Understand the importance of environmental management in the oil industry and what impacts it has on this sector.
WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Environmental management is linked to activities that start from the intelligent use of natural resources, aiming to reduce the damage caused by the exploitation of nature by companies from different sectors. The objective of these management activities is to disseminate sustainable practices, aiming to balance and monitor business interests, minimizing harmful impacts to the environment.
These concerns about environmental impacts were still due to the progress in the industry over the last 20 years in relation to the exploitation of one of the greatest natural resources, oil and gas. Due to these changes, the growing care with the results of the extraction of these resources has become a topic discussed worldwide, because the degradation of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, etc., will impact the future of the whole world.
It is important to point out that most of these changes are due to the fact that legislation has become increasingly strict in meeting these demands, in addition to an even greater awareness on the part of civil society, which increasingly demands changes in different economic sectors. In the oil and gas sector, these concerns and requirements would be no different.
HOW IS THE EXTRACTION OF OIL AND GAS?
In the case of oil, we refer to reservoirs formed millions of years ago through the accumulation of organic matter, and which may be located in seas, deeper lakes, etc. In this scenario, depressions appeared in the earth’s crust, responsible for creating an accumulation of sediments and organic matter.
The first step in oil exploration is prospecting, that is, the detailed study of the soil and subsoil, carried out by a professional in the area, that is, a geologist, who will determine after the analysis whether or not this area may have a area for extraction. To determine if there is a possible area for exploration, the professional can use different equipment, such as a tracking of characteristic variations in the soil, for example, since this underground flow causes characteristic variations in the soil.
Among other different ways of exploring these areas, one of the most aggressive to the environment is the use of explosives in the area, since, as it is a form of noise pollution, it can impact animals with more sensitive hearing, such as example, whales.
After determining a possible area where there will be an oil reserve, that location is demarcated, either by GPS or, in the case of possible maritime reserves, by buoys in the water. The next step is to drill a first well, which will determine whether activities at the site will continue, since it is through this first drilling that the existence of oil can be proven.
This drilling happens in different ways when we refer to land or sea. On land, they happen through drilling towers, a robust structure that aims to support the weight and torque of the drill string during activity in oil exploration wells. In maritime areas, platforms also known as continental shelves are used.
When the first drilling shows promise, it is possible to drill other holes at the site, in order to know the extent of the basin and even if the extraction process is viable.
AND WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR?
As it is a process that causes a lot of damage to the exploration regions, it is necessary for companies to understand the short and long term impact that these operations have on the environment.
In principle, these changes are beneficial not only for the companies that deal with the drilling and extraction of soil components, but for other sectors of the industry as well, which will be providing a more sustainable supply to society. It is important to point out, however, that not all companies respect these processes and rules that benefit the environment, and therefore stricter inspection is necessary.
It is also important to point out that, with technological advances, the access and dissemination of information has been increasing, making people increasingly aware of the decisions taken and the impact they generate. According to data collected by FIEP, 87% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that are sustainable, and therefore, it is in the interest of organizations to review their postures to connect with the target audience.
These impacts affect the entire production chain, benefiting not only the company that produces it, but also other participants, such as sellers of derivative products.
Apart from that, environmental management also influences issues in the work environment itself, modifying the way in which some stages of production are carried out, even avoiding work accidents, for example.
AND WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FOUND IN THE SECTOR?
Changes in the law or greater inspection are of little use if company managers are not concerned with environmental impacts. It is first necessary to have a change of positioning within the company itself, I understand the importance of having an effective environmental management in the production chain.
In addition, it is necessary for the company to make employees and consumers aware of products derived from natural extraction processes, such as oil and gas, to pay attention to conscious consumption, in addition to demanding positions from the industry as a whole on the impacts long-term environmental
It is important to understand that the consumption or extraction of any resource, has an impact, carrying positive and negative points. In this way, buying from an environmentally conscious company will affect not only the environment as a whole, but also society and the economy as a whole.
Conscious consumers know the power they have in their hands when choosing to buy from a company with good production practices. In addition, being at the last stage of the production and consumption chain, civil society also has a responsibility that is to minimize the impacts of consumption on the planet, avoiding the waste of essential raw materials, such as water, energy, oil, gas. , etc.
Therefore, reflect on your company’s environmental impacts, rethink the attitudes adopted by your employees, and also implement sustainable forms of management within your production chain.
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