Burn It, Pipe It, Fix It:  There’s Carbon in the Air

Burn It, Pipe It, Fix It: There’s Carbon in the Air

Rosemary Jackson  •  

Flaring: Carbon tax or lay pipe. Petro.ai has the forecasting tool to balance your options.

Fugitive Emissions: Pinpoint the issue and correct the leak. Petro.ai is conquering this data driven problem. 

Petro.ai is developing a comparative modeling system to analyze tradeoffs in dealing with the flaring and fugitive emissions issues. 

“There are all of these edicts being passed down with respect to carbon intensity, but there’s not an infrastructure of businesses designed to manage this challenge,” Richard Gaut, CFO of Petro.ai enjoins. “Petro.ai wants to help create that. Just like when companies emerged to handle the water issue in the oil and gas industry, Petro.ai knows that the carbon reserves initiative is going to be the same thing. Operators need help to figure out how to manage the carbon challenge. It will be forecastable. And we’re bringing the tools to make that a reality.

Gaut adds, “The Forecasting App will have 4 decline curves not just 3. It’ll be oil, gas, water, and carbon for each well and you’ll be able to quantify that. Then you can imagine a step change in that carbon emissions curve when you decide to stop flaring that well. Or if there’s a pipeline that you expect to be built in 2028, you can model at the well level.”

Different forecasts for different scenarios all built in the Petro.ai platform where you're the scientist testing and understanding the new and sometimes, the yet untried.

Petro.ai is focusing on well to tank, the emissions associated with bringing the hydrocarbon up from the ground and to the refinery. In well to tank, depending on the type of oil deposit you’re producing, 5% to 45% of the emissions are associated with getting the oil and gas out of the ground.

“Shale is hard to estimate,” Troy Ruths, CEO of Petro.ai, explains, “The estimates are that about 30% of emissions actually goes into producing the barrel of oil and maybe about half of that 30% is flaring.”

Flaring is a big deal, the burning of the free, associated gas coming from the oil stream or gas well that doesn’t have a pipeline option to the refinery. According to Texas A&M Today, atmospheric scientist, Gunnar Schade has “shown that routine flaring is inaccurately assessed and creates a sizeable source of air pollution. Regulatory agencies under pressure from environmental groups and parts of the industry, are finally considering rules to curb flaring.” The O&G industry is forced to take a closer look at other options, but how to weigh the costs and benefits of alternatives to flaring and fugitive emissions?

It becomes even more complicated. Ruths describes further, “Your flaring oil ratio is tied exactly to the gas oil ratio. It’s common for the gas oil ratio to increase over time. Most of the gas you produce is at the beginning of the well because you have high volumes but from a ratio perspective you start producing more gas the older a well gets. So, you end up with lots of flaring because the GOR continues to increase and no one’s going to put a pipe to a well that’s not producing much oil anymore. It’s a big logistic challenge, and I think for a lot of operators out there, they’re trying to get rid of flaring but they’re also trying to e-frac and trying to reduce the emissions of the entire wells to tank process.”

Fugitive emissions are another big deal. Detailed in a recent IPCC whitepaper, “most of the fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas systems are methane losses from production activities, natural gas processing, transportation and distribution.” Many of these types of carbon infractions are related to mechanical failure. Ruths explains the Petro.ai connection, "Equipment performance issues can be data driven and either predicted or analyzed so that repairs can happen before the leakage occurs. These are two things that are rich in data and we’re bringing that into Petro.ai.”

Petro.ai is a great place to create your daily, weekly, quarterly reports, but it’s so much more. Petro.ai is a research lab where you explore the what ifs, gain insight into the how longs, and compare solutions before they become expensive reality. Petro.ai is a place where you question and experiment, try and evaluate, predict and solve. You go there every day and ask the tough questions to get the multivariate, machine learning, AI answers. You become the lead scientist that develops the model to revolutionize an industry needing real answers to difficult emissions issues.

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