Combating Climate Change – At the Edge of New Frontier

Whenever we discuss global climate change issues, our immediate focus goes to use of fossil fuels as primary sources of energy. One estimates indicate contribution of energy related usages of about 72 % towards global emissions. India’s share in global CO2 emissions are about 7 % ( 6.65 % , 2909 MtCO2e in 2013) to which 70% comes from energy related usages.

Fossil fuels , COAL , OIL and GAS remain for long , the major constituents of global primary energy basket and may continue to remain significant sources over next three decades at least. As per World Energy Outlook 2017 of IEA , current share of fossil fuels in global primary energy mix is 81% and is estimated to remain 75% by 2040. Among fossil fuels share of Oil and Gas will vary from 54% to 53% during this period. Share of coal will decline from 27% to 22%.

In the recent MOP&NG released ‘Report of Working Group on Enhancing Refining Capacity by 2040’, the contribution of fossil fuels is projected to rise by 7% i.e. from 77.4% to 84.2% in Transition case. Share of gas will double from 6.1% to 12.1% by 2040 with marginal fall in oil share from 24.5% to 23.1%. The report also forecast refining capacity of India of 533 MMTPA , more than two times of the existing capacity by 2040 to meet internal oil demand.

Whatever forecast we may see, fossil fuels and so is for oil & gas , will continue to play prominent roles in meeting the rising energy demand of India’s growing economy.

Meeting the rising demand of oil & gas but managing the green gas house gaseous emissions at the same time is therefore a delicate balance and a challenge for Oil & Gas sector in India.

With rising complexity and size of Indian refineries, improvement in energy efficiency is the key approach in emission management. This while on one side reduce emissions from petroleum installations, also enhance products yield from refineries which generally consume 6 to 10% of oil for internal use in boilers and heaters. It is because of this , climate management could be a profitable venture in many cases.

As a part of national energy efficiency improvement policy , BEE introduced PAT-II scheme where 18 refineries were included as DCs. MBN targets set in the scheme have to be achieved in the period 2016-19. Scheme envisage the reduction of 1.1 million toe of energy savings which is about 6% (5.95%) of the total 18.5 million toe energy consumed by these refineries. Oil & Gas sector has included targets for non DC refineries also. This will reduce CO2 emissions over 3.0 million tonnes per annum.

Solar energy is being used in storage & despatch locations and also in retail outlets.

Indian refiners are spending Rs. 90,000 cr. for up-grading their configurations. It is well understood that the Pipeline are best way to transport all types of petroleum products from source of production to source of distribution. Rail or road transportation should be only for last mile stone connectivity. Energy consumption in pipeline transportation, depending on individual case configuration could be as low 1/8th of rail and 1/50th of road transport for the same MT- KM. The estimates by the ‘Report of Working Group on Enhancing Refining Capacity by 2040’ indicate that Tonne-KM % of transportation through Pipelines with current perspective projects will increase to 62.7 % by 2029-30 from 35.9% in 2015-16. However, pipelines projects , being linear in nature , still face delays due to multiple-agency clearances. Fast track approvals will expedite the implementation of Pipelines projects , both in Liquid and Gas services reducing burden on long haul road transport of petroleum products.

Higher use of gas as a source of primary energy will substantially improve the calorie contents of energy mix and impact GHG emissions from static as well as mobile users both. At present , contribution of gas in Indian energy basket is around 6.5%. Government is taking steps to increase this. MOP&NG ‘Report of Working Group on Enhancing Refining Capacity by 2040’ estimate this % contribution (of Gas) to go up to 12.1% in Transition (moderate) scenario and 15.9% in high optimistic scenario. OMCs are using ‘LNG at Door Step’ approach to supply LNG to industrial users. FIPI with support of member OMCs is also doing a study project on use of LNG as a fuel for long haul heavy duty vehicles and the development of blue corridors. Project ‘Urja Ganga’, the 2,539-km-long pipeline project, at estimated to cost Rs 12,940 crore was launched in October 2016 to supply gas to Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. Recently PNGRB launched IXth CGD round covering 174 districts in 20 states, 2 UTs and 29 percent of the country’s population.

To develop a gas based economy in India, FIPI in partnership with CII and NGS has initiated a national campaign ‘Gas4India’, which was launched on September 6, 2016. Gas4India is a unified cross-country, multimedia, multi-event campaign to communicate the national, social, economic and ecological benefits of using natural gas as the fuel of choice to every citizen who uses, or will use in the near future, gas in any way.

In off-shore Up-stream segment , flare gas has been reduced to 2.5% from 5 % a few years back through operational and technological means. The surplus gas has been made available for sale.

However, development of infrastructure for gas import , re-gasification and distribution network need to fast tracked to harvest the benefits in due time.

To develop low carbon foot print energy mix , OMCs are also working on 2G ethanol production from agro-waste. Twelve projects are on way to produce ethanol and blend in gasoline. Government has launched Bio-fuel Policy 2018 to facilitate bio-fuel productions, distribution and use directly or in blend.

Oil and Gas sector is not limiting its GHG control and sustainability actions to itself. As a supplier of energy to the nation , the sector is also ensuring availability of eco-friendly fuels to the end users sectors like transportation , industrial fuels etc. According to the available data , transport sector contribute 20% towards emissions from energy usages. India Green Gas House Emission 2007 find this contribution in India at 12.9%. As of now, this figure must have gone higher.

Indian OMCs are gearing up to provide BS VI fuels in the Indian markets by April 2020 to ensure compliance to BS VI emission norms from automobiles. In NCT , BS VI fuels are available from April 2018. Refineries are also working on various options to produce 95 RON gasoline for cars to improve their fuel efficiency and further reduction in emissions.

A massive project with social and climate combat benefits , ‘PM Ujawala Yojana’ was launched in May 2016 with a target to provide 5.0 crores free LPG connections in BPL and rural houses. The aims are to reduce bio-mass consumptions thus provide cleaner and healthy environment in the house . The targets were revised to 8 crores connection by 2020 with a budget of Rs. 13000 cr. So far more than 4.53 crore connections have been released.

FIPI and TERI recently concluded a study on the Climate Risk Assessment for Oil and Gas Sector. The study through modelling, has identified region - wise hot spots where the establishments of this industry may face directly or through supply chain disruption , the climate change related risks like scarcity of water, floods , heat waves , cyclones , storms surge etc. in near future

Carbon capture & Sequestration (CCS) process is another way of combating climate change. It is a potential means of mitigating the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global warming and ocean acidification.

With Coal and other Fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy in next three decades, Carbon Capture & Storage / Sequestration requires to be developed further technologically and in economically viable ways.