Future of energy industry will rely on new technologies and innovation

A key panel session on day 2 of ADIPEC 2010 was dedicated to the important issue of how new technology developments will be vital for the energy sector in the long term to meet the ever growing global energy demands. Oil and gas will continue to play an important role but the shift in the energy mix demands new innovation in the industry.

There was considerable agreement on the overriding importance that new technologies and greater innovation will play in directing the future of the energy sector amongst the distinguished panel which was represented by high profile figures from Saudi Aramco, Halliburton, INTSOK, Chevron Energy and Baker Hughes.

Technology underpins everything that goes on in the energy industry and Samer Al-Ashgar, Expec Advanced Research Center Manager, Saudi Aramco discussed how conventional resources will still require significant technology and research development. Aramco’s unique position of controlling 20 per cent of the world’s oil reserves lets the company have a special insight and input into developing new technologies. Aramco can afford to invest differently than other companies and look at new innovations in the long term. The company has a large portfolio of investment projects.

Wrenger G Karlsson, regional director, from Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners (INTSOK) presented a comprehensive look at the main industry challenges. The world will need 45 per cent more energy by 2030 and require US$25-30 trillion of investment. In addition, the industry needs to find ways to bring on stream 50mn bpd. This conundrum will mean that oil production will need to double by 2030. Much of that oil will have to come from the Middle East region. In Wrenger’s view, “Technology has changed the energy industry and it will be vital to handle new challenges.”

Technological advancements have made an impact on arctic and deep water exploration, to improved oil recovery methods. New technology will be vital for sour gas, heavy oil and other IOR challenges. Wrenger argued that shale gas would be the game changer and has changed the face of the market. Shale gas has allowed the US to become self sufficient in terms of energy consumption. He noted that the US was moving from becoming an energy importer to potentially becoming an energy exporter.

Technology will also play a key role in the relationship dynamics between National Oil Companies (NOC) and International Oil Companies (IOC). Wrenger argued that there was a real need for increased competition and collaboration between NOC’s and IOC’s to be able to meet future demands for oil and gas. The importance for greater integration and collaboration will be vital in speeding up technical developments on a global, regional and local level.

Ganesh Thakur, Vice President, Global Advisor and Chevron Fellow, Chevron Energy Technology Company added his views on the subject stating that “the global challenge will be to meet the projected increase in demand in a sustainable manner and protects the environment.”

Unconventional resources will start to play a more important role in the energy industry as more resources and reserves will be obtained from unconventional resources.


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