated assets
Ambition supported by 2030 emission-reduction plans, including net-zero plans for Permian Basin operations
Company strategy tested for resiliency against a range of net-zero scenarios, including IPCC and IEA
The net-zero ambition is contained in the company’s Advancing Climate Solutions – 2022 Progress Report, formerly known as the Energy & Carbon Summary. The net-zero aspiration applies to Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions and builds on ExxonMobil’s 2030 emission-reduction plans, which include net-zero emissions for Permian Basin operations and ongoing investments in lower-emission solutions in which it has extensive experience, including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and biofuels.
“ExxonMobil is committed to playing a leading role in the energy transition, and Advancing Climate Solutions articulates our deliberate approach to helping society reach a lower-emissions future,” said Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are developing comprehensive roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operated assets around the world, and where we are not the operator, we are working with our partners to achieve similar emission-reduction results.”
The report provides details of how ExxonMobil’s business strategy is resilient when tested against a range of Paris-aligned net-zero scenarios, including the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 Special Report and the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 scenario.
ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy, which is based on current policy and technology trends, continues to be the basis for the company’s business plans and investment decisions. In the Advancing Climate Solutions report, the company outlines how its short- and medium-term business plans are adjustable to developments in policy and technology and how it uses signposts and leading indicators to evaluate the need for any changes in future years.
Sound government policies will accelerate the deployment of key technologies at the pace and scale required to support a net-zero future. ExxonMobil continues to support an explicit price on carbon to establish market incentives and encourage investments in lower-emissions technologies.
ExxonMobil is also committed to helping customers reduce their greenhouse emissions by investing in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and biofuels. Bio-based feed and plastic waste streams provide further opportunities for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
“As we invest in these important technologies, we will advocate for well-designed, high-impact policies that can accelerate the deployment of market-based, cost-effective solutions,” said Woods. “We believe our strategy is unique among the industry and enables us to succeed across multiple scenarios. We will create shareholder value by adjusting investments between our existing low-cost portfolio and new lower-emission business opportunities to match the pace of the energy transition.”
To help reach net-zero for operated assets by 2050, the company has identified more than 150 potential steps and modifications that can be applied to assets in its upstream, downstream and chemical operations.
Initial actions already underway prioritize energy efficiency measures, methane mitigation, equipment upgrades and the elimination of venting and routine flaring. Further high-impact reduction opportunities include power and steam co-generation and electrification of operations, using renewable or lower-emission power. The company expects to finalize detailed roadmaps that address approximately 90% of operations-related greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this year, and the remainder will be completed in 2023.
Initial steps to achieve net-zero by 2050 are included in the company’s plans to invest more than $15 billion by 2027 on lower-emission initiatives. Policies further accelerating the development and deployment of lower-emission technologies could provide ExxonMobil with additional investment opportunities.
Advancing Climate Solutions – 2022 Progress Report is available online at exxonmobil.com. The report expands on the company’s 2030 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans, which are consistent with Paris-aligned pathways, the U.S. and European Union’s Global Methane Pledge and the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan. Compared to emission levels in 2016, the time of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 plans include a 20-30% reduction in corporate-wide greenhouse gas intensity, which includes 40-50% reduction in upstream greenhouse gas intensity, 70-80% reduction in corporate-wide methane intensity, and 60-70% reduction in corporate-wide flaring intensity.
The 2030 emission-reduction plans are expected to achieve World Bank Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 and reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30% for the company’s upstream business and 20% for the entire corporation. Similarly, absolute flaring and methane emissions are expected to decrease by 60% and 70%, respectively, by 2030.
ExxonMobil has regularly updated emission-reduction plans as technologies and policies have evolved, and will continue to do so. When final data is collected and analyzed, the company expects to report it achieved its 2025 emission-reduction plans as of year-end 2021, including a 15-20% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity for its upstream operations, compared to 2016 levels.
ExxonMobil’s strategy is outlined in Advancing Climate Solutions and leverages its advantages in scale, integration, technology and people to build globally competitive businesses that lead the industry in earnings and cash flow growth across a broad range of future scenarios.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. To learn more, visit exxonmobil.com, the Energy Factor and Carbon capture and storage | ExxonMobil.
By Brent Potts, Senior Director, Global Marketing, Oil, Gas, and Energy, SAP
Climate change and technology are affecting almost every industry on a global scale. None more so than the oil and gas sector. The groundswell of pressure toward sustainability is driving the oil and gas industry toward a major transformation.
In fact, many traditional oil and gas companies are evolving to the point where they now consider themselves energy companies, mobility companies, or even retail companies, as they diversify and expand into new areas with innovative business models.
Sustainability and digitalization have become the laser focus of many energy and utility companies, and these industries are actually leading other sectors when it comes to adopting sustainable practices.
