For a long time, there has been a search to implement methods to reduce the environmental impact on the planet caused by the extraction of hydrocarbons. The production process of materials such as oil has a negative effect on the environment, causing great damage to the ecosystem around the extraction site.
The extraction of hydrocarbons without considering the damage to the environment, causes problems such as damage to marine life and its ecosystem, deforestation and destruction of flora in places of interest for the extraction of hydrocarbons, water pollution or destruction of fertile land rendering it unusable. The aim is to reduce these effects.
Methods to reduce environmental impact
Environmental safety measures need to be taken prior to exploration, drilling and extraction of hydrocarbons, in order to measure the risks and collateral damage that could be caused in the short and long term in the area where the work is carried out.
The incorporation of new technologies, equipment and chemical compounds used in well drilling can contribute positively to the extraction of hydrocarbons such as oil and gas, using biodegradable materials that do not pollute the environment.
The use of lighter and degradable components that do not contribute to environmental pollution is one of the goals established as a method of reducing environmental impact. Thus, the fluids used in the drilling of wells are replaced by raw materials of natural origin, such as palm oil or other compounds extracted from plants.
This would establish a major step forward for the hydrocarbon industry in preserving the environment by using more environmentally friendly fluids and methods that do not pose a long-term environmental risk.
Another important risk factor is the exploitation activities in the search for hydrocarbon deposits, as these are often very invasive and can have consequences for ecosystems and the environment, which is why there should be more accurate planning in order to cause the least possible impact.
Circular Economy in the Hydrocarbon Industry
The circular economy is an economic model that seeks to establish utility cycles for the raw material as a whole in order to reduce costs and waste that are harmful to the environment.
In this way, the hydrocarbon industry can adapt to this economic model that promotes initiatives such as the reuse of water as an energy-efficient process, as well as a better use of the waste resulting from hydrocarbon extraction and processing.
This economic model applied to the hydrocarbon industry is not only beneficial for the environment, but also promotes a better use of economic resources, as new tactics are applied, such as the transformation of waste resulting from extraction into by-products that have various uses in other areas.
The reduction of greenhouse gases is another important factor in the extension of the circular economy to industry, thanks to the use of gas and better use of energy resources.
Hydrocarbon industry transformation process
The transformation of the hydrocarbon industry will undoubtedly come sooner rather than later, as the effect of current techniques on the environment is causing serious damage to the ecosystem, people’s health and the planet.
The application of friendlier methods and the planning and good use of resources will lead the hydrocarbon industry to a benefit for all, applying methodologies such as the circular economy and other processes mentioned above to reduce the environmental impact caused by the exploitation of hydrocarbons.