A Review of Climate Change Impacts to Oil Sector Critical Services and Suggested Recommendations for Industry Uptake
- introduce a state-of-the-art review of CC impacts to the oil industry, as well as, mitigation and adaptation measures;
- identify the exposure -of the oil industry to EXE and assess the oil infrastructure’s vulnerability to CC, through the development of a hazard threshold matrix, based on a consistent approach for capturing the critical event parameters;
- explore the oil sector’s dependencies and interdependencies with other critical sectors;
- set the basis for implementing an impact assessment framework for related studies;
- provide recommendations for future research activities and industry uptakes
2. Research Methodology
2.1. Literature Review Methodology
2.2. Elements of the Oil Industry CC Resilience Framework
2.2.1. Overview of the Oil Sector Critical Services
2.2.2. Taxonomy of the Oil Infrastructure
2.2.3. Climate Hazards
2.2.4. Impacts and Vulnerability
- direct impacts on the main processes of the oil infrastructure (loss of functionality, service, and operations)
- loss of infrastructure (e.g., destruction failures)
- cascading effects from other CI sectors such as electricity/transport/water that affect the integrity and operations of oil assets
- changes in the provision of “services and products” to the society such as demand and consumption patterns
- indirect impacts (including externalities such as societal costs)
2.2.5. CC Risk and Adaptation Assessment Framework
3. Analysis of CC Risks to Oil CI
3.1. Literature Review of CC Risk Assessment Frameworks
3.2. Oil Sector’s Dependencies and Interdependencies with Other Critical Sectors
3.3. Τhe CC Impacts to the Oil Industry
3.4. Adaptation Measures
4. Recommendations for Industry Uptakes
- Anticipatory capacity, linked to a better understanding of risks at different temporal and spatial scales, early warning systems, and making risk and emergency.
- Absorptive capacity, linked to increasing defenses and reducing vulnerabilities accounting for structural, technology, processes and operational domains
- Coping capacity, linked to enhancing cooperation and mounting effective response within- and across- organizational boundaries during crises
- Restorative capacity linked to faster business recovery
- Adaptive capacity linked to augmenting the sector’s potential to adapt to emerging threats and challenges and be able to invest in new capabilities (e.g., through research)
Conflicts of Interest
|Hazard||Type of Asset/Per-Process||Vulnerability (H/M/L)||Threshold||Source|
|Temperatures (Hot)||Refinery vacuum system and fractionation plant crystallizers cooling systems||Medium||32 °C is the maximum designed cooling water temperature|||
|Thermal plant||Small||Loss of capacity by 1.0–20% for each 1 °C higher than 20 °C||[124,125]|
|Maximum water temperature at discharge should be 30 °C.|||
|Personnel||(**)||Heat index from 32 °C to 39 °C can lead to moderate risk, while heat index higher than 46 °C cause extreme risk to employees safety||[161,162]|
|Oil demand||Medium||Reduced oil demand by 12.0% per 1 °C increase|||
|Temperatures (Cold)||Oil pipelines damages (oil transportation and distribution might be interrupted & delayed)||High||Arctic coast had shown a tendency to increase, more than the average rate of 1.0–2.0 m per year (*)|||
|Freezing of coolant lines to a chemical reaction vessel||Medium||<0 °C|||
|Cycles of freezing and thawing may threaten the structural integrity of lines and other processing equipment||Medium||<0 °C|||
|Oil pipelines (burst pipes or failures of pipelines)||Medium||(*)|||
|Electricity lines/hydrogen plant/distillation equipment/fluidic catalytic cracking unit damages||High||−7.2 °C|||
|Working conditions, maintenance jobs at oil extraction sites||Temperatures in the range of −30 °C|||
|Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity||Storage tanks||Medium||Failure and loss of containment of the storage tanks contents (*)|||
|Drainage systems to remove spills & the fire protection system||High||Threshold: rainfall of 1 h rainfall with a 1.0% chance of exceedance in 100 year period|||
|Flooding and damaging indirectly several of the transportation modes, leading to oil transportation/distribution interruptions and delays||Medium||50 mm/24 h are able to flood roads, 100 mm/24 h can pose issues to street traffic, reducing visibility and flooding passageways. At 150 mm/24 h, road constructions might cause failure, whilst bridges can be flooded, and roads might be inundated||[40,94,135]|
|High winds/Hurricanes||Pipelines||High||26 m/s|||
|Large vessels||Low||10 m/s|
|Large vessels||High||25 m/s|
|Shipping containers/portal cranes||Low||12 m/s|
|High-speed ferries||Low||20 m/s|
|Overhead transmission & distribution lines||High||30 m/s|||
|Industrial buildings||High||3-sec wind gusts, 52 to 66 m/s|||
|Damages start from 30–33 m/s|
Total failures from 52–55 m/s
|Offshore platforms||High||73 m/s|||
