John England of Deloitte, made many great points in his Oil & Gas Industry Outlook for 2015. One of the main challenges the oil & gas industry faces is the public perception of it.
“People see Silicon Valley making these technologies that have an immediate effect and largely view the oil and gas industry as one that is either not innovative or stuck in the past. One of the important things that is missed is that the industry is incredibly high-tech and constantly innovating. We have seen the type of transformation the industry can bring with the complete turnaround in US oil production over the past few years… which has created fascinating and challenging opportunities”.
Furthermore, people are more interested than ever in making all industries more environmentally friendly. “The oil and gas industry is one of the most frequently viewed as an impediment to an environmentally friendly future, when in fact it is a major enabler of a greener future as it makes possible the transition to lower-carbon fuels like natural gas. It is also working to reduce its environmental impact by downsizing its footprint and bringing modern water management techniques to the industry.”
In Colorado, Anadarko serves as an example for industry best practices. According to the Denver Business Journal, the company’s conservation efforts include:
- Drilling multiple wells on a single well pad, reducing the land impact needed to drill oil and gas wells.
- Drilling horizontal wells that can stretch up to two miles underground, decreasing the number of wells needed to produce the same amount of oil.
- Using closed loop, or “pitless,” drilling operations to eliminate waste pits.
- Reducing the amount of truck traffic by concentrating the hydraulic fracturing operations into a single location, and also increasing the use of pipelines.
- Using “field gas,” or natural gas produced at the well, for compression operations.
- Recycling water used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing where possible.
The greater population needs to not only focus on the bad that has been done within the oil and gas industry, which is so easy to do.The industry has a long history of proving skeptics wrong with measurable action. “First it was unlocking decades’ worth of previously unrecoverable oil and natural gas. Today, the focus is on redefining efficiency processes. Don’t be surprised as operators continue to uphold environmental stewardship in ways never thought possible.”
Deloitte 2015 Oil and Gas Industry Outlook: Interview with John England
Energy in Depth: Ben Seifer