Emerging Technologies: How They Impact the Industry

In a drive to increase operational and financial performance, today’s energy industry is striving to lower costs and emissions, and increase operational and financial performance while also developing and implementing ESG reporting.

Companies must create low cost, low carbon, low emission strategies with emerging technologies to achieve sustainable goals and be competitive in a global marketplace.

The ability to improve existing technologies — and create new ones — provides a path forward for those willing to participate. Developing and implementing a strong ESG strategy is critical for companies to access investor funding and provide a positive integrated influence in the industry.

The Council’s ESG Center of Excellence is an excellent resource for developing knowledge and understanding of ESG. The ESG certification program is also a great tool to learn and understand strategy, as well as develop and implement ESG strategies for your company and customers. The ESG certification is a year-long process that delves into all aspects of ESG. I am in the current certification class and truly appreciate the world class training I am receiving. I highly recommend it to all who need to develop their ESG skills.

Companies engaged in emerging technologies research and development have increasingly focused on ESG goals to access capital in the marketplace. That focus has led to positive results in operational efficiency and cost reduction. The use of natural gas in production has been growing. New technology advances in dual fuel (diesel/natural gas) and 100% natural gas reciprocating engines have made tremendous strides in lowering emissions, operations and maintenance cost.

The ability to burn field gas (within fuel specifications) in the dual fuel or 100% reciprocating gas engine slashes fuel costs. The dual fuel engine platform also provides the customer with the ability to avoid downtime by running on diesel fuel if a natural gas source isn’t available.

Hydrogen is another fuel source that has been garnering much attention. The ability of reciprocating engines, dual-fuel and 100% natural gas to burn hydrogen was recently demonstrated in Houston, and the results were well received by all in attendance.

The following issues are some of the reasons the industry is applying dual fuel Tier 2 and Tier 4 technologies (which also apply to 100% natural gas):

• Saving on operating costs by using inexpensive natural gas to replace diesel fuel consumption

• Abundance of field gas in various shale plays

• Reduction of greenhouse gas footprint

• Infrastructure expansion for gas delivery

• Drop in fuel/diesel transportation expenses

• Better compliance with regulated emissions

Technology advancements in fuel, air, exhaust and control systems have resulted in lower emissions as a result of complying with current Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emission limits. Manufacturers have spent billions of dollars in research and development to achieve these emission limits. The cost of these technologies increased pricing to the marketplace while day rates for equipment have been cyclical. This has led to operators struggling to recover costs. New technologies and ESG compliance come with a price, and the industry will need to find the right balance as we continue this journey.

Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are also entering the marketplace to help achieve the environmental and financial goals when paired with natural gas or diesel generator sets. The ESS and control systems are able to “right size” the power supply by absorbing load spikes and managing the load across multiple generators. The ability to bring generators on and offline as needed reduces run time on units and keeps them in the most efficient load zone. This helps reduce maintenance cost, fuel burn and emissions while providing the power required to manage the load in the most efficient profile.

Natural gas demand and production are on the upswing post-COVID, and are expected to continue expanding for the next few decades, according to analysis from Oil World. The increased demand will drive supply and create opportunities for all.

Emerging technologies are critical to achieving operational efficiency, financial returns and ESG goals. The trend towards natural gas prime movers has created the need for manufacturers to provide a low-carbon, low-emission solution for the industry. Technologies now entering the marketplace will provide options not previously available.

Technological innovation has always been at the heart of the energy process and will continue to be critical in the transformation of providing energy to the world.

Back to top