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Interconnectedness is key to reducing costs and emissions in the oil and gas industry. As a result, many companies are turning to the Internet of Things (IoT), which can be used to detect the levels of harmful gases being detected, especially methane, to help solve efficiency and ESG problems.
Particle and Qube have partnered to provide IoT services and technology to clients to help them reduce CO2, methane and other harmful emissions from their worksites. In the recent webinar, "Prevent Leaks and Reduce Emissions," Cyril Bernard, Particle's enterprise account executive, and Eric Wen, COO of Qube Technologies, explained how IoT Is helping energy companies deploy continuous emissions monitoring technology.
“We're able to provide a robust and flexible [system] essentially enabling technology that allows you and allows Qube to rapidly develop a solution that's very customized based on your needs,” Bernard said.
In terms of emissions management, IoT can help solve issues pervading the oil and gas industry, including quantifying and reducing emissions, measuring air quality, complying with ESG standards and regulations, and repairing leaks.
IoT technology can be used in the worksites through environmental sensing, equipment monitoring and remotely controlling machinery. Companies like Particle and Qube accomplish this through continuous monitoring.
To help the oil and gas industry manage their emissions, Qube has developed an end-to-end Axon monitoring system used to continuously detect emissions and leaks for several harmful gases, including CO2, H2S, NH3 and CH4.
“That [system] is sending that data into our cloud platform, where we actually analyze that data, and we infer what is actually happening on your site,” Wen said. “So rather than giving you part-per-million data over time, we can actually tell you how many leaks you have, how big those leaks are and whether those leaks are vented or fugitive emissions, and all of that's displayed on a web-based dashboard where you can investigate, track and report on your emissions profile on a quantitative basis.”
According to Wen, there are two things that differentiate Qube’s IoT technologies and services, especially since more companies start to focus more heavily on ESG initiatives in the wake of the COP26.
“We spent a lot of hard efforts developing the hardware itself; that's all built in house,” Wen said. “We are continuously monitoring for methane emissions as well as other gases. We're basically sampling and transmitting data every three or five seconds.
“We focused our design to do very, very low costs,” he continued. “There's a lot of different sensing technologies out there that offer greater rate granularity and greater resolution. When we looked at the market, we wanted something that's low cost that is accurate enough. We think it's more important to be able to detect between 2 to 3 PPM than 2.1 and 2.2 PPM.”
As regulations regarding emissions are getting increasingly stricter, IoT technologies and services are giving oil and gas operators a significant competitive edge. Although it’s relatively new to the energy market, according to Bernard, he predicts that it will soon be common place.
“We are seeing a lot more increased regulations around methane. We're currently working on other approvals and other jurisdictions, including in the U.S. as well,” Wen said. “But we're pretty proud because this allows our operators and our customers to meet their regulatory commitments in a cost-effective manner. It also helps the regulator in a way, in the sense that we are able to give them a level of data granularity that they never had before.”
“Ultimately, [this] gives organizations [within] oil and gas a competitive edge because not every everybody's using these yet,” Bernard added. “They will, but they haven't, and the big elephant in the room as evidenced with COP26 and the Paris Clean Air Act is people really have to get on the train and make sure they comply and enforce some pretty strict safeguards around dangerous gas. And obviously, the oil and gas industry is one of the main industries that's being named or called out on this.”
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