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Aggreko Perspectives - our global thought leadership series focusing on topics relating to the energy transition and the future of energy


The First Step In Oil and Gas Energy Transition

Transitioning to a new fuel source can be a complicated business, and it simply can’t be completed overnight.

While it’s clear that a complete switch to renewable energy is the ultimate goal, there are many steps to take along the way.

Transitioning to a new fuel source can be a complicated business, and it simply can’t be completed overnight. While it’s clear that a complete switch to renewable energy is the ultimate goal, there are many steps to take along the way.

An effective Energy Transition for operators in the oil and gas industry involves four key phases:

  1. Emissions reduction
  2. Transition to gas
  3. Full gas power
  4. Renewable energy and net-zero emissions

In this blog post, we’re going to take you through the very first chapter of your energy transition, helping you to make the initial moves towards net zero in a way that keeps your operations competitive – and that can even increase your efficiency.

Why moving to diesel alternatives is essential for the oil & gas industry

The oil and gas industry has historically relied heavily on diesel generators for its power needs. The remote location of drill sites – far away from pre-existing power lines or natural gas networks – means that temporary diesel power is often the most financially and logistically viable option.

But with regulatory pressures, environmental concerns, and growing prices, it’s clear that the industry needs to move away from its diesel addiction - a change has never been more important.

Let’s dive into the first step in your transition: cutting back on your existing emissions.

Phase one – Reducing your emissions

Before you can consider taking on new technologies or transitioning your existing set-up, there are likely to be a handful of quick ways of significantly reducing your carbon footprint. These methods have been tried and tested over recent years, and Operators of all sizes have been able to achieve surprisingly positive results with relative ease – and without yet making any changes to their energy sources.

Not only will these approaches lessen your environmental impact – and ensure your compliance with incoming legislation – but they will also increase your efficiencies and save you money.

The approaches we’ll look at are:
● Rightsizing your equipment to reduce fuel consumption
● Taking advantage of the latest ultra-low emissions technologies

Rightsizing your equipment to reduce fuel comsumption

Understandably, Operators and equipment suppliers are both cautious when it comes to power provision. That means that in many situations generators are intentionally oversized so that you can be sure that they’ll cope with motor starts and high load periods.

Therefore, it’s not uncommon for generator equipment to run at less than 30% load for the majority of its operating life, which is a very inefficient way of guaranteeing full uptime.

Rightsizing equipment to ensure it runs at 80% load or higher delivers significant savings on fuel and emissions – without compromising reliability or uptime. There are several ways in which you can achieve it:

Mechanical rightsizing

This involves connecting flywheel technology to a smaller generator set-up to cope with peak loads. The flywheel system is able to deliver high-power energy during increasing load steps and capture excess energy during decreasing load steps.

 A smart hybrid battery system

Combined with generators, a hybrid battery system, this equipment is another way of managing peak loads. At very low loads, the battery can even supply your entire power output needs, allowing your generators to be completely switched off – increasing efficiency and reducing fuel consumption.

Load-on-demand solutions

These involve swapping one large generator for a group of smaller generators that can automatically power up or down according to your fluctuating energy requirements. For instance, where a peak output of 1,500 kVA is required, instead of one 1,500 kVA generator, three 500 kVA generators can be installed. When full capacity is needed, they are all switched on, but when demand fluctuates down, one or two of the generators are automatically powered off. Reducing the number of generators in operation during periods of downtime in this way not only saves on fuel waste but also reduces harmful emissions and noise pollution.

By cutting back on wasted capacity and finding a way of rightsizing your generator equipment to suit your power needs, you can achieve sizeable cost savings and emissions reductions across your operation.

Ultra-low emissions technologies

The latest technologies are able to dramatically reduce the emissions produced by industry-standard generator equipment. Aggreko’s Ultra-Low Emissions Package for example delivers world-leading emissions reduction by installing a Selective Catalyst Reducer and Oxidation Catalyst on your generators. This cleans up to 99% of all controlled emissions, allowing you to use more equipment whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

For operators working in tightly regulated environments, this is an essential step to protect the economic viability of their production.

Energy transition to renewables is a journey

It’s tempting to look at your net-zero goals as one large obstacle, involving a highly complex switch to renewable energy sources. However, there are many steps along the way, and by tackling these one at a time, you can make important improvements in your carbon footprint – and even make efficiency savings as well.

To uncover the next three steps in your ideal Energy Transition plan, download our free guide that takes you through the entire process.

Download our guide