Efforts to make the oil and gas industry more sustainable are nothing new; however, given the influx of new players and technological changes in the market in the past few years, there is a strong possibility that we will begin to see production methods take on a much more environmentally-friendly slant.

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Of course, the main driver for Ziyen Energy is to be legally compliant. But, while this is undoubtedly important, this doesn’t mean that we don’t take our responsibilities to the environment seriously too.

With several of our senior team hailing from the Highlands, we are fully aware of the importance of protecting the natural environment wherever in the world we find ourselves working.

With our oil contracts in the Illinois Basin – straddling Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois – the different state legislation relating to new emission testing requirements are an important consideration, and Ziyen Energy not only recognizes this but is also fully committed to engaging with the U.S. environmental departments to deliver necessary compliance.

Ziyen has strived to take numerous aspects during the critical design process, such as well fluid sampling techniques, into account to try and lower our own carbon footprint as well as reduce emissions.

Like many other young firms, Ziyen has embraced new technology to attempt to tackle long-standing industry challenges.

One of these involves capturing kinetic energy during the vital production phase and using it to generate electricity to power the motor for drilling equipment. The immediate benefits have been to significantly lower the amount of electricity required.

In turn, our company’s environmental footprint has dropped a long way – as have production costs, which brings potential benefits for these techniques to be rolled out more broadly across the industry.

Another innovation we have successfully trialled has seen the use of monitoring control systems as a means of minimising time lost to bad weather or travel between remote sites.

Particularly with our work in the Illinois Basis, our engineers regularly have to track back and forth between operations in different states to check on various wells that can sometimes be hundreds of miles apart.

By having the relevant data at your fingertips, via your phone or tablet, we can be much more efficient – and on a larger scale this could have important implications for the industry if adopted more widely.

In short, greater diversification of electrical and energy portfolios by companies, like Ziyen, has an important role to play in utilising and increasing renewable energy resources, whilst further improving efficiencies for all of us.

Alastair Caithness is CEO of Ziyen, a Scottish-American software and energy company which has operations in Aberdeen and Inverness.