Net Zero Basin

Net Zero Basin

Orcadian is fully committed to supporting the OGA in its work to enable the achievement of the UK government’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The OGA has set a goal to drive the industry to net zero carbon dioxide emissions across the UKCS as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, Government forecasts show that oil and gas will remain an important part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future, including in a net zero emissions scenario. It is important to remember that no-one is aiming for absolute zero. Our role in this transition process, of which we are but a small part, is to maximise value from the licences granted to us by the Government (the MER central obligation) and to do that as cleanly and efficiently as possible to meet the continuing demand for oil and gas.

Polymer flooding dramatically reduces carbon dioxide emissions for a viscous oil development. Analysis of  Environmental Statements shows that emissions for a viscous oil waterflood can be over 30 kgCO2/bbl, which is consistent with our own analysis of a waterflood scheme for Pilot. On the same basis, polymer flooding results in emissions of just 14 kgCO2/bbl and we have identified opportunities to reduce these emissions to about 6 kgCO2/bbl by applying innovative process engineering techniques and utilising highly efficient power generators. These emissions could be halved again, to less than 3 kgCO2/bbl if we can utilise power from a local wind farm or tie-in to a future grid connection with much improved emissions.

Our priority is to reduce actual emissions associated with the development of our reserves and resources. We think it important to look for solutions that bring an economic benefit as well as reducing the tally of emissions be they scope 1, scope 2 or scope 3.

Evolution of potential carbon dioxide emissions from a Pilot development

To set the emissions performance of the Pilot development in context we compared the combined Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 (up to the refinery gate) emissions for Pilot with a data set which was prepared by a team, largely based at Stanford University (Masnadi et al, Science, 2018). The dataset comprises nearly nine thousand producing oilfields which the authors believed represented 98% of global oil production in 2015. On a comparable basis the Pilot development would emit 1.36g CO2eq/MJ. Based upon this analysis, we believe Pilot would lie within the lowest 5% of the world’s oil supply when ranked by emissions.