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  • Tim Highfield

emissions management, an important step towards decarbonisation

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

The need to reduce the impact of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industry is paramount to achieving the COP 21 Paris Agreement targets. According to the US EPA’s Global Emissions by sector research energy, heat production and industrial processes account for over 50% of all GHG emissions [1]. Whilst power generation is a significant proportion of this, and being addressed by progressively with new renewable energy sources, other sectors and industries’ facilities will be operating for many years and therefore their emissions need to be understood and addressed.

io consulting’s recently established emissions management, decarbonisation and energy efficiency business continues to grow. These services are fundamental in supporting io’s vision to aid our clients to shape and accelerate the energy transition for affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for all.

In the last year the team has undertaken multiple projects the most significant being:

  • reviewing of existing GHG calculations on a major gas processing facility, leading to options for the emission reduction,

  • developing an emissions estimation software,

  • trials of technologies for methane detection and quantification (supporting OGMP2.0 and the proposed EU Methane Regulations),

  • assessing both the carbon and energy intensity and energy efficiency of an existing offshore facility with subsequent recommendations and roadmap for the reduction of emissions and improvement of energy efficiency,

  • assessing the options to reduce flaring on a major onshore oil gathering and processing facility, and

  • developing a marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) model for a major OEM.

io’s skills are cross sector, from oil & gas to chemicals, power, mining and beyond, across both greenfield and brownfield projects. The reality is that numerous existing facilities have many years of operations remaining and that life extensions are also likely. This means that clients must review their existing asset portfolio to reduce emissions in order to retain access to lower-cost finance (corporate finance as well as finance for new projects and upgrades and to maintain lower insurance premiums) as the finance sector also looks to reduce its exposure to climate related risks and decarbonise its portfolio. This means that there is a need to act now, to make reductions in the short-term as well as a more significant change in the longer-term.

On existing facilities it’s heartening to see a change in the way emissions are being viewed, from the annual/quarterly/monthly emissions reporting to understanding the emissions, the variance and the ultimate root cause. io is able to analyse vast quantities of design and operating data to assess the performance of a facility and the key items of equipment in that facility – for many clients this is a largely untapped resource for emissions reduction and decarbonisation. This allows io to assess how each item of equipment is operating compared to its original design and how this compares to a new state-of-the-art product for the operating duty.

By better understanding the causes of emissions io is able to assess and recommend a range of options to develop a roadmap to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. These solutions can include:

  • changes to standard operating procedures,

  • changes to maintenance procedures,

  • installation of digital technologies,

  • overhaul/servicing of equipment,

  • minor modifications to equipment and/or the facility, and

  • major modifications and upgrades, e.g. electrification and CCUS.

io’s portfolio of services for emissions management, decarbonisation and energy efficiency continues to evolve as clients needs are changing alongside their decarbonisation and net-zero goals. However, on brownfield facilities the ability to manage and interpret large quantities of data will remain a key challenge. io’s technical and domain experts work alongside data scientists to better understand clients data and draw insights to plant and equipment performance and to this end io will continue to develop more algorithms such as those for virtual flowmeters. Many of the solutions have evolved in oil & gas due to the global impact the sector has but they can be applied to other energy intensive industries. Equally energy efficiency applies across the energy transition: if 100% renewable power is being used it should still be used efficiently.

io’s team is looking forward to the challenges ahead for both existing and new clients wherever they are on their decarbonisation, energy efficiency and net-zero journey.

To discuss how io consulting can assist in your emissions reduction and decarbonisation journey please contact Tim Highfield, Industrial Decarbonisation ( Tim is also presenting at the Baker Hughes Annual Meeting 2023; please contact him if you would like to meet and discuss your emissions challenges during the event.

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