exploration & production

Reducing Emissions in Exploration & Production Operations in the Oil & Gas Industry

Downstream operations—those performed in refineries and petrochemical plants to transform crude oil or natural gas into other refined products—are recognised as responsible for much of the oil & gas industry’s carbon emissions, but a substantial amount of carbon emissions are also produced by upstream operations. Carbon capture and storage systems can give upstream producers new opportunities to reduce the carbon impact of their activity. Some upstream operators are using carbon capture technologies as part of enhanced oil recovery processes, which can improve oil recovery from unconventional sources by as much as 30–60%. Additionally, when captured carbon is combined with a carbon utilisation system, waste gases produced through normal operations can be transformed into more valuable chemical products. 


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Drones for Long-Range Surveying

Companies in the “midstream” section of the oil & gas industry are primarily focused on the transmission of crude oil and/or natural gas from its point of extraction to larger holding facilities or refineries and petrochemical plants. The often-vast geographic scale of midstream operators’ infrastructure creates unique challenges for monitoring the health of their transmission systems, which consist of miles of above ground and buried pipelines. Surveying these pipelines could become easier and more accurate through the use of drones equipped with specialised sensors capable of detecting the minute emissions that would indicate a potential problem before it becomes a major leak. 


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The Advantages of Robotics in Refineries

Robotics are providing refiners with new opportunities to inspect and clean equipment. Substituting robotics for roles formerly performed by humans can avoid exposing human workers to dirty or hazardous environments, and in some cases, even allow for inspections to be conducted while equipment remains in operation.


Virtual and Augmented Reality for Training and Maintenance

Companies in the oil & gas industry are looking to the opportunities that new technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality could create in training workers to perform new tasks, and in helping workers perform more efficiently. Virtual reality will enable workers to be trained to perform tasks in virtual representations of environments that may be too hazardous for new employees to enter prior to gaining sufficient training. Augmented reality may also help workers perform tasks by using special lens-mounted displays to overlay digitally-generated images and information on their view of complex equipment. This additional information will allow them to perform complex work more quickly and accurately, and to easily acquire relevant information about equipment and infrastructure they are working on or around.


The DigitaliSation of Refineries

Refineries, like many major industrial facilities, are very complex, involving the simultaneous operation of many different industrial processes that must be carefully managed to ensure efficient operations. The level of complexity involved can strain the limits of even the most experienced human operators in monitoring and optimising these facilities, resulting in suboptimal performance. However, new, technologically-enabled approaches could substantially enhance operators’ ability to manage these kinds of complex facilities. Industrial-Internet-of-things sensors could provide more detailed, even real-time information. Combined with machine learning-based or artificial intelligence-based technologies that can filter and evaluate massive volumes of information, this could provide operators with deeper insights into what sorts of changes would optimise their facilities. Additionally, the development of a digital twin of a facility like a refinery would allow operators to experiment with and evaluate potential optimisations before they are implemented in the real world.

Understand how CamIn can help you grasp these opportunities through our expert consulting model.

featured CASE STUDY

Oil & Gas: Refining

Diversifying into carbon capture technologies for new fuel and polymer product development

We helped a major refiner of crude oil discover new technologies that could capture CO₂ created during their production operations and turn this waste gas into other products, such as fuels or polymers. CamIn investigated the next generation of CO₂ utilisation technologies under development, and evaluated each of these new solutions to determine which would best fit our client’s specific goals. Our work helped them plan their entry into an industry where the global value for products and fuels created from captured CO₂ could be worth as much as US$800 billion by 2030...

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featured grand challenge

PETROCHEMICAL FEEDSTOCKs in the future circular economy

Over the past two decades, the plastics industry has struggled with the price volatility of petrochemical-based feedstocks. These feedstocks are the conventional choice for producing more complex types of plastic materials. However, the industry is currently transitioning from its use of petrochemical-based feedstocks towards more sustainable feedstocks, including those derived from biological oils, posing a significant threat to the oil & gas industry. This transition will allow plastics manufacturers to reduce their exposure to the price fluctuations of petrochemical-based feedstocks, as the biological materials that contain the oils used to create these alternative, sustainable feedstocks are typically available in abundance. This transition will, however, eliminate one of the oil & gas industry’s more substantial revenue streams.

Companies that have traditionally relied on the petrochemical-based feedstock are slowly moving towards new processes that can generate polymers from recycled sources, including types of recycled waste and production waste. These recycling-focused processes will improve the efficiency of the plastic manufacturing process by reducing the waste of feedstock materials during production and decreasing manufacturers’ dependence on the volatile prices of feedstock products. Therefore, oil & gas companies should play a greater role in the solution by diversifying their portfolios into more sustainable sources of feedstock.

LATEST Publication



DME-fuelled engines do not require expensive particulate filters like those used to capture soot from diesel engines. Furthermore, DME can be produced through an established industrial process using a feedstock of gases consisting of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. These gases can be derived sustainably from a range of sources, including industrial and agricultural waste. In fact, DME can be produced from up to 50% recaptured carbon dioxide. Since feedstock sources are numerous and production can take place locally, the cost of DME is less vulnerable to disruption...

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