Transforming Oil and Gas Environmental Compliance Through a Connected Approach
In recent years, the oil and gas industry has faced increased regulatory pressure as governments around the world seek to reduce a variety of emissions. In addition to added regulatory pressure, oil and gas companies must also consider the effect emissions have on their field personnel.
In recent years, the oil and gas industry has faced increased regulatory pressure as governments around the world seek to reduce a variety of emissions commonly generated by refineries, drill sites and platforms, and processing plants.
This trend gained additional momentum on 30 June 30 when US President Joe Biden signed a bill that repealed previously rolled back regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act provides yet another set of guidelines for the industry. Others have proposed a wide range of policies to limit or penalize methane gas leaks that would add to the list of requirements for oil and gas companies. Required tactics would include proactive leak detection, facility repair, and hazard mitigation or the establishment of gas capture rate minimums.
In addition to added regulatory pressure, oil and gas companies must also consider the effect emissions have on their field personnel. Many cases result in both short- and long-term risks such as toxic gas exposures and flammable hazards that can affect workers’ health or even result in death. The presence of hazardous substances also can have a large effect on quality of life and mental wellbeing both at and away from the workplace. Leading groups such as the National Safety Council have taken notice, creating programs such as the Work to Zero initiative that focuses on eliminating workplace fatalities by 2050 through the use of safety technology.
As environmental compliance requirements and workforce health and safety challenges continue to increase, oil and gas companies are tasked with reducing greenhouse-gas emissions while maintaining production levels and profitability. These efforts require a strong collaboration between safety and operations teams and can be challenging. Yet, they represent a transformative shift in approach in the industry toward a greater focus on public health and industry sustainability.