|Offshore structures||High||A return period of 100 years corresponds: to 41 m/s in 1-h average winds or around 50 m/s in constant 1 min winds and a wave height of 22.0 m||[166,167,168]|
|Port (taller constructions have to be closed)||Medium||9 m/s|||
|Lightning strikes||Platforms (damages to electrical systems, loss of equipment, function and production)||Small||1 strike could cause damage and lead to workers evacuation (*)|||
|Storage tanks||Small||Highly exposed (*)|||
|Sea level rise (SLR)||Refineries||High||[65,170,171]|
|Given a category 1 hurricane, an SLR <0.5 m almost doubles the number of refineries exposed to flooding by 2100, under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP4.5) scenario|
|Wastewater treatment facilities/oil refineries||Medium||Simulations show that for a return period of a 100-yr flood event and 1.5 m of SLR, moderate damages might occur|||
|Oil facilities sitting next to coastline||High||<3 m above the high tide line|||
|Storm surges/waves||Offshore pipeline||High||Wave height: 1.0–1.2 m|||
|Offshore platforms||High||27.0 m horizontal pressure results in the failure of structure|||
|Refineries (flood protection system)||High||Oil spills, as storm surges from hurricanes have reached 8.5 m|||
|Flash Flooding||Electrical equipment||High||Functionality threshold >0.3 m (inundation depth)|||
|Small, medium, and large refineries||High||Functionality threshold depth to be set at 1.2 m.|
|Drainage system (triggering fire)||Medium||Water level @ 1.5 m inside the refinery|||
|Control station||Medium||40.0% percentage of damage after 0.3 m (inundation depth)|||
|Oil pumping stations||Medium||Damage starts after 0.3 m of inundation depth. From 1.8–3.0 m at 40.0% percentage of damage|
|Forest fires||Distribution lines, Εxtra High Voltage (EHV) transmission lines located inside or outside the refinery||Small||Risk comes from smoke and particulate matter deposition: PM2.5 concentration is >350 μg/m3||[78,80]|
|Drought||Thermal plant/cooling systems/oil extraction & production||Small||Threshold: (*)|||
|Barge||Low||0.025 m drop in river level: decrease towing capacity by 255 tons|||
|(*)||Threshold value still not defined in the literature|
|(**)||Depends on climatic conditions and region|
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|CI Sector||CI Subsectors||Critical Services (Upstream-Midstream-Downstream)||Assets|
|Energy (Oil, Gas, Coal, Electricity, Renewables)||Oil|
|Climate Drivers||Climate Hazards|
|Precipitation (rain/snowfall)—humidity||Forest Fires|
|Lightning strikes||Earth movement (caused by climate drivers such as rain landslide, erosion, avalanches)|
|Sea level rise|
|Strom surges, waves|
|Climate Parameter||Primary Affected Sector||Secondary Affected Sector||Process||Impact||Sources|
|Temperatures||Transportation||Oil sector||All processes||[71,72]|
|High winds/hurricanes/Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity/Flash flooding/Sea level rise/Storm surge/waves/Lightning/Forest fires||Electricity/ICT||Oil sector||All processes||[40,55,77,78,79,80,81]|
|Temperatures/High winds/hurricanes/Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity/Flash flooding/Sea level rise/Storm surge/waves/Drought||Water||Oil sector||All processes||[34,40,46,77,81,82,83,84,85,86]|
|Temperatures/High winds/hurricanes/Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity/Flash flooding/Sea level rise/Storm surge/waves/Drought/Forest fires/Earth movement||Transportation||Oil sector||All processes||[47,77,79,87,88,89,90,91,92,93,94,95]|
|Temperatures/High winds/hurricanes/Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity/Flash flooding/Sea level rise/Storm surge/waves/Drought/Forest fires/Earth movement||Industrial Sector||Oil sector||All processes|||
|High winds/hurricanes/Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity/Flash flooding/Sea level rise/Storm surge/waves/Earth movement||Natural Gas||Oil sector||Oil refining/processing|
|Climate Parameter||Process||Primary Affected Sector||Secondary Affected Sector||Impact||Sources|
|Temperatures||Oil extraction||Oil sector||Transportation||Damages to the transportation infrastructure||[71,72]|
|Electricity||Fuel supply delays or interruptions for generation purposes, lubricants, etc.|
Increased cooling or load needs
|Oil transportation/distribution||Transportation||Maintenance of the oil transportation and distribution sub-sector||[40,76,77]|
|High winds/hurricanes/Precipitation rain/snowfall)-humidity/Flash flooding/Sea level rise/Storm surge/waves/Lightning||All processes||Oil sector||Electricity/Transportation/Industry/ICT/Water||Fuel supply delays or interruptions Delays and interruptions of lubricants, raw materials etc.|
|Critical Service||Climate Parameters||Impacts||Source|
|Oil extraction||Temperatures||Integrity of oil extraction, or the transportation infrastructure erected upon it (thawing of permafrost)||[71,72]|
|Oil spill as a result of the reduced coastline ice coverage (Arctic regions)||[112,113]|
