Gas leakages and oil spills can and have caused significant damage to our environment. Exposure to these substances is proven to be toxic to people, plants, and animals. Additionally, previous gas leakages and oil leaks have resulted in several fatalities and injuries; oil spills have also been connected to the destruction of our oceans’ ecosystems. One of the most effective measures for spill prevention is remote oilfield monitoring technology.
Since the oil spill at the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, oil and gas companies have taken massive steps to lessen the likelihood of spills on sites. However, some of these adjustments were not voluntary. In the United States, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement requires all companies with an offshore installation sector to provide oil spill control measures. Additionally, they must present their emergency response plans to the US Coast Guard.
Here are some of the measures that oil and gas companies have taken to lessen oil spills and gas leakages.
Embracing leak detection innovations
It’s challenging to detect gas leaks and oil spills. Since most gases are odorless and colorless, it will take a long time to discover any leakage. Also, even once a leak or spill has been found, identifying where it originated is even more difficult.
According to some reports, energy industries caused 2.8 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from methane leaks. Many oil and gas companies have utilized remote oilfield monitoring equipment and methane sensors to identify such leaks. With the help of this innovation, the origin points of a leak can be detected. Aside from methane sensors, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide sensors are also some of the gas sensors companies use. Additionally, the industry is developing more technologies to detect other toxic gases.
Establishing industry-sponsored ventures
To implement effective oil spill prevention measures, huge investment is required. Companies working separately cannot adequately fund research on innovations when it comes to spill prevention. Thus, oil and gas companies are working to merge their resources together in order to overcome this restriction.
One good example is the Center for Offshore Safety (COS). This venture is established by the US offshore oil and gas industry. The organization puts together information and recommendations concerning Safety and Environmental Management Systems. It also initiates the collaboration between the industry and the outside shareholders such as the local communities and the government in handling environmental concerns.
Training and safety programs
Oil and gas companies provide regular specialized training and education to their staff on oil spill prevention and other emergency response matters – from the proper use of remote oilfield monitoring equipment to on and offsite safety measures. An excellent and orderly response to any gas leak or spill is exceptionally crucial. If the response has been made promptly, further damage can be significantly avoided.
The Environmental Protection Agency in the country has oil spills prevention program. With this initiative, oil and gas companies train their employees on Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC), as well as the Facility Response Plan (FRP).
Setting spill reduction goals
Nowadays, more and more oil and gas companies are determining their spill reduction targets, in addition to those implemented by federal and state laws. The extensive plans include the goals to be achieved and the steps needed in order to attain those goals.
Aside from the oil and gas industry, trade organizations have also established their own strategic means to lessen industrial leaks. One example is the American Gas Association, an organization that represents hundreds of energy companies in the country. This organization has sanctioned guidelines to reduce gas leakages.
The industry aims to give the public assurance that they are doing the best they can and putting in sincere efforts to lessen oil spills and gas leakages. However, the danger has not been entirely eradicated. Oil and gas companies should do more diligent research on effective methods when it comes to spill prevention. From remote oilfield monitoring to working together with other companies and the government. These steps should be incorporated seamlessly into spill prevention plans.
Adopting new technology
The innovations available today to monitor, manage, and automate oil and gas operations remotely is better than it has ever been; and it’s only going to continue improving from here on out. However, the use of remote oilfield monitoring innovations has made some oil and gas operators complacent. It’s still vital to keep top training and expertise in oil and gas operations.