There are many oil refineries and processing plants all over the globe, and while these businesses quite literally make the world run, their significant environmental impact is concerning. Thankfully, there are three effective ways oil refineries can reduce their climate impact.
Scale Up Carbon Capture
When you drive your car, carbon emissions escape from the vehicle’s exhaust and become trapped in the atmosphere. Refineries often practice something called carbon capture to stop their tremendous emissions from contributing to greenhouse gases. Carbon capture is an advanced process that involves locally capturing emissions, compressing and transporting them to permanent storage, and placing them in underground geologic formations. Instead of accumulating in the atmosphere, emissions can slowly dissipate underground without progressing climate change. It’s highly recommended that businesses scale up their carbon capture efforts in the coming years by investing in carbon sequestration equipment and partnering with the growing carbon capture industry. Additionally, energy executives must encourage legislators to create better funding and assistance for refineries that scale up their carbon capture practices.
Commit to Better LDAR Practices
Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) is an emissions control practice that identifies leaking refinery equipment, allowing technicians plenty of time to rectify the situation through repairs. An effective LDAR program comprises advanced monitoring equipment and software, dedicated and skilled technicians, and detailed record-keeping. In fact, LDAR record-keeping practices are potentially the most essential element of the program—this data provides refineries and third-party auditors with accurate information on leaking emissions. How can energy executives commit to a better LDAR system throughout their facilities? It’s important that businesses continue to invest in more advanced software, artificial intelligence, and sensing equipment. These enhanced tools and devices ensure the most accurate and effective LDAR program for your business.
Produce Low-Carbon Products
Some refineries are shifting their focus away from petroleum production in favor of low-carbon products. For example, most refinery equipment can switch from oil refining to chemical production with only a few modifications. Most importantly, chemical manufacturing only requires low-carbon feedstocks, ensuring a cleaner refining process overall. As a result, refineries switching to chemical products are actively lowering their climate impact. As a bonus, the chemical industry is quickly growing and becoming a new frontier for energy executives to experience success.
Understanding the different ways oil refineries can reduce their climate impact can help energy executives make practical decisions when growing their businesses. Mainly, they should prioritize sustainable business practices and procedures to avoid harming the environment.