Under the theme, “Sustainable Synergies: Service Companies’ Crucial Role in Decarbonization and Value Creation,” panelists discussed the urgency behind implementing a technology-driven approach to oil and gas operations, with a view to aligning with carbon neutrality and emission reduction commitments.
“We need to continue to innovate so that we can produce cleaner and cheaper barrels of oil and gas in the future. If we address flaring, fugitive methane and drilling, then we address nearly 80% of the problem. If we know that oil and gas will continue to be a source of energy that we need, then we need to address the challenge of controlling the level of emissions in the atmosphere so that we stay within the carbon budget, which is a maximum of 1.5 ºC above the global average temperature of the pre-industrial level,” stated Miguel Baptista, Managing Director: Central, East and Southern Africa for SLB, in his opening keynote presentation.
“We understand our role to reduce the carbon footprint. At Halliburton, we do this in three ways: eliminate carbon in our operations, innovate technologies and accelerate the emergence of new energy companies,” said Antoine Berel, Vice President of Halliburton Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa is ripe with opportunity for the application of specialized technologies to traditional oil and gas projects, as well as the establishment of new clean energy infrastructure related to carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production and renewable energy storage. That said, challenges remain in making the economic case for upgrading brownfield assets.
“For Angola, a big challenge is that a lot of its fields are mature, and most of the new projects are tied into existing infrastructure. The cost of retrofitting that infrastructure is a challenge economically for fields that are in decline. Where new technologies can be applied is on new projects that are being conceived, so you can engineer the latest technologies and solutions,” said Valter Escorcio, Country Manager, Baker Hughes.
Tying in local content to the discussion, Bráulio de Brito, President of the Association of Angolan Petroleum Service Companies (AECIPA), added: “We also need to take into account people – without people, technology doesn’t work. We need to make sure development goes hand in hand with technology. This will also bring cost efficiency into our operations, which is our bottom line. Operators need to lead technology advancements and use this as an incentive to bring along and empower local companies.”
Though major operators may lead technology innovation and deployment,the panel stated that local companies can still play a meaningful role in decarbonization efforts by participating in the circular economy.
“We have efficiency. For example, we can reduce the number of offshore runs by proposing different combinations to the operators. This is not new technology, but it’s a new process that will reduce the CO2 footprint. Another example is changing from diesel-run engines to electric engines for our operations. On the decarbonization side, we refurbish drill bits. Despite being local, we can have an impact,” said Jorge de Morais, General Manager of Kaeso, a 100% Angolan oilfield services company.