The enlightenment that human activities contribute to climatic changes all over the world has made every country and organization look for ways in which they can conserve the environment for future generations. Activities that consume high levels of non-renewable energy have been identified as the greatest contributors of carbon emissions.
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Carbon emissions are dangerous to the inhabitants of planet earth mainly because they deplete the ozone layer that acts as a buffer of high and dangerous rays from the sun (Wright 2011).
If the activities that contribute to the carbon emissions are not contained depletion of ozone layer will affect the climate negatively making the earth inhabitable. Efforts by the governments and other international organisations are involved in environmental conservation.
The essay compares the Saudi Arabia policies on carbon emissions and those of Australia. It looks into how both countries contribute to the increased carbon emissions and the strategies they are putting in place to reduce carbon emission.
The other aspect is that of contribution of oil and natural gas engineering in carbon emissions. The discussion unravels what the participants in the oil and gas mining are doing to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Contrasting the government of Australia initiatives with those of Saudi Arabia
The Australian government has been involved in environmental conservation through the effort of carbon initiatives. The government of Australia has embarked on a number of projects towards reduction of carbon emissions in the country to facilitate environmental conservation.
The first initiative by the government of Australia in the reduction of carbon energy is through the clean energy legislation. This is a legislation that gives details of how companies and the government need to work together to reduce carbon emissions.
Unlike Australia, Saudi Arabia does not have a legal framework or legislation outlining the county’s strategies and efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Saudi Arabia on the other hand has engaged on educating the people to reduce fuel consumption. The country is currently looking for a better and efficient way of using the resources (Minx & Wiedemann 2008).
The government agencies in Australia are some of the emitters of carbon and seek for the alternative sources of energy to conserve the environment. The other emitter is the oil and natural gas fields and production activities that emit carbon in large scale.
Saudi Arabia on the other hand is one of the emitters of carbon in terms of per capita carbon emissions mainly because fuel is readily available and affordable. The fact that Saudi Arabia does not have clean water desalinates seawater, a process that consumes a lot of energy and releases carbon to the atmosphere.
In a research by the Institute of Environmental Studies in the University of Jeddah, many people in the country are not aware of the effects of carbon emissions (Hanova 2007).
The legislation proposes funds to the agencies that assist in the renewable energy projects. The legislation also allows the government to invest in renewable energy projects (Hanova 2007).
The government of Australia has introduced land management initiatives where it funds forestation as well as farming programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The project uses technology to channel carbon emissions in the land rather than releasing it to the atmosphere.
It aims to reduce its carbon emission by twenty percent by the year 2020 (Haven 2007). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the other hand has embarked on a serious programme that aims at reducing carbon emissions by fifty percent by the year 2025.
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This program seeks to penalize organisations that emit high levels of carbon through carbon tax, which is tax imposed on organisations that exceed a particular limit on the amount of non-renewable energy (Hanova 2007).
The country is a major participant as a member of the Kyoto protocol. It has pressurised other countries especially China to reduce the carbon emissions. The company buy carbon credits from organisations and associations that engage in carbon trading.
The government of Australia seeks to create awareness of its conservation initiatives through various websites as well as the media by encouraging households to reduce energy consumption (Haven 2007). Saudi Arabia is not a proponent of the Kyoto protocol because it opposes measures to reduce carbon emissions mainly because non-renewable energy will affect the oil revenues.
Saudi Arabia is mainly dependent on oil to support the population of twenty nine million people. The country fears that reduction in oil consumption in future will affect the country negatively in consideration that the population of the country is still growing (Minx & Wiedemann 2008).
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia uses its influence to negotiate on reducing carbon emissions. The country has demanded compensation of the oil revenues if it is going to control production.
The country has been supportive of China and India refusal to comply with the international standards on environmental conservation. The country has argued that climatic changes caused by human activities (Hanova 2007).
However, the country has changed in the recent years because of China and India complying with the reduction of the global emissions in their countries leaving Saudi Arabia alone. The international pressures and the changing weather conditions in the country such as prolonged drought and floods have reduced the country’s concern on the issues of global emissions (Hanova 2007).
Contribution of oilfield engineering to carbon emissions
The oilfield engineering contributes to carbon emissions in two ways. The first one is through the fugitive emissions. These unintended emissions leak from storage places or transport channels and they find their way to the atmosphere.
The fugitive gases come from equipment leaks such as storage tanks, pipes and other industrial equipments. The estimates of these leakages are usually not verifiable as they may take time before being identified (Gardner 2011).
