The World is Warming and Quickly

It is clear from the latest update from NASA that 2016 was the warmest year in centuries.  Many argue whether it is due to people or natural but the rise is clear.  We need to do something about this or the inevitable consequences of rising sea levels, storms infringing on coastal population centres and people being displaced will risk serious unrest.

We in Petromall believe that the energy industry has a key role to play in mitigating this rise whether we are part of the problem or not.  It is the same old story:

1)  Increase the use of lower carbon fuels. 

2) Reduce the impact of the hydrocarbon fuels that we do use.  This means increase energy efficiency.  This means more natural gas and less coal and crude oil. 

3) When coal and crude and natural gas is used then capture the carbon dioxide(CO2) and either use it or store it. 

There are many uses for carbon dioxide from use in petrochemical processes through to injecting it in the ground to enhance crude oil recovery which is prevalent in West Texas and increasingly in onshore Canada.  The big challenge is getting the CO2 out of the waste stream and getting economically to a place where it is required.  Lastly capture the CO2 and store it for millions of years in the ground.  This is referred to carbon capture and storage (CCS).  It is expensive but there is better technology, lower costs and increasing confidence that CO2 can be safely stored deep in the earth.  Persuading communities that they won't be endangered remains a challenge which industry needs to take seriously.

Industry and governments have to work together for solutions which are commercial and can deliver results in 10-30 years not in centuries.  It is time to move.

Greg Coleman

Petroleum Engineer, Director, Petromall