The oil and gas industry is facing increasing demands to clarify the implications of energy transitions for their operations and business models, and to explain the contributions that they can make to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Global oil demand alone would need to collapse by 75 per cent over the next three decades to put the world on a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. At the same time, solar, wind and other renewable energy sources would need to surge more than five-fold, and nuclear power would need to double to shrink fossil fuels' share of the global energy mix from 80 per cent to 20 per cent by 2050. The rapid decline in renewable energy costs, improving energy efficiency, widespread electrification, increasingly “smart” technologies, continual technological breakthroughs and well-informed policy making are all driving this shift, bringing sustainable energy future within reach.
The global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing profound and long-lasting changes that have the potential to hasten the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy system. With headwinds of energy security and inflation adding to the challenge of tackling the climate crisis, businesses need to decide whether to divest, diversify, optimize their infrastructure or offset their emissions, transition plans are becoming the new normal. The increasing social and environmental pressures on oil and gas companies raise complex questions about the role of these fuels in a changing energy economy, and the position of these companies in the societies in which they operate. The oil and gas industry is also undergoing a transformation, with emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, automation, and digital twin technology, playing an increasingly important role in exploration, production, and distribution. AI-enabled platforms support decision-making with insights from predictive, prescriptive, and cognitive analytics. The energy industry is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by a shift towards cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy with increased focus on renewables such as wind, solar, and hydro power, as well as advancements in battery storage technology.
India is currently the fourth-largest economy globally and is projected to soon become the most populous country in the world. A large proportion of its population is exposed to climate-related risks, and air pollution levels are among the highest globally, posing a significant threat to the health of the country’s population and economy. Emissions are still on the rise, fuelled in part by coal still remaining a dominant part of the energy mix. Accelerated action in the short and medium terms, such as phasing out unabated coal power by 2040 and increasing the renewable capacity target well beyond 500GW and Green Hydrogen production capacity target of 5 MMT per annum by 2030, would help India transition to a low-carbon economy more rapidly. Utilizing all viable policy options can lead to India’s CO₂ emissions peaking this decade, as early as 2025 in the most ambitious 2050 net zero scenarios, and declining consistently thereafter. Such a transition will be driven by rapid decarbonization of the whole energy system and economy, including moving away from fossil fuels to renewable electricity generation, increased electrification, innovation of low-carbon solutions, and promotion of electric vehicles for road transport, and low-carbon technologies and alternative fuels in other sectors.
Improving operational excellence is a key priority for the oil and gas industry. This involves optimizing production processes, reducing costs, increasing efficiency, improving safety, use of advanced data analytics, real-time monitoring, and predictive maintenance. Catalyst developments play a critical role in many processes in the oil and gas industry, from refining to petrochemical production. With recent developments in catalyst technology including use of nano-materials, new catalytic processes and the development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly catalysts hold key to improve process efficiency on the whole. As fuels demand declines, diversifying into petrochemicals will enable refiners to remain competitive, and leveraging low-cost energy and LPG feedstock to maximize value. For grass-roots projects and existing refinery upgrades, a high-value integration strategy will create additional value. Optimization and improved configurations by selecting the proper catalysts, adsorbents and adopting advanced process technologies and integrating them for maximum efficiency and flexibility is key to achieving this.
Transforming the energy system to meet the increasing energy demand of a growing global population – set to reach 10 billion by 2035 – while also lowering global emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals will require a broad energy mix, and unprecedented collaboration across all sectors and countries. The oil and gas industry plays a key role in the energy transition by providing the affordable and reliable energy needed to fuel fair growth and improved living conditions for all, producing this energy with decreasing emissions to support a net-zero world.
‘’The future is what we make it’’S. Krishnan
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