In a world that increasingly champions green energy and environmental sustainability, the idea of "responsible hydrocarbons" may seem like an oxymoron. But let's face a harsh reality – turning off hydrocarbons entirely is not a realistic option, at least not for the short term future. Hydrocarbons continue to play a crucial role in meeting global energy demands as well as many of the products we all rely on in life. So, in the short term future we must deliver them more responsibly rather than denying their significance. It's time to address this topic with unwavering conviction.
Before diving into the ways to make hydrocarbon delivery more responsible, it's essential to recognise why these resources are still vital in our energy portfolio. Hydrocarbons, which include oil and natural gas, remain the lifeblood of the modern world. They power our cars, heat our homes, fuel our industries, and support countless other essential aspects of our daily lives.
Renewable energy sources are growing in importance, and real-world governmental policies the world over need to support their development. But even with the full weight of political leaders driving forward the transition to a fully sustainable energy infrastructure, there is no avoiding the fact that it is a complex and lengthy process. Hydrocarbons offer stability and reliability that renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, are still struggling to provide consistently. Until these renewables can bridge the energy gap entirely, we cannot simply abandon hydrocarbons. Instead, we must commit to delivering them responsibly.
Responsible hydrocarbon delivery is not just a dream; it's a necessity that combines technology, innovation, and commitment. We must explore every avenue to minimise environmental impact while maintaining the reliability of hydrocarbon resources. Here are the top 3 ways Kent is working with clients to drive this forward:
1. Carbon Capture Technology:
Innovations in carbon capture technology have opened new possibilities for reducing the environmental impact of hydrocarbon extraction and production. By capturing and storing CO2 emissions, this technology significantly reduces the carbon footprint associated with oil and natural gas operations. Kent designed, built and commissioned the world’s first commercial scale power with post combustion CO2 capture plant and since then have been involved in similar projects across the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East.
The decarbonisation of hydrocarbon extraction and utilisation is another crucial aspect of responsible delivery. Through the use of our proprietary Carbon Intensity Reduction Tool, we are helping clients identify their GHG emissions reduction options and developing action plans. We are also then partnering with our clients to implement this work, delivering projects which eliminate routine flaring and venting, and deliver a step change in the carbon intensity of the produced hydrocarbons.
3. Powering Alternative Energy:
Hydrocarbons can also be used to power the shift to alternative forms of energy. Kent has been at the forefront of developing some of the world’s first blue hydrogen plants which produces hydrogen from fossil fuels where CO2 is captured and either stored or repurposed. This dual approach is a responsible way to balance our energy needs while accelerating the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future.
It’s also important to consider the age of many of the hydrocarbon production assets in existence today, particularly those offshore. Whether repurposing assets, restoring surrounding areas, or optimising existing facilities, sustainability should be at the heart of every decommissioning strategy. Assets should be repurposed where possible, often requiring extensive studies to try and find a way. Where decommissioning is required, the environmental impact of disturbance or removal of any asset needs to be understood.
The call for responsible hydrocarbon delivery is not an abandonment of environmental responsibility. It is a realistic approach to meet our energy needs while simultaneously safeguarding the planet. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that hydrocarbons are an integral part of our lives today. The question is not whether to use them, but how to use them more responsibly.
Let us be brave in our actions and decisions. Let us champion responsible hydrocarbon delivery, ensuring that the transition to a sustainable future is not a burden but a harmonious blend of traditional energy sources and innovative technology. It's time to rise to the challenge, embrace responsible hydrocarbons, and forge a path towards a more sustainable, balanced energy future.