Aramco wins two gold Green World Awards
South Ghawar Producing recognized for energy management and carbon reduction efforts.
Aramco’s South Ghawar Producing Department (SGPD) recently won the gold award in two categories at the Green World Awards ceremony, with a first place in “Industry/Energy Management” for SGPD’s Energy Management Program (EnMP), and for “Carbon Reduction” for the zero flaring invention to boost production from low-pressure oil wells and revival of dead wells.
With one of the lowest upstream energy intensity rates in the industry, and with an ambition to achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our wholly owned operated assets by 2050, Aramco could play an important role in the global energy transition.
SGPD’s gold award is a result of the company’s investment in innovative approaches and technologies to improve energy efficiency and potentially reduce carbon emissions. Even while Aramco is a recognized leader in this field, a remarkable feat given the large and scattered geographical area in which it operates, it remains committed to continual improvement in energy efficiency.
To earn the gold award for energy management, SGPD has implemented a very effective EnMP that facilitated improvement in energy efficiency, containing practices that help to enhance the energy intensity (EI). On a global scale, EI is defined as the amount of power required to produce a useful product. High EI indicates a high cost of converting energy to a gross domestic product, while low EI indicates a lower cost. Chief among SGPD’s innovations at gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs) are the following:
- Use of dashboards to monitor the total power consumption in general and the significant energy users in particular.
- Creation of a mathematical algorithm (GAMS software) to maximize equipment utilization at one plant and shutdown of equipment at other plants, through a massive pipeline network called “swing lines.”
- The reduction of overall carbon emissions, through a company invented flare gas recovery system.
The effective implementation of the EnMP has successfully helped in reducing EI over the course of the past three years by 14.64%, 18.70%, and 14.00% in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively, which contributed to the reduction of carbon emissions. Therefore, it has been playing a role in implementing the circular carbon economy concept that Aramco embraces.
For the second gold award, for carbon reduction, SGPD was recognized for its invention of a zero flaring method that boosts production in low-pressure oil wells.
Normally, when an oil well matures and the underground pressure is insufficient to lift the hydrocarbons to the surface, production crews must use several techniques to revive the well. The most common of these traditional techniques inevitably leads to unavoidable emissions of GHG through gas flares. But SGPD has recently come up with an innovative approach to reduce flaring that would result from oil wells revived at the GOSPs.
The invention capitalizes on the current infrastructure and available resources, and not only does it boost the production from low-pressure wells with minimum flaring and require no additional energy source, but it also requires no future maintenance, as it uses static equipment (an ejector). This offers potential benefits and solutions in several aspects, such as environmental protection, energy intensity, cost saving, and reliability.
SGPD is a pioneer when it comes to finding economic solutions that could supplement Aramco’s efforts in protecting the environment. This technology has the potential to support our goals of greater efficiency and cost competitiveness, without compromising on safety or our efforts to protect the environment.