As an energy company processing natural resources and producing fossil fuels, reduction of GHG emissions, especially CO2, has become an integral part of our business. We understand that carbon constraints imposed by ever stringent legislation are continuously changing the paradigm of our business and we are responding accordingly.
Legal compliance, achieved by the annual submission of verified CO2 emission reports for our installations and the surrendering of a corresponding number of allowances has already become routine for us, but we go further. We are implementing energy efficiency programs at major divisions like ENRAC (Energy Rationalization) at Upstream, the EIFFEL Program at Refining, and the establishment of a Demand Management Team at Petchem, aiming at idea generation for reduction of CO2 emissions. We set for ourselves internal short-term, as well as long-term strategic reduction targets. In addition to corporate and divisional targets we have implemented GHG-related performance indicators into the individual appraisal schemes of business managers.
Key areas of focus which deliver GHG reductions are energy efficiency and energy savings, optimization of process control, elimination of energy losses and the reduction of flared and vented gases. We have an established emission trading structure managed by our subsidiary MOL Commodity Trading, through which we efficiently manage allowances with the aim of generating additional financial resources that can be used for turning our GHG reduction plans into reality.
We believe that our efforts will pay off twice in the future. On the one hand through our contribution to the fight against climate change and the reduction of our environmental footprint and on the other hand by improving the MOL Group position in a carbon-constrained economy.
Flaring and venting
Decreasing the amount of flared and vented gases is not only beneficial to the environment but it can bring financial benefits too. For these reasons we continuously strive to find ways of operating that reduce flaring and venting.
In the oil and gas sector ‘flaring’ means the controlled burning of unused hydrocarbons for safety or technical reasons. The hydrocarbons flared in the exploration and production sector are usually the associated gasses of the oil that is produced, while in refining flaring takes place for reasons of safety. Venting is slightly different; it mainly concerns the release of gases which takes place prior to maintenance activities of pipelines or sometimes at exploration and production facilities.
There is increasing attention at the international level for oil companies to reduce the amount of this ’wasted’ energy. There are even countries in which the use of associated gas is obligatory.
Our Exploration and Production Business has had great success in using associated gas for energy production (at our Russian and Pakistan subsidiary). Besides the fact that we have significantly reduced our CO2 emissions, cost reductions were also achieved due to the fact that we needed to purchase less energy from third parties. Moreover, the associated CO2 emissions from this energy were not emitted.
At some exploration sites at INA, the venting of associated CO2 is also a major issue. There is an ongoing EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) project which aims to tackle this issue by injecting the gas back into the well to further enhance the recoverable volume of oil.
Based on our positive experiences we are now also assessing other areas to see where it may be possible to reduce flaring and venting.