Decarbonization

Decarbonization

SPE papers and events that covered decarbonization during the past year show that a wide variety of solutions already exist that avoid, reduce, replace, offset, or sequester greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is clear, therefore, that decarbonization technologies will now be as important as 4D seismic, horizontal wells, and hydraulic fracturing.

Decarbonization Intro with cloud word CO2 in background

Have you noticed the change in the oil and gas industry over the past year with its engagement in carbon management, decarbonization, and net-zero-emissions targets?

Policy support and technology advances in alternative energies have delivered massive cost reduction in renewables more quickly, and to a greater degree, than expected. Over the past few years, more of the world’s capital has been spent on electricity than oil and gas supply, and more than half of all new energy-generation capacity is now renewable.

Some elements of society, therefore, have suggested that this is the beginning of the end for the fossil-fuel sector and call for investors to turn away from oil and gas and “leave it in the ground.”

In more than a century of almost continuous change, however, the oil and gas industry has a long track record of innovative thinking, creative solutions, and different business models. SPE papers and events that covered decarbonization during the past year show that a wide variety of solutions already exist that avoid, reduce, replace, offset, or sequester greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is clear, therefore, that decarbonization technologies will now be as important as 4D seismic, horizontal wells, and hydraulic fracturing. That is why we now bring you this inaugural Technology Focus feature dedicated to decarbonization.

The experience and capability of the entire JPT community in decarbonization is critical. Please enjoy the following summary of three selected papers on the role of natural gas in fuel-switching; carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS); and hydrogen technologies that deliver the dual challenge of providing more energy with less GHG emission.

There are many ways to engage in the SPE decarbonization efforts in the remainder of 2021. Regional events have addressed CCUS, hydrogen, geothermal, and methane. There is also the new SPE Gaia sustainability program to enable and empower all members who wish to engage in the alignment of the future of energy with sustainable development. The Gaia program has an on-demand library of materials, including an existing series on methane, and upcoming similar events on other energy transition, natural capital and regeneration, and social responsibility priorities. Get involved through your SPE section or chapter or contact your regional Gaia liaison to find out what Gaia programming you can support or lead at www.spe.org/en/gaia.

This Month’s Technical Papers

Study Assesses Potential of Renewable Energy in Power Sector

Machine Learning Provides Effective Leak Detection in Carbon Sequestration Projects

Natural Gas Has Role in Decarbonizing the Australian Electricity Supply


Nigel Jenvey, SPE, is the global head of carbon management for Gaffney, Cline and Associates. He has more than 24 years of global oil and gas industry experience with major oil and gas operating companies. Jenvey is an industry leader in carbon management and expert in carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS), having previously been the chair of the CO2 Capture Project; chair of the North American CCS Association; program chair of the SPE CCUS Technical Section; and, most recently, alternate chair to the National Petroleum Council CCUS Study Coordinating Subcommittee. At Gaffney, Cline and Associates, he leads the global carbon management practice by providing independent and confidential advice on carbon intensity, methane management, carbon markets, CCUS, and green finance. Jenvey holds a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Imperial College London.