Thomas Welton - Proactive Approach to Environmental Responsibility in Product Development

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      Welton, Thomas Donovan, Van Domelen, Mary Susan -

      Abstract: Abstract Environmental regulations   vary from region to region and from country to country. The North   Sea regulations are some of the most stringent in ensuring that   environmentally acceptable chemicals are used in the oil and gas   industry. Although it is not imperative that North Sea   regulations be adhered to in other regions, being mindful of   these regulations early in the product development cycle is both   a corporate responsibility and good business practice. Many   exploration and production companies are adopting initiatives   which drive environmental consciousness. It is critical that the   service sector respond. This paper describes the methods that   have been used to proactively develop the most environmentally   acceptable acid-stimulation chemicals while balancing local   regulations and business drivers. The products being highlighted   are acidizing chemicals, which are a particular challenge since   it is difficult to develop chemicals that function in highly   corrosive environments yet have acceptable biodegradation   characteristics or toxicity levels. In 2005, a study evaluated   the feasibility of removing objectionable chemical components   from the service company's acid stimulation product line. Based   on the result of the study, a systematic program to prioritize   product replacement based upon the greatest environmental impact   has been established. In 2008, a follow-up study was conducted to   evaluate progress and to expand the scope of objectionable   chemical components considered to include the Gulf of Mexico and   operator-driven criteria. This systematic program has evolved   into a process to evaluate the environmental acceptability of all   components of new products during the development cycle. Several   product-development case studies will be described. One study   focuses on product development for the North Sea, a second for   the Gulf of Mexico, and a third for Asia. These products were   deployed globally as a result of their exceptional performance,   much-improved environmental characteristics, and   cost-effectiveness. Introduction Every year, greater emphasis is   placed on using the most environmentally acceptable products that   are available that meet the desired performance criteria.   However, what is acceptable is not always a global standard. In   this paper, the term "environmentally acceptable?? will be used.   However, terms like "environmentally acceptable,??   "environmentally friendly,?? "environmentally compliant,??   "green,?? and the like have no universally recognized or enforced   definition (Reddy 2001). This leaves developers with the task of   creating products that meet a myriad of regional rules that, in   some instances, might even conflict with each other.

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