Public perception has long held that the petroleum industry is dirty and that society’s dependence on mineral extraction should be minimized in the coming decades. While oil and gas companies aren’t traditionally known for embracing disruptive technologies, that sentiment is quickly changing. In fact, venture capital investment in “clean-tech” and other areas of research has flooded the industry of late and has one multimedia company singing its praises.
Digital Wildcatters aims to build on the burgeoning culture of innovation happening within oil and gas by highlighting the technological advancements being implemented by many forward-thinking petrochemical companies. The multimedia platform offers podcasts, videos and in-depth blogs detailing ideas to make the sector cleaner and more efficient.
“I think that we’re in the early stages of oil and gas-tech and clean-tech as a whole,” said Collin McLelland, co-founder of Digital Wildcatters. “There’s a lot of technology today that is making oil and gas cleaner and sustainable, in addition to research and development on things such as carbon capture and methane detection.”
McLelland discussed with FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller his opinions on how the industry should approach the intersection of clean-tech with oil and gas. He suggests that winning investors will be the ones who, rather than aim to do away with fossil fuels altogether, focus on the energy transition pragmatically.
“There’s this connotation that those involved in oil and gas are unaccepting of alternative energy and electric vehicles, but that can’t be further from the truth,” McLelland said.
He further explained that those unfamiliar with the oil and gas industry often believe that new technologies will do away with society’s dependence on fossil fuels sooner rather than later. While he agrees that the rise of Tesla and other companies engineering electric vehicles will eventually spell trouble for oil and gas companies, McLelland suggests that demand for petrochemicals will keep growing at least until 2040, noting that many household products are assembled with petroleum-based products.
“There’s a direct correlation between having an enjoyable standard of living here in the U.S. and having access to cheap energy,” McLelland said. “We need to be able to maintain that while transitioning to cleaner energy.”
Visit digitalwildcatters.com for more information on the oil and gas industry’s latest advancements in clean-tech.