Colombian petroleum giant Ecopetrol, along with US based IT consultancy Accenture, and cloud provider Amazon AWS have jointly announced the release of a smart water management tool that will allow energy companies to utilize water more sustainably.
This new solution, hosted on an open platform, will address the entire water life cycle, from access to treatment, recycling/reuse and final disposal – allowing organizations to pursue water neutrality alongside and contribute to the goal of zero net carbon emissions for a sustainable future.
Working closely with Ecopetrol and AWS, Accenture developed the cloud-based water management solution, which will allow:
- Develop an industry platform that creates a single source of data, connecting existing information with volume analysis and water quality, as well as cost optimization throughout the value chain to support decision making.
- Apply advanced analysis to optimize water management and improve the integrated management of water efficiency.
- Build an ecosystem in which participants can share data and promote water reuse within and between industries.
The solution will help Ecopetrol reduce its water footprint by providing a better understanding of how to reduce the amount of fresh water it captures from local sources to improve its treatment; and increase the reuse of produced water and wastewater in refining, exploration and production processes.
“Our vision is for the energy industry to lead technology solutions to achieve water neutrality. Collaboration is needed to truly drive change because companies cannot solve environmental challenges alone. We will use this platform to accelerate our sustainability strategy, or T-ESG (technology, environment, social and governance), including our goals to reduce 66% of the fresh water withdrawn and zero discharges to surface waters by the year 2045, improving the environment of the communities where we operate,” said Felipe Bayón (above), Ecopetrol Group CEO.
Last year, Ecopetrol managed to eliminate all discharges from the Chichimene, Casabe, Llanito, Orito, Tisquirama and Provincia production fields, amounting to 7.4 million cubic meters per year of treated production water that no longer will be discharged into bodies of water.
As an open-source solution, other companies & entities are free to use and adapt it to their needs at no cost.
“Ecopetrol is a visionary in its aspiration to achieve water neutrality, and in helping the energy industry move towards this critical sustainability goal. We are honored to work with Ecopetrol and AWS on this industrial-grade solution, which we will continuously evolve as as technology advances and industries identify new applications,” said Julie Sweet, president and CEO of Accenture.
Ecopetrol adopted the commitment to become water neutral by 2045 through a 66% reduction in the fresh water collected for industrial use of its operations, eliminating discharges into freshwater bodies and offsetting 34% of residual water consumption.
“Water conservation and sustainable management is a priority for communities and businesses around the world, and by leveraging the breadth and depth of AWS, Ecopetrol and Accenture are tackling this challenge at scale. Like other sustainability initiatives, water conservation is a big data problem. By combining data from previously disparate sources across Ecopetrol’s operations and using AWS cloud-based machine learning and artificial intelligence services, this technology will enable companies across the energy industry to achieve water neutrality.” explained Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS.
Last year Ecopetrol also implemented various initiatives that allowed it to reduce collection volumes by approximately 3.9 million cubic meters annually. Noteworthy among this is the Casabe field project, located in Antioquia, Colombia, which reduced collection by achieving the recirculation of 100% of its production water.
The solution will extend beyond the energy sector to help companies in all industries overcome their water resource challenges. As an open-source solution, other companies, organizations, and even individuals are free to use and adapt it to their needs at no cost.