How can energy management contribute to a more environmentally friendly oil- and gas production? – The many little things, says Anne Tone Fjermestad, Senior Environment Engineer in Vår Energi. 

Energy management can also be defined as energy efficiency improvement. It is about how we operate the equipment and the processes of our installations, how we maintain our equipment, procedures and strategies, and actively exploring how to make all of them more efficient. Meaning, using less energy, which leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions. 

Energy management is one of the key measures to achieve our sustainability objectives and so contribute to oil production with lower emissions.

Continuous improvement yields sustainable energy production

It is when focus is maintained on great solutions for operations and projects that enables us to come a long way with smaller steps, and continuous improvement. In addition to always being on the lookout for new ways to solve problems, and taking in the knowledge of new technology that can provide potential improvements and innovation. 

– It is in the old Norwegian saying: “many small streams make a big river”. The great thing about working with energy management is that just starting to talk about energy management helps, and then there are the times when you strike gold! Suddenly the energy- and emission cut is higher than expected and we see the greenhouse gas emissions reduce greatly, says an excited Anne Tone Fjermestad.  

– Working with energy management is incredibly motivational. Many of the measurements can often be executed without large amounts of work or technical modifications, which quickly yields an effect. Other times we have to work long term and “brick by brick” to achieve great results. Energy management provides a measurable value for the environment and climate, as well as value on the bottom line. It is a win-win for all parties. This is how we will have a more sustainable energy production, while also serving the worlds need for energy, she explains.

Energy management is built upon the principal that everyone contributes with their expertise, the ability to see new solutions and their commitment. Vår Energi stands strong here!

– Efficient energy management occurs when there is dedication and expertise to recognise new solutions, or ask questions such as “why are we really doing it this way?”. Many of the projects we have successfully accomplished is because our skilled operative specialist offshore and the engineers on land have found more efficient way to do things. They ask questions I would never have thought of, says Fjermestad. And then I ask questions they have not thought of either. Together on the same team we are the strongest.

– You also need the right attitude on all management levels, and a strong ownership to delivering energy management in all the operative departments in the company. At Vår Energi we live by the saying “Will to win!”. And through structured and systematic labour, our measures are accepted for our projects, she explains.

What have we achieved? 

And what is the result? Energy management are measures and projects mainly on our installations. Our biggest victories have been within flaring reductions, and by reviewing the energy usage for gas compression and water injection. By making our use of energy efficient here, we have been able to achieve great cuts in emissions. 

– We have our own flaring strategy that has had a great effect on Balder, Ringhorne and Goliat. On just a little more than two years, from fall of 2020 to the end of 2022, we managed to cut 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions from flaring on Balder. And all by simple measures, great strategies and increased awareness offshore and onshore, explains Fjermestad. 

– Because the flaring strategy increases awareness and ownership of the control room at sea, we can also manage any ad hoc situations. The operators continuously survey the process and the well stream, and has a plan for actions in case something unforeseen happens. By following simple procedures and following the plan, we can increase the volume being flared when it is possible safety wise. In addition they will be able to quicker notice an increased need for corrective maintenance. Such as on valves, which in turn reduces the emissions, she continues. 

It is all about observing and focusing on the little things continuously over time – whenever they may occur. This is how we have achieved a great effect, by surveying the energy usage and the process around water injection for example. This is because our operators at sea and our process engineers on land have the expertise to ask the important questions. Questions such as: “why are the injection settings locked to only one speed, when it can be adjusted to the actual need?” We also have great benefit of a close collaboration with our suppliers in this type of work, and receive much great input and opportunities from them as well. 

– Think three things at once! 

How should we achieve a more environmentally friendly oil- and gas extraction? Vår Energy is highly passionate about the energy transitions to renewable energy sources be made so it secures the world need for energy. That is why we regard oil- and gas production as important also in the future. But on our way to the energy transition, we all have to do our part to minimise our global footprint. 

– We are all on the same team, which is the great thing in all of this. From our operators in the control room to suppliers. And to do a little every day, we can achieve a lot. It is then no longer two thoughts in our heads at once, but three-four-five because we are always looking for new solutions, tells Fjermestad. 

– With energy management there are three things we are focused on; environmental considerations, business considerations and maintenance/operations management. Everything is connected, she finishes. Energy management is about systematics, knowledge and optimisation – and last but not least will. At Vår Energi we ask the question – What can we achieve?