Oil and gas companies are recognizing that is profitable to seek sustainability through proactive solutions that help to prevent the compromise of the future. Handling of solid waste is a significant issue in the industry. The primary solid and liquid wastes found in the oil and gas drilling processes are:
- – Cuttings
- – Water-based and oil-based drilling fluids
The previously standard method of disposing of such waste was using onsite burial and pits, injection wells, landfarming and landfills. Using landfills, however, have several disadvantages such as:
- – They leaked hazardous chemicals into the soil
- – They emitted harmful gases into the surrounding atmosphere
- – They were finite and filled up fast
- – They were costly to set up and contain
Other companies opted for methods such as dumping them underneath or on top of roads, spreading them on land or by soil farming. According to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), companies using these methods increased their future liabilities due to the destructive potential of these practices. Implementing a safer and more sustainable method of dealing with solid waste can help to reduce the likelihood of liabilities.
Drivers of sustainable methods of handling drilling cuttings
New society regulations
There has been increased awareness on the environment and societal issues in the recent years. Corporate governance, social responsibility and sustainability have now taken center stage in business markets, resulting in closer supervision of the amounts of drilling waste and the means used to dispose of them. Several agencies have been formed to monitor and crack down on the behavior of oil and gas industries pertaining to their wastes. The change is costly and painful for those not in adherence.
Conversions of liabilities into assets
Apart from the benefits of better financial appropriation and innovative advantage, companies also use sustainability measures to cut on costs through the use of efficient waste disposal techniques for the solid cuttings. In the long run, use of accountable solid cuttings disposal is less expensive than landfill and other methods. It also introduces efficient production that reduces the number of solid cuttings generated. Resultantly, there is improved performance in environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Investors track the ESG performance and relate it to solid financial position. Moreover, using the sustainability accounting procedures ensures there is a proper accounting of the liabilities and assets involved in drilling waste management. Companies can therefore plan for the future, detect liabilities and contain them.
Innovation in handling waste
Sustainability is effective in dealing with the landfill limitations. Companies that have embraced sustainability acknowledge that the production of drilling cuttings is unavoidable. They, therefore, have developed effective and sustainable ways of handling the waste. Through proper accounting of the waste, they can accurately measure and track waste production. Scientific methods are used to treat the cuttings and confirm their full containment. The cuttings are separated from other forms of waste, thus reducing their environmental footprint. In that way, liabilities associated with the cuttings are minimized.
Investors interest in non-financial business aspects
Investors of today are more attentive to the finer business details. Their investment decisions are primarily centered on non-financial disclosures. A sustainable business, therefore, exploits the impressive reporting of the ESG performance, thus getting investors to commit long-term. This means that the oil and gas industry has to court sustainability to accrue the benefits of the changing market. It is the new secret weapon in the industry.
Accessing sustainability services
Aerion delivers proven sustainable solutions for dealing with waste cuttings by offering a wide variety of high-quality equipment, scientific methods, skilled personnel and unparalleled customer service. To learn more about how we can help to improve and enhance your operations, contact us today.