Optimising assets with digital to transform emissions and create a more sustainable future

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Peter Carydias
Global Digital Solutions Manager

We are all currently embarking on the energy transition journey. The ideal destination? A low-carbon future where businesses, regulators and society are working together to create a cleaner world. Just like any great adventure, there are unexpected turns, detours and new opportunities discovered along the way. Businesses must navigate the winding roads of regulatory changes and commercial needs, embracing the adventure of reducing emissions to reach the ultimate low-carbon destination.

At Wood we are helping clients to solve their most critical challenges by applying digitalisation and decarbonisation strategies across energy and materials markets. With the immediate need to develop feasible roadmaps to reduce the emissions intensity of production assets, we have developed a tailored three-phase approach to emission reduction through digitally enabled initiatives.

Phase 1 - Developing a strategy using Wood’s SCORE framework to systematically reduce emissions by 10-20% in the next 2-3 years.

To make meaningful impact, first we need to build an accelerated strategy that focuses on quick wins as well as long-term emission reduction outcomes. For integrated gas, we found that much of the immediate CO2e opportunity can be met by discrete improvement programmes on four areas of focus:

  1. Process / Production optimisation to reduce routine flaring and excess emissions
  2. Compression and generation reliability optimisation targeting trip related flaring
  3. Energy optimisation with improved emissions intensity and recovered sales gas
  4. Field-wide methane leak mitigation

Each one of these areas delivers incremental results, but together, they provide a clear and implantable roadmap to achieving a reduction of 10-20% in emissions intensity. We see this reflected in the Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) with high NPV and rapid time benefits.

Phase 2 - Deliver integrated monitoring systems to ensure sources of emissions are auditable and trackable.

Real-time monitoring is crucial for ensuring that emission reduction initiatives are auditable and stay on track. Asset owners are driven to reduce operational emissions but the lack of quality, auditable data hinders evidence-based decision making and emissions reduction initiatives. This often leads to the overreliance on emissions factors and bespoke studies, which don’t paint the full picture, making it difficult to understand the true emissions landscape and ultimately take decisive action. By embracing real-time monitoring, asset owners can make better informed decisions based on accurate, up-to-date data.

For Wood, there are 5 key features which we look for in a robust and scalable monitoring system:

  1. Connected
  2. Automated
  3. Reliable
  4. Secure
  5. Adaptable

By analysing and embracing these features, we’re able to implement structed emissions monitoring systems to gather, manage and analyse data, meet compliance and optimise operational emissions dynamically.

Phase 3 - Incorporating the insights and emissions reduction initiatives into a transformational roadmap to systematically drive down emissions.

So, how do the processes and technology introduced play their part in Wood’s contribution to optimising emission reduction efforts? Below we have three examples of where we are coupling engineer’s domain expertise with digital models, identifying a clear impact on emissions intensity:

  1. For a global mining producer, we identified that a major lever for reducing Scope 1/2 emissions intensity involved the optimisation of gas-riven generation performance. We built a decision agent which advises staff on how to manage maintenance and production support of gas turbines in an effective way. The outcome was over a 5% reduction in Scope 2 emissions through efficiency gain in the gas turbine generator, which also resulted in over $10m p/a saving in fuel gas.
  2. We developed an advanced compressor advisory system for an extensive production system which operates with eight compressors, boasting an aggregate capacity of approximately 350MW. Operators were able to gain better control and understanding of the pipeline’s performance, leading to increased efficiency and cost savings. The result was a 5% reduction in Scope 1 emissions.
  3. Coal Seam Gas Gathering Systems are often difficult to inspect manually due to their size and complexity. By comparing a network of expected gas and water flows with satellite monitoring data and static pressure integrity models, it is possible to trend the trajectory of asset degradation and identify the process flows with high accuracy, mitigating the risk and size of leaks.

By applying these models to various upstream assets, we were able to achieve Zero Hydrocarbon Loss of Pressure Containment events across a portfolio of CSG well sites following the implementation of a Static Pressure Integrity Model. We were also able to identify a developing leak in a gas transmission system within 10 minutes.

Wood’s process of bringing together engineer’s domain expertise, whilst harnessing digitalisation and decarbonisation means we can accelerate asset emissions reduction and achieve targets of 15-20% of emissions intensity reduction.

At Wood, we are focused on decoding digital transformation of heavy industry, and together we can design a lower-carbon future.

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