Energy companies may no longer launch offshore oil drilling projects by 2030, following the government’s decision to stop exploration work on the country’s 27 oil fields.
Whether or not the country depends less on fossil fuel, recycling will continue to be relevant for environmental reasons. Services such asa vacuum truck for hire or petroleum recovery will still be important for waste disposal among energy producers.
The government said that the ban aims to strike a balance, which means using other forms of energy. However, the energy industry believes it will do little to curb emissions or affect demand and supply in the country and abroad.
Despite the opposition, New Zealand leaders remain steadfast on the rule. Existing permits will continue to be valid until the specified date. The only reason to lift the ban would involve a discovery in one of the oil fields, which may pave the way for production. In the meantime, using more oil leads to a bigger pile of plastic waste at landfill sites. Some companies have experimented with the idea of reusing old plastic containers as a material for paving roads and industrial surfaces.
Reusing Oil Containers
According to the International Energy Agency data in 2017, global oil consumption would surpass 100 million barrels per day over the next two years. Consumption will further increase by 4 per cent in 2022. For this reason, recycling containers from petroleum by-products and crude oil will be more important.
Some research efforts for recycling include a process involving granulating containers, which are then added to a binder for the production of asphalt grade bitumen. The resulting product could then be used as a road or industrial pavement.
The ban on offshore oil drilling may be a setback, but oil will likely continue to be a major energy source given the forecast increase in consumption. At the same time, more recycling efforts should be in place to handle expected increase in by-product waste.