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How operators are using the technology to boost production and lower the carbon intensity of oil

The global energy landscape is evolving rapidly, and the challenge of balancing energy security, sustainability and affordability has never been more pressing. At this year’s CERAWeek, held in Houston, Texas, the Locus Bio-Energy team joined other thought leaders to discuss key energy issues affecting the future of our global economy.

The annual conference provides a platform for vital insights and perspectives on a range of energy-related topics. Unsurprisingly, a major theme of this year’s event involved the Energy Trilemma.

What is the Energy Trilemma?

Coined by World Energy Council, the Energy Trilemma refers to the following three pillars:

  1. Energy security: ability to access sufficient energy when and where we need it, without any disruptions in availability
  2. Sustainability: meeting energy demands with low-carbon solutions that minimize negative impacts on future generations
  3. Affordability: using sources that are affordable and accessible, including making more energy-efficient products

Many critical questions are revolved around these competing priorities, including:

  • How can companies provide energy security for growing global demands amidst consecutive disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic, recovery, inflation and war in Ukraine?
  • As the energy transition continues, is it possible for companies to switch from conventional to sustainable solutions without disrupting their production?
  • What changes are needed in technology and policy to ensure energy affordability?

Finding answers that balance the Energy Trilemma is one of the biggest challenges facing energy companies and policymakers today. For oil and gas operators, the solution can involve supplementing their conventional oilfield chemical treatments with ESG-friendly biosurfactants.

Energy Security: Meeting Growing Global Demands for Oil & Gas

Our industry faces the daunting task of meeting growing global demands while transitioning to safer and more sustainable solutions.

To achieve energy security, operators must increase production while minimizing disruptions. Traditional methods, such as operational expansion or equipment upgrades, have become increasingly challenging due to geopolitical tensions and other recent global occurrences.

This is where biosurfactants come in. Cost-effective and highly efficient biosurfactants, such as those produced by Locus Bio-Energy, help operators increase production using their existing assets. They also boost performance in hydraulic fracturing and well stimulations.

Wells treated with Locus biosurfactants have achieved a 40% or more increase in baseline production—at only 3% of the cost of drilling and completing a new well.

Due to these results, a growing number of operators are turning to Locus biosurfactants to maximize their production. This includes utilizing solvent-compatible biosurfactants for wax and asphaltene control.

Sustainability: Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Oil & GasEnergy-sustainability-biosurfactant-stats

On the sustainability front, biosurfactants are designed to put operators on a clear pathway to net-zero by reducing the carbon footprint of each barrel of oil produced. They are produced using renewable agricultural raw materials and high-efficiency and carbon-neutral fermentation processes.

Locus biosurfactants significantly reduce both carbon and water intensity during oil and gas production in the field by off-setting new well completions. They do this by enhancing and improving production on existing wells with less energy intensity required to produce a barrel of oil when compared to a modern +50-stage plug-and-perf completion.

For example, Locus’ biosurfactants can be applied mid-life using only one pump truck, less than 100 gallons of diesel and less than 200,000 gallons of water—compared to 100,000 gallons of diesel and 13.8 million gallons of water needed for a completion.

Locus biosurfactants use 99% less diesel and 98% less water compared to a new well completion.

Affordability: Improving Oilfield Efficiency and Reducing Costs

Locus biosurfactant treatments deliver cost savings across an operator’s total well stimulation and production programs in two key ways:


  1. More production using less: Locus’ multifunctional biosurfactant treatments are highly effective in recovering residual oil in existing wells that would otherwise be left in the reservoir using only primary production methods. When used in new well hydraulic fracturing operations, biosurfactants also offer benefits associated with “building a better well”—improving oil production over the life of the well. They typically have better performance at lower concentrations than many traditional surfactants.
  2. Higher profit with lower emissions: When entire oilfields use biosurfactant treatments, it can lower the carbon intensity significantly. This helps lower the cost of additional carbon offset measures, resulting in higher profitability per barrel.

Biosurfactants are an Energy Trilemma Gamechanger

Although the Energy Trilemma presents a significant challenge to the oil and gas industry, biosurfactants can play a critical role in balancing these competing priorities. Operators across top U.S. basins are already boosting production, improving efficiency and reducing their carbon intensity using Locus’ novel line of biosurfactants.

This year’s CERAWeek has come and gone, but there’s no doubt the oil and gas industry will continue to grapple with how to best balance the Energy Trilemma. The Locus Bio-Energy team remains committed to evaluating industry needs and pioneering biosurfactant technologies that deliver secure, sustainable and cost-effective performance gains for oilfield operations—both today and in the future.

Want to see real results using biosurfactant treatments in the oilfield?

Contact us for access to recent case studies demonstrating impressive results using biosurfactants in well simulations, re-fracs and more. 

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