The oil and gas industry has an essential role in supporting the UK Government’s ambitious plans for the transition to net zero.
The sector will provide domestically-produced energy over the coming decades to support the transition, while innovating in new, clean technologies to drive down emissions from existing operations through electrification, and for the hydrogen and CCS developments of the future.
Neptune Energy is accelerating into the transition, with operators and supply chain partners required to reduce their collective carbon footprints. And there are numerous examples of initiatives and pilots under way with the aim of supporting these efforts.
Much of the attention is focused on innovative solutions being trialed at offshore locations – from digital twins that enable inspection work to be carried out from onshore and reduce offshore travel, to Neptune Energy’s own methane-sensing pilot with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to quantify emissions and develop mitigating actions on the Cygnus platform in the UK Southern North Sea. But smaller, simpler initiative are also making a positive difference much closer to home.
As set out in the government’s “Decarbonising Transport” strategy earlier this year, reducing emissions created by road vehicles is a key element of achieving net zero by 2050. The strategy recognises opportunities for hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and improved battery technology.
It also acknowledged the benefits of simply reducing the number of vehicles on the road. This creates another opportunity for oil and gas operators and supply chain partners to work together.
In the activity-intense industry of oil and gas, a large volume of materials and equipment is required to be transported between offshore platforms and onshore storage sites. This entails thousands of road journeys every year for HGVs. Everything from major subsea equipment to food supplies must be delivered between multiple sites every day.
Neptune’s supply chain teams worked with local suppliers to consolidate these journeys into weekly deliveries, optimising space within the vehicles and reducing the total number of trips carried out.
These simple steps are making a meaningful difference. Last year, 74 journeys were carried out, transporting goods for Neptune to our onshore warehouse facility. That was down from 270 in 2019.
Using EDF’s guidelines for calculating carbon emissions from road transport, that’s an annual reduction of 29 tonnes of CO2 … and it doesn’t take into account the reduced congestion achieved by taking 200 lorries off the north-east of Scotland’s roads every year.
Keep in mind these reductions were also achieved at a time when Neptune’s project activities have increased significantly. These may be marginal gains in a global sense, yes, but they all add up.
It’s another simple, positive example of efforts by our industry to support the lower carbon future