|Workers’ health is highly exposed, along with maintenance and production delays|||
|Icebergs might collide to sea platforms limiting the drilling time|||
|Delays in the pace of drilling and finishing wells, due to the need for further equipment at drill sites|||
|High Winds/Hurricanes||The integrity of both onshore and offshore oil facilities leading to Natech accidents|||
|Significant damages to the oil industry, oil spills and maintenance and repairing activities||[114,115,116,117]|
|Lightning||Damages to electrical systems, resulting in loss of equipment, functionality, and production|||
|Sea level rise||Inundation of offshore infrastructure and failures||[119,120]|
|Increased degradation and weathering of pipelines and infrastructure due to ocean acidification could result in oil spills|||
|Storm surges/waves||Wave inundation of the decks and failure of rig tie-down components||[96,121,122]|
|Overturning and total failure of offshore structure and platforms|
|Drought||Drilling and the creation of underground storage caverns|||
|Temperature||Impacts on cooling system efficiency, cooling water quantity, plant design, operation requirements, and materials, as well the quality of the refined products|||
|Ιncreased cooling loads in buildings, shutdowns in refineries|||
|Distresses of the safety systems operation, due to biological growth (algae, mussels, clams, etc.)|||
|Disturbances to the catalytic processes leading to reduced performance|||
|Reduced efficiencies of electricity-producing turbines and compressors||[124,125]|
|Reduction in the efficiency of the plant, as bacterial reactions taking part in the activity of an effluent treatment system (EFT)|||
|Decreases or interruptions, as a result of power outages, due to inefficient flow of oil and liquids|||
|Freeze of instrumentation and coolant lines, shut down the hydrogen plant and triggering damages on the electricity lines, the plant’s distillation component, as well as to the fluidic catalytic cracking unit|||
|Damages, closures, oil shortages and loss of life, as a result of accidents in pipelines||[40,84]|
|Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity||Unforeseen shutdowns of unitary or refinery processes (steam boilers, cooling systems, pumps, and electrically operated safety-control mechanisms)|||
|Overloading the inlet of air filters causing damages to downstream equipment|||
|High winds/Hurricane||Damage to structural elements (collapsing processing units), leading to shut off operations, causing loss of production|||
|Damages to electromechanical equipment, pipes, valves and to overhead electricity lines inside the refinery area|||
|Loss of utilities (e.g., power, communications, steam, compressed gasses, taking out power supplies and control systems|||
|Lightning strike||Damages to refinery processing and storage activities (internal plants drainage systems or compressor station)||[27,100,126]|
|Sea level rise||Toxic chemical leaks due to flooding and rupture of tanks and pipelines|||
|Storm surge/waves||Collapse of flood protection system leading to flooding of refineries and potentially oil spills||[77,102]|
|Flash flooding||Internal pipeline ruptures and corrosion|||
|Increase flow and pressure to underground infrastructure/structures, i.e., pipelines, wastewater treatment facilities, power plants, and paper mills|||
|Electrical equipment, electrical plants, substations, control valves and control stations and pneumatic control systems failing||[40,55]|
|Soil erosion in locations where refineries are sited|||
|Increased flow and pressure to containment systems may result in back feed and flow of product resulting in increased discharges of oil|||
|Forest fires||Damage to transmission lines (physical damage) and cut of electricity provided to oil refineries||[78,104]|
|Damages and delays in production due to smoke and ash deposition|
|Drought||Disturbs the hydraulic fracturing and oil refining processes||[51,65,73,127]|
|Oil storage tanks (tank farms)||Temperature||Increased costs of storing water on-site for managed disposal, especially if containment systems overloaded.|||
|Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity||Collapse, loss of containment (flammable and combustible liquids), weakening of structures and in some cases in the presence of mold, due to the water accumulation on the rooftops||[7,99,128]|
|Lightning strike||Extensive explosion could be activated that can severely damage exposed instrumentation and structures leading to Natech accident|
|Flash flooding||Decrease tank headspace thereby displacing buffer space available to prevent overflow/overfill, leading to oil spills accidents|||
|The weathering of underground and aboveground storage tanks|
|Increase flow and changes of navigable water depth, thereby increasing difficulty in preparing and implementing planning distance, booming and cleanup strategies|
|Floating off foundations and scouring|||
|Sinking of tanks and flooding of the internal plant drainage systems, increasing the risk of a fire threat|||
