Occidental uses energy to produce oil and gas and manufacture basic chemicals to generate steam and electricity, and to conduct other business activities. Occidental reports overall energy use net of the amount of energy consumed to generate electricity exported to the grid and adjusted by Occidental's equity share in the facilities we operate. Occidental has been successful in controlling energy consumption, achieving a nine percent reduction since 2012. We have achieved nearly a 12 percent reduction in energy intensity per pound of production over the same period.
Occidental uses energy to grow oil production through improved oil recovery (IOR) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects and to operate chemical manufacturing plants. In its oil and gas operations, Occidental's energy consumption per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) has improved by over seven percent since 2012 as oil and gas activities have focused on larger assets that are more efficient to operate. Generally, however, the energy demand per barrel increases over time, as more intensive production methods, such as water and steam flooding and carbon dioxide (CO2) EOR, are used to recover oil and gas from existing fields.
Occidental applies several strategies to increase energy efficiency and reduce air emissions, even while expanding our production from mature fields that require more energy per BOE. We use natural gas as our primary energy source and actively pursue opportunities to capture and sell natural gas that would otherwise be flared or vented. Occidental operates several natural-gas-fired cogeneration facilities to supply electric power and steam for our operations. Occidental does not own or operate any coal-fired power generation facilities. In addition, Occidental continues to devote capital to install energy-efficient electrical equipment and distribution systems to provide electric power for operations that formerly required gas or diesel engines.
OxyChem's energy consumption per pound of product also improved over the 2012-2015 period. Six OxyChem plants received American Chemistry Council (ACC) Responsible Care® Energy Efficiency Awards in 2015 for successfully implementing energy efficiency initiatives through technical innovations, creative projects or novel procedures or actions. OxyChem's winning entries were:
Hydrogen Utilization in Cogeneration – Battleground, Texas
Hydrogen Recovery – Convent, Louisiana
Steam Condensate Recovery – Ingleside, Texas
Cogeneration Air Inlet Filter Modification – Taft, Louisiana
Reduced Horsepower for Plant Air Compressor Motor – La Porte, Texas
Replacement of Quench Overhead Heat Recovery Interchangers – La Porte, Texas
Combined, energy savings resulting from these OxyChem projects in 2015 equated to more than 375,000 million British Thermal Units (MMBTU), which contributed to a reduction of 24,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. A leading proponent of the ACC's Responsible Care® program since its inception in 1988, OxyChem continues to contribute actively to the program's success in enhancing safety, reducing emissions, energy use and waste generation, and improving product stewardship.