Environmental Technology in the Oil Industry

Today, I am going to discuss a big issue in this not very long post (I prefer to simple and concise style, actually). At first, please allow me introducing a book with the same name as this post, Environmental Technology in the Oil Industry by Stefan T. Orszulik. Click the hyperlink, you can be redirected to this book on google books. You can read part of this book for free. OK, let’s come back to this topic. As we know, the oil industry usually was divided into three parts as upstream (exploration and production), midstream (pipeline and transportation), and downstream (refinery). Each part of the industry has at least one common thing, which is environmental technology. Ten years ago, I earned the first degree of mine, B.S. in Environmental Engineering. The four years’ study made me always have an environmental mind. But, the problem at that time I faced was that I did not know much of any other industry despite of the environmental knowledge. For example, I have learned how to do physiochemical or biochemical wastewater treatment, but totally I had no idea where the wastewater come from. If I knew, maybe we can save some money and energy, even treat the wastewater better. People always complain the oil industry is dirty, politically or physically. Yes, maybe. But we cannot ignore the importance of oil to human being. Thus I chose petroleum engineering as my second degree when I entered the graduate school. I hope through my efforts, the upstream oil industry could less damage the environment. Microbial enhanced oil recovery was my first choice. In addition, it was close to my undergraduate study. Maybe I forgot to tell you the function of microorganisms in oil industry in previous posts. In upstream oil industry, the microorganisms could help geologists to find out where the oil locates (exploration) and increase the production of oil with MEOR. The more importance of microorganisms in oil industry is doing with the wastewater. A book named Petroleum Microbiology by Ronald M. Atlas (1984) offers a comprehensive review on this. The tough (I am not sure it is or not) environmental law requires less damage to the environment. That is to say, petroleum engineers and other engineers need take great efforts to reach this goal. Early today I received a message about the system that could cap deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico in a hurry developed by a new not-for-profit firm Marine Well Containment Company, funded $ 1 billion by four oil giants, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell. The Deepwater Horizon explosion caused an ecological disaster in Gulf of Mexico, but also improved the technology. That is the charm of engineering, right?


One Response to Environmental Technology in the Oil Industry

  1. chimara says:

    I’m a 400 level student of federal university of technology owerri Nigeria studying Environmental Technology.Plz i want to highlight the roles of an environmentalist in the oil industry. And ways in which i can improve my self as a student in the environmental field .Thanks.my email is chimarai@yahoo.com.and my cell phone number is 07037594343

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