Today, one of the greatest challenges that society must face is the sufficient, safe and sustainable supply of energy; due to the fact that the energy needs faced by various countries to achieve socioeconomic wellbeing have been increasing.
In this regard, one of the industries that uses the largest amount of energy sources is the oil sector, with 53% of the total energy consumption of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2019. According to projections by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), it is estimated that the demand for crude oil will grow between 2011 and 2035 at an annual rate of 1% to reach 110 million barrels per day, accounting for 30% of the energy consumed in 2035.
For this reason, it is necessary to promote energy efficiency, i.e., the optimization of energy consumption to achieve certain levels of sustainability. This will make it possible to obtain favorable results in any activity using the least possible amount of energy resources, improving environmental impact through sustainable management models, responsible habits and investments in technological innovation.
But is it possible to achieve energy efficiency in the oil industry? Below, we share with you three actions to reduce the amounts of energy used in oil processes:
- Optimization of processes and plants: It is possible to reduce energy consumption in plants and refineries. The main areas of energy efficiency improvement are utilities at 30%, heaters at 20%, process optimization and heat exchangers at 15%, motor applications and other areas at 10%. Such changes can mean annual cost savings of millions of euros for a refinery, depending on its efficiency and size.
- Detection of energy inefficiencies: They are usually found in process plants or networks, the most common being low combustion performance in furnaces and boilers, low performance of machines, poor energy integration, inefficient operation of columns, discharges to flares, inadequate hydrogen management and inadequate steam management.
- Design of circular economy models: In search of sustainability, currently the greatest challenges are focused on reducing waste. In this way, finding a utility and an application for an industrial waste allows its conversion to a value-added resource. Under this trend, it is possible to achieve effects such as the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG).
There are great opportunities for efficiency savings and energy management in every area and process of the oil industry.
For this reason, at Nakasawa Resources, we work with innovative equipment and services, such as Super Matroid technology, which allow us to optimize oil extraction, reducing the environmental impact. The technology, implemented in the SMT, offers environmental benefits such as the guaranteed supply of programmed heat under strict control of greenhouse gas emissions. It also guarantees savings in operation, fuel and gas supply, and the use of treated water.
Undoubtedly, part of our purpose is to contribute towards the development of sustainable models that respond to the challenges and needs of the market by adopting new technologies to optimize production.
In conclusion, it is necessary to be aware of the environmental impact generated by our industry in order to be able to bet on energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption, without losing quality and production. In this way, we will be able to achieve a sustainable model by reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.