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Oilfield Technology and the Environment

Source: 10/11/2010, Location: North America

Expert bodies such as the International Energy Agency have identified means for carbon dioxide emissions reduction—including energy efficiency, greater use of renewable energies and nuclear power, and geological carbon capture and storage.

To help address environmental concerns with concrete actions, Schlumberger is directing its technology, innovation, and knowledge—both as a provider of solutions and in managing its own greenhouse gas footprint. Schlumberger Carbon Services, which was formed in 2005, is a leading player in carbon capture and storage efforts, with experience in more than 30 pilot projects worldwide. Also, in 2009, Schlumberger directed significant effort at measuring greenhouse gas emissions, with an additional focus on wider environmental issues, including groundwater protection.

As a technology leader in oil and gas exploration and production, Schlumberger believes that growing concerns over levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions require complementary mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. This view is linked to the certainty that fossil fuels will continue to fulfill the overwhelming majority of the world’s energy needs for decades to come.

Schlumberger naturally contributes substantially to carbon capture and storage (CCS) efforts through its measurement technologies and geosciences expertise, recognizing that, while technologies such as CCS can deliver significant contributions in the future, energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emission reduction programs represent more immediate solutions for today.

Each year, Schlumberger is focused on measuring, reporting, and reducing GHG emissions with greater clarity as more measurement data of more reliable quality become available. Since 2001, the company has submitted figures and narrative to the Carbon Disclosure Project, and in 2008, Schlumberger adopted the GHG Protocol. Guiding the boundaries of emissions reporting
The GHG Protocol classifies emissions according to three levels, or scopes. Scope 1 refers to direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, such as from fuel consumed by vessels, vehicles, rigs, generators, and all other non-vehicle-mounted equipment. Schlumberger operates more than 15,000 such point sources in over 80 countries. Scope 1 direct emissions also include those from offices and other facilities, wellsite operations, and natural gas consumption for power or heat generation.

Scope 2 indirect GHG emissions are from electricity generation at power stations for consumption by Schlumberger-controlled activities.

Other indirect GHG emissions are reported as Scope 3 from associated activities not directly controlled by Schlumberger. These include subcontracted haulage and employee business travel, but the majority comes from the production of cement used in well cementing operations and of ceramic proppants used in well stimulation.

Reducing GHG emissions
The decrease in Schlumberger GHG emissions intensity from 2008 to 2009, although principally activity related, has indicated the potential for reduction strategies. In some cases, these strategies await the development of new technologies in power generation and automotive engineering. In the meantime, the company has identified a number of ways to reduce its emissions.

In land transportation—the most significant source of emissions—avoiding excess weight, heavy acceleration, unnecessary idling, and inadequate gear selection could reduce related emissions by up to 10%. Other opportunities are afforded by engine downsizing during fleet renewal, hybrid and electric vehicles where operationally appropriate, and new-generation fuels.

To monitor progress, the Schlumberger comprehensive e-Journey computer-based journey management system for driving safety can be extended to track improvements brought by environmentally friendly driving.

Reductions in emissions from fuel consumed in non-land-transportation activities are also targeted. New-generation marine seismic survey vessels towing hydrodynamically efficient streamer arrays offer one solution. Additional options are improved maintenance and generator efficiency and alternative energy sources for field power generation. Within the supply chain, Schlumberger will be working with cement and ceramic proppant suppliers to identify achievable savings.

A stringent company standard
While carbon emissions are generally associated with climate change, they form only part of the Schlumberger approach to the environment. Other operational concerns include the chemicals used in well stimulation, for which the company has pledged significant efforts aimed at delivering best-in-class technology with greater transparency.

Schlumberger continues to address its overall environmental footprint, with a 65-strong team of auditors assessing 550-plus locations around the world. The environmental assessment process is rigorous and compliance must be demonstrated to 85 requirements. In 2008, more than 96% of Schlumberger sites achieved compliance with the requirements of the company’s Environmental Management Standard. Wherever it works, Schlumberger adheres strictly to local environmental laws but in those cases where differences exists between local laws and Schlumberger standards, compliance is based on the more stringent of the two—which is often the Schlumberger standard.

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Related Categories: Ecological & Environmental  Emissions Measuring  Environment Management, Consultancy  Environmental Services  General  Hazardous Waste Management  Oil Spill & Emergency Response  Safety Services  Waste Disposal 

Related Articles: Ecological & Environmental  Emissions Measuring  Environment Management, Consultancy  Environmental Services  General  Oil Spill & Emergency Response  Safety Services  Waste Disposal 

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