According to a recent survey by SAP and Oxford Economics, energy and utilities executives have made more sustainability-related changes to their operations than those in other industries. More than three-quarters (79%) say sustainability issues are a major concern or top-of-mind at all stages of the manufacturing process, and almost half (47%) have committed to a net zero carbon goal.
Drivers of Sustainable Change in the Oil, Gas, and Energy Sectors
There are several factors influencing sustainability efforts in the oil, gas, and energy industry. Companies are taking various approaches to address growing issues that are permanently impacting the industry. Some of the biggest drivers include:
1. Government regulations, incentives, and subsidies
Increasing government interventions, such as the European Commission’s European Green Deal and the United Nations’ Paris Agreement are pushing oil, gas, and energy companies to look for more circular and sustainable solutions to meet aggressive carbon-neutral targets. These agreements are in addition to various carbon taxes, incentives, and subsidies being offered by different levels of government globally.
Several renewable or alternative energy initiatives currently have government incentives, such as tax credits for the use of solar panels, electric cars, or other alternative-energy options. Some governments may also offer subsidies to businesses or consumers who choose alternative or renewable energy sources. These government incentives and subsidies artificially inflate the demand and lower the cost of these alternatives, but the cost savings may not last.
It will be interesting to see if the demand will remain high once subsidies or incentives are reduced, revealing the true cost of alternative energy sources. As more renewable energy technology is developed and mass-produced, the cost of generating renewable energy goes down, but whether or not it will be enough to offset the government subsidies remains to be seen. Renewable energy costs must go down to the point where people will choose them regardless of subsidies or incentives, because ultimately, the cost will determine if people choose a particular energy source long term.
2. Diversification and changing cost structures
Industry boundaries are blurring as several oil and gas companies extend beyond traditional revenue streams. A barrel of oil is not the central focus of many oil and gas companies anymore.
Now, many are placing a greater focus on customer needs and diversifying to include new revenue streams, such as renewable energy, electrical charging stations, advanced chemicals, biofuels, hydrogen, LNG, autonomous transport-on-demand initiatives, and even expanding retail outlets.
For example, Shell has set an ambitious goal to earn 50% of its revenue from non-fuels by 2025. The company is already the world’s largest mobility retailer, with more retail outlets than McDonald’s, and it sells $6 billion-dollars-worth of convenience retail products every year.
It also plans to ramp up its ‘power-as-a-service’ business model with an entirely new cost structure, which reflects the growing trend toward subscription or use-based business models being adopted by an increasing number of companies worldwide.
Digitalization is what makes diversification possible. Advanced technology is changing he way companies work, creating more opportunities for partner collaboration and opening doors to new options for innovative business models.
For years, the World Economic Forum has said that digitalization is allowing the oil and gas industry to redefine its boundaries. The pandemic has simply accelerated that mandate. For example, companies quickly learned that they needed to be more agile to respond to major disruptions and drastic supply and demand fluctuations when the COVID-19 crisis made demand for oil and gas disappear almost instantly as lockdowns spread across the globe.
Aside from the pandemic, as more business systems and processes move to the cloud, it becomes easier to integrate and streamline operations across entire organizations and beyond. This opens the door for diversification as well as product and service innovation.
The survey shows that energy and utilities companies are more advanced than other respondents in their use of technology, with almost half (49%) using cloud technology versus just 36% for other industries.
4. Changing customer, investor, and employee expectations
Peoples’ shifting expectations are having a huge impact on the oil, gas, and energy industry from multiple angles. Eco-conscious consumers continue to put pressure on companies to focus on sustainable practices and renewable energy sources. There is also mounting pressure from investors for companies to become more sustainable. For example, Harvard University plans to end all investments in fossil fuels and stop funding activities that drive global warming. Oil, gas, and energy companies should take note, as Harvard’s decision will no doubt influence other investors.
In addition to outside pressure from consumers and investors, many companies are also facing growing pressure from within their own workforce. As long-time employees retire, they take their traditional methods and intellectual property with them. They are being replaced with a tech-savvy, eco-conscious generation of employees who question conventional operating methods and may enter heavy-emission industries with the direct goal of promoting sustainability in the industry.
Many employees may focus on making a difference by encouraging and influencing more sustainable and purpose-driven practices within their own organizations. As a result, driving forces for sustainable change are mounting from multiple angles outside of organizations as well as from within the companies themselves.
Take Steps Toward a More Sustainable Future
As decision-makers attempt to move toward more sustainable practices, they should consider not one solution, but many. Here are a few recommendations:
Create a long-term strategy for foundational change that considers sustainability in every process.
Use data to influence decisions on implementing sustainable practices at the design, engineering, and manufacturing stages to track, measure, and reduce emissions at every stage.
Use transport and delivery methods that optimize loads and reduce mileage, emissions, and carbon footprint.
Source materials ethically and in the most sustainable way possible.
Operate assets and equipment in the most energy-efficient manner that is safe for the environment and the workforce.