Leading industry experts joined to discuss some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the energy industry at the Maersk Oil ADIPEC Knowledge Series, held in association with Gulf Intelligence, at the ADIPEC 2012 conference and exhibition in Abu Dhabi this week.
The industry faces a unique set of challenges in the development and production of hydrocarbons as we enter the era of ‘post easy oil’. There is a growing realisation that new recovery technologies and partnerships will be required to harvest previously inaccessible or commercially unviable hydrocarbons, as conventional energy resources dwindle and world demand increases.
“CO2 injection is emerging as an important enhanced oil recovery technique in the Middle East, where NOCs are seeking low cost solutions that can deliver CO2 directly to the oilfields,” said Bob Alford, Senior Business Development Manager, Maersk Oil.
Mr Alford highlighted TriGen, an oxyfuel combustion technology licensed by Maersk Oil, which has been developed for the oil and gas industry. As the name TriGen suggests, this innovative technology produces three product streams; clean energy, pure water and ‘reservoir ready’ CO2, by burning natural gas with Oxygen. Maersk Oil is currently working with Siemens on a commercial scale TriGen oxyfuel plant that is scheduled to start-up in California in 2012.
The major oil fields in the Gulf region, such as Zakum, Burgan and Ghawar, have pumped more than half their oil—the point at which production traditionally begins to decline. After 50 years of easy oil, IOCs and NOCs may need to strike a new partnership balance in order to meet the demand forecasts in coming decades that will require hundreds of billions of dollars investment.
“The energy industry is witnessing the most disruptive shake-up since a wave of takeovers in the late 1990s created the super-majors such as ExxonMobil and BP,” James McCallum, CEO of Senergy, a global energy services company, told the audience during the session entitled ‘An NOC_IOC 21st Century Partnership: Transforming the Marginal to the Commercial’, hosted by Soren Frank, Head of Maersk Oil’s Research and Technology Centre. “The good news” he noted, “is that the changes are largely positive, creating an industry that is better positioned to solve the world’s great energy challenges.”
“The challenge facing much of the Gulf region is to optimise energy production from producing fields. The potential benefits of sharing information between companies and across country boundaries versus protecting information in order to retain competitive advantage should be considered, as the recovery of hydrocarbons is an increasingly complex and costly challenge” Frans Van Buchem, Maersk Oil’s Principal Geologist told the audience.
The overwhelming takeaway from the Knowledge Series, which also included participants from Emerson, Zadco and ADMA OPCO, was that this is exactly the right time to start working closer together, to collaborate more. It is only through trusting partnerships – with peers in the international energy industry and along with host governments – that we can go to new corners of the globe to explore previously impossible areas and develop the technology to access oil and gas thought to be inaccessible or non-commercial.
Source: Gulf Intelligence