|Buildings/personnel||Temperatures||Worker’s performance drops. Also impacts the shift in seasonal demand cycle for industrial processes and labor needs||[40,87]|
|High indoor temperatures lead to thermal discomfort|||
|Workers are highly exposed to heat stress after prolonged work in high temperatures (heat-stroke, heat exhaustion, and death)||[74,130]|
|Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity||Movement restriction of key staff around the site and staff traveling to/from work|||
|High winds/Hurricanes||Limiting workplace safety (too dangerous to work at height)|
|Collapse of processing units and tanks, remove roofs of buildings and threaten the structural integrity of buildings|||
|Empty tanks, rooftops, piping, the connections between storage and process units, cabling and other electrical equipment are highly exposed||[77,79]|
|Lightning strikes||The workers involved in maintenance jobs might be exposed|||
|Sea level rise||Damages to drainage systems, buildings, control rooms, and personnel can occur|||
|Storm surge/waves||Coastline buildings, control stations, and other infrastructure inundation and corrosion|||
|Flash flooding||Flooding leads to contamination of water and to probable reactions with stored materials and safety systems|||
|Workers involved in rescue, cleaning, and restoration operations are totally threatened|||
|Impacts on staff well-being and disruption to work attendance|||
|Oil transportation/distribution||Temperatures||The temperature range of volatile chemicals is exceeded during transport|||
|Greater needs for maintenance of oil transportation and distribution sub-sector. Also, more refrigerated distribution is required, increasing costs||[40,76]|
|Alternation to the means of transporting products and materials due to the reduced sea ice covering the Arctic sea||[71,87]|
|Oil or coolant lines might freeze in the pipelines leading to expansion and cracking,|
Temperature rises, leaks, or temperature and pressure changes might appear inside pipelines
|Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity||Interruptions, delays, disruption of inspection, restoration and accidents might occur|||
|Structural damages to pipelines or other equipment integrity caused by weakened soil structure|||
|Electrical damages to equipment might also occur, preventing the normal port operations, also interrupting shipping or other industrial operations, increasing the risk of collisions.|
|High winds/Hurricanes||Interruptions and delays to the whole delivery and distribution system (from tanker trucks, vessels, shipping containers, up to gasoline supply stations)||[88,89,90,91,92]|
|Extreme winds can uproot trees and provoke damages to unprotected electromechanical equipment, meters, occurring interruptions and delays|||
|Lightning strikes||Pipeline failures and oil spills||[77,106]|
|Sea level rise||Pipelines’ exposure to sea or river water, might lead to corrosion of underground pipes as a consequence of saltwater intrusion of groundwater||[85,135]|
|Storm surges/waves||Displacing covers and spans, in the way of uncovering and exposing the pipeline (either by causing vertical displacement or rupture or by destabilizing the sand or silt above the underground offshore tubes)||[92,107,135]|
|Interruptions to oil transportation (by vessels, boat handling, ferry docking, barge)||[108,109,110]|
|Irregular increase in the water levels of canals, lakes, and rivers, affecting the supply of crude oil and of raw materials|||
|Wave forces can expose and harm offshore pipelines, either by causing vertical displacement or rupture or by destabilizing the sand or silt above the underground offshore tubes||[92,135]|
|Flash flooding||Erosion of foundations and underground pipe supports (scouring), or trigger landslides or subsidence in the sites of the petrochemical sector, leading to accidents to pipelines||[34,40,77]|
|Damages to the above-ground infrastructure such as valves, pumping stations, and river crossings. Sensors installed in the interior of pipelines might failure causing several issues and leaks to the pipeline systems||[77,81,82]|
|Oil transportation by marine vessels might be liable to hazards, and disruption of fuel delivery might occur. Roads, bridges, and rail crossings can also be destroyed. Also, landslides might be triggered that could straight affect oil transportation with releases of polluting elements|||
|Drought||Disruptions, delays, and stoppages in petroleum delivery might occur, reducing, for instance, the cargo limits for shipping||[73,111]|
|Lead to landslides, or to erosion-scouring of foundations and pipe support systems|||
|Earth movement due to heavy rains||Cut off transportation networks, leading to disruption of operations, causing loss of containment, and increasing maintenance and pollution costs||[47,136]|
|Critical Service||Climate Parameters||Adaptation Measures||Source|
|Oil extraction||Temperature||Heating systems for water systems hydraulic fracturing at drill sites to prevent frost|||
