Offshore oil operation accounts for greenhouse gas 20% emission – Experts

…as Shell set aside $1.5bn for exploration in Nigeria

By Emmanuel Macaulay, Texas

As environmentalists continue to blame the use of fossil fuels for increase in global carbon emission, experts have revealed that petroleum industry offshore operations account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emission.

Amy Bowe, Head of Carbon Research, Wood Mackenzie Group, stated this on Monday, while speaking at a panel session with the theme: “Focus on the Future: A Global Perspective on Offshore Energy” at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), 2021, in Houston, Texas, the United States of America.

She, however, stated that the emission rate was bound to reduce soon based on the concerted efforts to encourage decarbonization in the operation of industry players.

The Wood Mackenzie Carbon researcher further emphasised that the benefits of decarbonization cut across environmental, operational and financial fronts, as well as safety and lower cost.

She also noted that industrial commitment towards decarbonization processes are already oncourse, adding that companies and other manufacturers are beginning to embrace the reality of decarbonisation.

“Currently, offshore operations account for 20 percent of emissions in the petroleum sector but the clamour for decarbonization will see this record lower,” she said.

On his part, Jonathan Landes, President Subsea, TechnipFMC, said that exploitations and exploration of deep water will not stop as long as oil and gas remain the driver of the actualization of the energy mix.

“For certain oil and gas is a major component of the energy mix in the next decade. However, there has to be a collaborative effort from all stakeholders in driving the greenhouse emission reduction programme.

“While technology is needed in driving this process, it is also important that these technologies are simplified. The collaboration of stakeholders is key to supporting this movement. The positive impact of this development remains  win-win for all parties,” he confirmed.

Emphasizing the need for increased investment in crude oil exploration, Bill Langin, SVP – Deepwater Exploration, Shell, said the company is seeking to invest more in exploration in the deep water.

Recall that Shell Nigeria’s onshore joint venture SPDC which has sold about 50 percent of its oil assets over the past decade, and there is plan by the company to offset all its onshore oilfield in the country.

However, a report released by the Wood Mackenzie group, an analytical and consulting firm, revealed that Shell is preparing to commit as much as $1.5 billion annually to deep water exploration in Nigeria.

The report said Shell is preparing for a new era in Nigeria with a much smaller; advantaged portfolio after “decades of dominance,” citing the energy company’s SNEPCo, which is centred on OML 118.

However, the company noted that it is investing about $1.5 billion per annum in the exploration of more deep water projects that would bring about profitability and more dividend to its shareholders “in an environmental and friendly manner”.

The company said, “Greenhouse gas emissions, which is a global demand will help for a sustainable transition of the energy mix. Reduction of emissions are good for business and society and investors are earnestly expecting the gains of decabonization and we would follow that path.

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