The other way in which oil field engineering contributes to the carbon emissions in the atmosphere is through the flaring gases. Flaring gas is the process of eliminating gases that are not for sale. This is the most significant contributor of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
It is estimated that one hundred and seventy billion cubic metres is released during the oil extraction process. Some of the gases released in the atmosphere include carbon dioxide and vapour (Gardner 2011).
Oilfield contribution to carbon reduction strategies
The first measure of reducing the carbon emissions emanating from field engineering is to institute measure of reducing the fugitive emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The oil filed engineers are working hard to reduce the leakages by instituting policies of repairing and monitoring the oil storage and transportation system to ensure that it is not leaking.
Monitoring the system makes it easy to identify leakage points and repair the leakage before the gases get their way into the atmosphere. Creating an efficient refinery that will successfully eliminate the gases from the oils and channel the green house gases elsewhere will be a step forward in eliminating the gases (Haven 2007).
The second strategy in dealing with the carbon emissions to contain the release of gases into the atmosphere is the development of measure to re-inject the gases to underground reservoirs. This involves creation of underground reservoirs where the gases that cannot be sold are stored rather than releasing them to the atmosphere.
The underground reservoirs are estimated to house over nine million metric tonnes of the gases. However, the reservoirs need constant monitoring to contain the risk of the gases leaking to the atmosphere (Gardner 2011).
This strategy of carbon capture and storage has received wide acclaim as their objective is to ensure that the depleted oil field are replaced with the carbon dioxide extracted during oil and gas mining. It involves storing emissions from large gas reservoirs and replacing the natural gases with the green house gases. The stored gases may be retrieved later when need arises (Gardner 2011).
The other measure adopted by the oilfield engineers to contain the release of the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is using Flare Gas Refinery Units to capture the waste gases for clean up.
These refinery units capture the two gases released during the process which are usually the carbon dioxide and water vapour. When they pass through a cooler, water vapour becomes liquid and the carbon dioxide remains as the only gas in the system (Gardner 2011).
The field is looking for uses of the gases by creating sodium bicarbonates and other carbonates to store the excessive carbon rather than releasing it to the atmosphere. The oil and gas field engineering is currently looking for the commercial use of the carbon stored in such reservoirs. This can help in environmental conservation through use of the artificial gases rather than the natural gases (Gardner 2011).
Environmental conservation is a major step towards guaranteeing the future generations a better environment. However, failure to conserve the environment will have adverse effects on the future generations. Green house gases emitted from non-renewable energy depletes the ozone layer resulting to global warming.
Global warming is associated with the increased desertification as well as the rise in sea level. Conservation of environment by reducing carbon emissions creates a better environment. While the current industrial progress has simplified life, it is a major cause of the environmental degradation. Seeking ways of reducing the effects of technology will be a major contribution to the environmental conservation.
1. Hanova, J 2007, ‘Strategic green house gas reduction in Saudi Arabia’, Environmental Research Letters, vol. 2, pp. 4.
Dr. John Hanova is a researcher in the department of extramural studies in the United States of America. He investigated the role of green house gases on the environment and human health.
The article is about how ground heat pump may replace air conditioners and home appliances that use heat. The research is extensive and highlights the alternative sources of renewable energy. The article discusses how Saudi Arabia can participate in reduction of Carbon emissions.
2. Haven J 2007, ‘Who benefits from carbon credits’, Environment Business, vol. 129, pp. 27.
Johnston Haven is a major contributor of environment business and looks into the business aspect of the carbon credits. He discusses the benefits and how the businesses can profit from the carbon credits in Australia.
He outlines what the government of Australia is doing to reduce carbon emissions. He represents nonprofessional view on the environmental issues.
3. Minx, J & Wiedmann, T 2008, A definition of carbon footprint: Ecological economics research trends, Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge.
Thomas Wiedmann and Jan Minx are in the Environment institute in the University of York. They have written on the issue of environmental conservation. In the paper, they define Carbon footprint and the ambitious plans that government is using to cope with the reality of changing climate.
They analyse criticism related to the carbon emissions and provide an objective view on carbon foot printing giving explanation of its advantages as well as disadvantages.
4. Gardner. T. 2011, Using oil to reduce carbon emissions. New York: McGraw Hill.
Thompson Gardner is a professor of State University of New York. He has written extensively on climate change and on measures necessary in controlling the release of green house gases into the atmosphere. In this book, he exemplifies on what the oil and gas engineers need to do to contain leakages and flare gases released during the mining process.
5. Wright, E 2011, ‘Carbon foot printing: Towards a universally accepted definition’, Carbon Management, vol. 2, pp. 61-72.
Professor Edward Wright is an American professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the prominent cosmologist who has studied the effects of the green house gases on the environment. He proposes ways in which the carbon management initiatives should be tackled by the government.