|High winds/Hurricanes||Review design thresholds of offshore structures considering CC|||
|Upgrading oil platforms, the rigs and the number of anchors) to make it more resilient to hurricanes||[51,99,142]|
|Lightning strikes||Offshore drilling companies should invest in lightning protection for offshore drilling|||
|Sea level rise||Raising of the decks of offshore platforms||[119,120]|
|Storm surges/Waves||Plan and training (including exercises) for the evacuation of personnel||[144,145]|
|Increasing the height of the platform|
|Oil processing/refining||High Winds/Hurricanes||Review of the design of installations located in the coastline. Filling of empty tanks to avoid floating or wind buckling of the shell, tying down of components to reduce the risk of missile creation during high winds, or the special protection or relocation of safety-critical systems to avoid wave loading and water intrusion|||
|Lightning strikes||More research into the dynamics of lightning impact on equipment is required|
|Storm surges/waves||Safe protection and relocation of crucial components and to build concrete walls and dikes|||
|Flash flooding||(i) Position new facilities considering CC and risks of flooding; (ii) Flood and coastal erosion management strategies for existing facilities; (iii) Flood defense measures; (iv) Improve drainage systems||[49,51]|
|Waterproofing of equipment and buildings, securing of equipment (e.g., anchoring storage tanks, restraining gas cylinders), and adequate emergency-response and contingency planning to help minimize downtimes.|||
|(i) flood protection and adaptation measures, including the reassessment of flood-prone zones; (ii) avoiding building in flood-prone areas where possible; (iii) adoption of slowing, steering, and blocking water techniques; (v) elevation of buildings or building components above the 100-year flood contour level|
|Development of alarm safety flood systems|||
|Increase storage capacity for vital equipment and supplies||[49,51]|
|(i) Removal of solid salt to approved landfill; (ii) Brine injection; (iii) Ocean outfall; (iv) Treatment of salt to enable it to be used as table salt or other commercial uses|
|Drought||(i) Explore and invest in the development of substitute water supplies; (ii) collecting stormwater and floodwaters; (iii) more efficient use of water; (iv) water treatment and recycling||[49,51]|
|Oil storage (tank farms)||Precipitation (rain/snowfall)-humidity||(i) Evaluation of geographic diversification to be able to address regional EWE; (ii) Available emergency power and water supplies, pumping and wastewater treatment; (iii) Development and improvement of robust climate-proof business continuity plans; (iv) Adopt insurance tools to cover risks||[49,51]|
|The quick removal of oil spills. Design of drainage systems to remove spills and at the same time to be fire protected|||
|Lightning strikes||Development of ELPS systems|||
|High Winds/Hurricanes||Review design structural thresholds considering CC||[140,149]|
|Building/personnel||Temperatures||Improve health and safety policies considering CC||[49,51]|
|Extreme winds/Hurricanes||Reassessment of the equipment and facilities design|||
|Lightning strikes||Implementation of measures and directives related to lightning protection (IEC 62305–2)|||
|Storm surges/waves, Sea level rise||Investing in drainage systems and constructing seawalls|||
|Flash flooding||Determining direct flood damage through depth-damage curves (represent the flood damage that would arise at specific water depths per asset)|||
|Oil transportation||Temperatures||Implement temperature hazard in future risk assessment of road and rail transportation systems|||
|Extreme winds/Hurricanes||As oil pipeline technology is mostly designed to withstand the 100-year storm, maintenance, and regular inspections should be focused on (i) pipelines sited at ultra-shallow water; (ii) pipelines sited at arid and semiarid areas where mudflows can be generated; (iii) Pipelines with diameters below 0.1 m (iv) platforms|||
|Forest fires||(i) Reduce the risk of pipeline explosions; (ii) Invest in fire breaks protection; (iii) Decrease bushfire fuel loads||[49,51]|
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Katopodis, T.; Sfetsos, A. A Review of Climate Change Impacts to Oil Sector Critical Services and Suggested Recommendations for Industry Uptake. Infrastructures 2019, 4, 74. https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4040074
Katopodis T, Sfetsos A. A Review of Climate Change Impacts to Oil Sector Critical Services and Suggested Recommendations for Industry Uptake. Infrastructures. 2019; 4(4):74. https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4040074Chicago/Turabian Style
Katopodis, Theodoros, and Athanasios Sfetsos. 2019. "A Review of Climate Change Impacts to Oil Sector Critical Services and Suggested Recommendations for Industry Uptake" Infrastructures 4, no. 4: 74. https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures4040074