The CEO of Occidental Petroleum has said she has ambitions to capture carbon emissions equal to the volume produced by her company’s operations. This is just one more sign of an oil industry that is working to meet the expectations of environmentally conscious consumers.
“I’m thinking about the long term for our shareholders,” Hollub told the Financial Times. “We want to be the company that’s producing the last barrel of oil.” The goal Hollub is setting is clearly an ambitious one, but this kind of sentiment is no longer rare within the oil sector. Companies throughout the industry are setting their sites on lower carbon emissions and investing in green and renewable energy technologies, and many observers suggest they will be able to turn higher profits while doing it.
A Greener Industry
Occidental is “the largest American oil company to set the goal of becoming carbon neutral,” according to energy analyst Pavel Molchanov, but it isn’t the first. A tremendous push towards environmentally friendly practices has been underway for a few years now, with companies like Shell, Chevron, and BHP all publicly making an effort to lower greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
And at least in the case of Occidental, these green initiatives aren’t just being inspired by a spirit of environmentalism — capturing the carbon released through drilling activities could actually lower costs. “It’s a very elegant solution,” comments Molchanov. “It’s environmentally friendly and there is an economic value to it.”
Beyond Carbon Capture
According to the Financial Times interview, Occidental plans to build on enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology to reduce its carbon footprint. EOR works by leaving the carbon dioxide that’s typically injected into oil fields that are nearing the end of their lifecycle in the ground rather than allowing it to escape into the atmosphere.
But to achieve the radical level of carbon reduction they’re hoping to reach, Occidental will have to go beyond currently existing EOR processes. A significant percentage of carbon emissions from such large oil producers tend to come from places beyond traditional oil fields, including shale oil fields, coal-fired power plants, and cement facilities. Occidental says it is currently running pilots to begin using EOR at shale oil fields, though they will likely have to expand into areas of human activity if they’re going to achieve carbon-neutral status.
Midwest Can Help
As oil and gas businesses work to limit their carbon emissions, there’s another kind of emission they must constantly be monitoring: airborne dust. Failing to keep PM10 and PM2.5 particles to a minimum on worksites can result in hefty fines from regulatory agencies. That’s why these companies should enlist the help of Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. to strategize and implement next-generation dust control solutions as they work to reduce their environmental impact.
Midwest can help industry leaders like Occidental manage their dust emissions with our non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-flammable products like EK35® and EnviroKleen®. These solutions seal fugitive dust particles within surface of your road, simultaneously strengthening that surface while also suppressing dust.
Best of all, you can outsource the entire work of dust control and its application to Midwest — with over 40 years experience working with oil and gas companies, we can be relied on to deliver stronger, more effective roads for your business. We’ll help you reduce the need for maintenance, eliminate the man-hours spent on ineffective practices like watering, and reduce your environmental impact.