There’s no denying it— Alberta oil and gas companies receive their fair share of criticism from environmentally-conscious citizens, both within the province and across the country and globe. And while it will likely always be a polarizing topic, there are many facts that show Alberta is leading the way (at a global level) when it comes to environmental best practices.
The strides Alberta has taken to minimize the environmental impact of oil and gas production must be acknowledged and analyzed— not just so they can be celebrated, but so we can learn from what is working and set the foundations required for a sustainable future.
The Facts About Environmental Excellence in the Alberta Oil and Gas Industry
1.Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Are Decreasing
Since 1990, GHG emissions per barrel of Alberta oil has decreased by 32 per cent. And, more importantly, this trend is set to continue as the province is on track to meet its goal of reducing GHG emissions by another 30 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.
These reductions are significant and are a result of an industry-wide commitment to investing in more efficient equipment, improving extraction processes, and upholding strict operational standards.
2.Oil and Gas Extraction Has Had a Minimal Impact on Alberta’s Forests
According to a study by Alberta Environment, just 0.2 per cent of our province’s Boreal forest is mineable and only 0.03 per cent has been disturbed by oil sands mining since mining began in 1967. Alberta is a major contributor to Canada’s low deforestation rate (which is among the lowest rates in the world).
3.Natural Gas Flaring is Decreasing in Alberta
Alberta reduced the amount of natural gas flared by 80 per cent between 1996-2010, which eliminated more than 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
These are just a few examples of how Alberta oil and gas companies are setting the bar high and leading by example, showing other companies both in Canada and around the world it is possible to maintain economic viability and also minimize the impact of oil and gas production on the environment.
Our Commitment to Supporting Environmental Excellence in the Alberta Oil and Gas Industry
As a quality-focused engineering firm with extensive experience serving oil & gas, petrochemical, mining, and electrical utility companies, we are responsible for providing our clients with cutting-edge solutions that optimize performance and eradicate inefficiencies.
We approach every project with sustainability and environmental safety in mind.
Below are a few key examples of our commitment to environmental excellence:
The way an engineering team conceptualizes and scopes a specific design is integral to its ultimate efficiency. A well-executed design can account for common problems like groundwater contamination, methane leaks, excessive energy usage, and hazardous exploration methods. Simply put? The more more sound, sophisticated, and environmentally safe your design is, the easier it will be to ensure the final product lives up to the original vision.
2.Leaner Operations (Via Automation)
You’ve probably heard the saying “death by a million paper cuts”. Well, this is how many oil and gas companies experience inefficiencies. One small, inadequate process or occurrence leads to another and before they know it, their operations are no longer as environmentally sound as they could be.
Automation is one of the most powerful ways of preventing these efficiency gaps. From leveraging data to identify efficiency bottlenecks, to automatically tracking energy consumption, to using sensors to detect oil spills— automation can be used for the greater good.
At Catch Engineering, we have in-house automation specialists who bring the most advanced, dynamic solutions and strategies to the table. They use their extensive experience and industry knowledge to implement automation and other technologies that produce long-term benefits in terms of sustainability.
3.Waste Heat Recovery
We often think about recycling equipment and materials, but what about recycling energy? Here’s the thing— one-third of the energy used by the oil and gas industry is discharged as thermal losses into the environment. Finding a way to reuse this energy is one of the post impactful ways to reduce C02 emissions and improve sustainability.
But investing in waste heat recovery doesn’t just benefit the environment. It can also result in significant cost-savings for Alberta oil and gas companies.
We have worked with several clients to implement waste heat recovery in oil and gas facilities and ensure efficient energy consumption, and we always welcome the opportunity to discuss the benefits of these technologies with interested parties.
Working with an engineering team that values environmental best practices and prioritizes sustainability throughout each project they take on is the best way to ensure your operations remain clean, sustainable, and forward-thinking.
If you’re interested in learning more about our commitment to meeting the highest standards of environmental excellence, we encourage you to get in touch.