With growing worldwide consensus about the impacts of climate change, the oil and gas industry faces unprecedented pressure to redefine itself, minimize its carbon footprint, and ultimately move towards net zero emissions. It is therefore imperative that the industry can easily and accurately measure its carbon footprint, forecast impact on emissions from operational decisions, monitor key sources of emissions and ultimately minimize it via operational and other optimizations. This need is further accelerated by regulatory, investor, consumer, and market forces, in many cases making it mandatory for corporations to report their carbon footprints. The objective of this work is to present the design and implementation of a carbon estimation and forecasting platform, henceforth called Aurion, to be the one-stop-shop for all the carbon needs of the oil and gas industry.
We leverage the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Subpart W model and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) OPGEE model as the underlying calculation engines for estimating carbon intensity and footprint. Subpart W is an equipment and inventory-based accounting approach to estimating carbon footprint, and is mandated by EPA for the oil and gas industry for all operations that emit more than 25000 MT of CO2 equivalent. OPGEE is a life-cycle assessment (LCA) tool that estimates the GHG emissions of petroleum production operations from reservoir to transport to the refinery. Using these well-known tools not only provides a robust, tested, and reliable approach to estimate carbon intensity, but also provides standardization and transparency to all calculations, thereby making it thoroughly auditable and consistent across an organization.
Aurion provides a user-friendly, cloud based, scalable interface to Subpart W and OPGEE, and allows users to seamlessly integrate various sources of data (public, private, third party) for continuous estimation and monitoring of GHG emissions across the whole organization. It further integrates with production forecasts to provide an estimate for future carbon footprint and intensity to understand the GHG impact of different operational plans. Additionally, the platform provides tools for collaboration, as estimating carbon intensity requires expertise and data from many domains. Sensitivity analysis is also implemented to understand key factors impacting carbon intensity for a field and helps the managers to make sustainable decisions and reduce their carbon footprint. Aurion also provides standard ESG frameworks and customizable surveys for understanding and documenting additional GHG emissions related issues. Finally, Aurion provides tools to aggregate, report and benchmark GHG emissions across an organization.