Carbon emissions, climate change, mandated reporting, and impending regulations: Taking action now is essential to meet environmental goals.
Absent clear progress and realistic industry steps to reduce emissions, activists publicize worst-case scenarios, leading governments to impose inflexible rules and policies.
Drew Pomerantz, Schlumberger emissions management technical lead, noted that the entire industry is commonly judged by the least compliant company’s actions. Methane measurements of wide operation areas emphasize “super emitter” producers, ignoring responsible operators who work on effective emissions curtailment. These super emitters then seem to be representative of the industry, prompting legislation.
Regulations vary by legal jurisdiction, said Pomerantz, and companies are criticized for “pushing back” when outsiders impose policies and rules that are “one size fits all.”
Pomerantz noted that the scrutiny does seem overwhelming but recommends that the industry align its engineering and technology expertise with the critical need for methane emissions and carbon reduction. Coming to terms with the requirements to operate responsibly with respect to environment imperatives is the best option for remaining in business. This alignment is the key to removing external constraints and roadblocks.
Andres Cabada, Halliburton’s director of stewardship and sustainability, noted that operators around the world encounter a huge variety of challenges and incentives, based on geography, local and national policies, and operating conditions. From the Permian Basin to remote Norway, legal, geological, and financial circumstances are unique for each operation.
Cabada added that solutions should be based on location-based policies and conditions. “If you are in a jurisdiction where a certain carbon pricing scheme or carbon taxes will influence economics of a given project, that will impact the perspective of the operator,” he said.
Pomerantz said service companies should take a significant role in helping operators reduce emissions, as they have the “bandwidth to ‘live and breathe’ these technologies and understand the pros and cons of each solution.”
Service companies (unlike policymakers) specialize in these emission reduction technologies and have the field expertise to advise operators on the costs and benefits of practical, effective tools and solutions.
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