Advertisements
Business

Oil driller sees the industry’s future in electric rigs, carbon offsets


Breadcrumb Trail Links

Author of the article:

Publishing date:

Dec 20, 2021  •  45 minutes in the past  •  4 minute learn  • 

Advertisements

Article content material

BROOMFIELD — In a Denver suburb, an oil drilling rig plumbs the earth close to a rich enclave framed by snow-capped mountains. The website is quieter, cleaner and fewer seen than comparable oil and fuel operations. It may simply be the future of drilling in the United States.

Oil agency Civitas Resources designed the operation to run largely on the metropolis’s electric grid, eliminating day by day runs by greater than a dozen diesel gas vans. The electric rig has none of the soot or sulfur scent of diesel exhaust and is muffled sufficient that rig palms can converse with out yelling.

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

Article content material

As buyers and lawmakers push the oil trade to decrease its carbon emissions, this drill website and others run by Civitas supply one mannequin for drillers seeking to migrate to low- or no-carbon emissions operations.

Advertisements

An additional incentive for Civitas is that it should be conscious of neighbors of its drilling websites in comparatively prosperous suburban areas, the place it additionally has simpler entry to the energy grid. It is unclear whether or not drillers in extra distant areas will have the ability to undertake the similar expertise as simply.

Civitas, Colorado’s largest oil and fuel producer, says it’s the state’s first “carbon neutral” producer. To get there, it has eradicated some diesel-powered pumps, makes modifications to drilling and hydraulic fracturing gear and its manufacturing websites. It additionally buys carbon credit to offset remaining emissions.

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

Article content material

‘NO DUST, NO TRAFFIC’

Advertisements

A couple of miles away, one other Civitas pad with 18 wells is hidden behind an earthen berm, largely invisible to the surrounding group. It has dozens of air-monitoring sensors to detect greenhouse fuel emissions. Its pneumatic controls have been tailored to keep away from methane leaks. It is Civitas’ first facility to get rid of oil and waste water storage tanks.

“Everything is piped directly off location. There is no dust, no truck traffic necessary to produce the hydrocarbons,” stated Matt Owens, Civitas’ chief working officer.

Colorado, amongst the prime oil producers amongst U.S. states, additionally has a few of the hardest state emissions laws. It has instructed vitality companies they need to reduce methane emissions from drilling by 2030 to lower than half of 2005 ranges. More drillers additionally face stricter mandates as President Joe Biden’s administration enacts harder federal methane guidelines.

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

Article content material

“Electrifying drilling, upgrading pneumatics and going tankless are certainly steps in the right direction,” stated Deborah Gordon, a senior principal in the Rocky Mountain Institute’s local weather intelligence group.

Colorado’s harder regulatory surroundings has partially advanced from the trade’s proximity to houses and companies. For Civitas, that suburban life means sturdy native electric energy provides.

“All the power lines that have been built out for urban expansion, we’re able to tap into those,” stated Brian Cain, Civitas’ chief sustainability officer throughout a tour of a drilling website. He estimates switching from diesel to line energy reduces emissions by 20% to 25%. “The landscape is a lot different than west Texas,” the place operators don’t have quick access to the enough electric energy, he stated.

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

Article content material

Some environmentalists have stated decreasing greenhouse fuel emissions from oil drilling will not be sufficient, and as a substitute advocate for transferring society away from fossil gas utilization https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/surroundings/radical-change-needed-reach-net-zero-emissions-iea-2021-05-18 altogether. This 12 months, the International Energy Agency stated buyers ought to halt funding to new oil, fuel and coal provide tasks if the world needs to attain internet zero emissions by mid-century.

POWER GRID WORRIES

While electrification presents a fast strategy to reduce emissions from manufacturing, there are different hurdles. Civitas shifts work schedules to keep away from overtaxing the grid throughout peak heating or cooling occasions, stated Cain.

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

Article content material

In Texas, nevertheless, prime oilfields “tend not to be urban environments” with ample electrical energy, stated Don Whaley, president of Texas retail energy supplier OhmConnect Energy.

The second-largest Texas producer, Pioneer Natural Resources , goals to affect drilling, hydraulic fracturing and compression at pump stations inside eight to 10 years, its chief govt vowed final week. The firm has already begun switching out compression at pumping stations to maneuver oil and fuel for electric, stated Chief Executive Scott Sheffield.

Pioneer is working with Texas transmission operator Oncor to spice up capability close to the oilfield. It and different shale oil companies will probably cowl a few of the price of upgrading energy strains and substations to extra shortly cut back diesel gas use, Sheffield stated.

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

Article content material

Hydraulic fracturing, the pumping of water, sand and chemical substances into properly bores to launch trapped oil and fuel, is present process its personal conversion. So-called electric fracks, powered by fossil fuels coming from close by wells, are simply rising.

Top U.S. fracking supplier Halliburton Co this 12 months stated it efficiently deployed a grid-powered fracturing operation, which sharply lowered its carbon footprint, in keeping with an organization report.

“When you move to electric fracks, that’s the white whale for us,” stated Cain, which he estimates may cut back emissions from completions by 20% to 30%. “That is a huge benefit for us in terms of total greenhouse gas.” (Reporting by Liz Hampton in Broomfield, Colorado; Editing by David Gregorio)

Share this text in your social community

This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues under.

By clicking on the enroll button you consent to obtain the above e-newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You could unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe hyperlink at the backside of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Comments

Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a energetic however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments could take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the website. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We have enabled electronic mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an electronic mail should you obtain a reply to your remark, there may be an replace to a remark thread you observe or if a person you observe feedback. Visit our Community Guidelines for extra info and particulars on how you can modify your email settings.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button