462158 Application of a Shale Environmental Footprint Optimization Tool to Enhance Operational Excellence– a Case Study of Selecting Process Fuels with Lower Cost and Less Potential for Impacts  to Power Chevron Operations

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 8:51 AM
Union Square 13 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Hong Jin1, Janet Peargin1, Abby Kirchofer2 and Oliver Schuller3, (1)Chevron, Houston, TX, (2)Chevron, San Francisco, CA, (3)ThinkStep, Stuttgart, Germany

Unconventional resources represent significant business opportunities; however, their development is subject to much public and environmental scrutiny. Currently there are over 400 local bans and 2 state bans on hydraulic fracturing. Many countries besides the U.S. have placed moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing. The challenge and opportunity that the oil and gas industry is facing is: how to unlock the potential in unconventionals, achieve better economic and operational performance, while still fulfilling our commitment to communities and the environment.

The Shale Environmental Footprint Optimization Tool is a tool developed at Chevron to enable the integration of environmental considerations in process design and decision making related to shale development. It simulates shale operations at the play level, where material and energy flows of in-scope processes are aggregated together and converted to quantitative environmental indicators (i.e. energy consumption, water consumption, and air emissions). It is built with a commercial life cycle assessment (LCA) software (GaBi® Professional) that contains >4000 datasets, and adopts international standards (ISO 14040-10444). The tool also allows sensitivity and uncertainty analysis to better assess and interpret results under varying reservoir and operational conditions.

This tool has been used by business units to better characterize their operations, assess potential environmental risks associated with different decision alternatives, and understand the trade-offs. It also provides them a more holistic view across the value chain, and help them pinpoint major contributors to the total footprint. These insights help business partners prioritize R&D efforts, make informed decisions on mitigation options, and ultimately lead to reduced environmental impact. Externally, the tool can be used address stakeholder concerns and for benchmarking our performance.

In the presentation, we’ll show how this tool has been used to assess real world situations (using field data and business scenarios) and generate information to support a critical decision – evaluating and identifying the preferred alternative fuel to power drilling rigs. Optimizing the selection of process fuels could result in significant environmental, social, and economic benefits. One of the scenarios we’ll include is to switch from LNG to gas produced in the field for power generation, which may reduce truck traffic on the roads. Reducing trucks is beneficial to safety (MVC, avoid backing/maneuvering incident on well pad), cost (hauling and road repair), land disturbance (less roads and processing units), and emissions (air pollutants & spills). In some locations, it also means improved reliability and fewer burdens on business continuity.


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See more of this Session: Advances in Life Cycle Optimization for Process Development
See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division