ADIPEC plenary discusses sustainable growthby Arabian Oil & Gas Staff on Dec 26, 2012
The region’s top upstream event took Abu Dhabi by storm in November. Oil & Gas Middle East brings you the highlights from the conference sessions and exhibition floor
There is a general consensus throughout the oil and gas industry that some very fundamental shifts are taking place that are bringing about massive change to demand, supply and production.
At a Sustainable Growth plenary session hosted by ADIPEC in November, some of the industry’s heavyweights met to discuss the challenges and opportunities that oil and gas companies will face in the coming decades.
Global demand for energy is continuing to grow: “back in 1908, the world consumed 2 million tonnes of oil equivalent per day, now it consumes 32 million tonnes,” said Robert Dudley, group chief executive of BP. “By 2030, it should rise, according to current trends, to 45 million tonnes per day,” he continued.
Antonio Silva, chairman of the management commission of Partex Oil and Gas, echoed the sentiments by pointing out that only a few years ago, the one billion people living in OECD countries producing three-quarters of the world’s GDP, consumed more energy than the 5.5 billion people in the remaining countries in the world.
But this trend was reversed in 2008 and developing countries are creating the largest demand for oil.
Silva also pointed out that in 2009, China consumed 2250 million tonnes equivalent of petroleum, 12% above the USA. But just nine years before that, the USA consumed twice the amount of private energy than China. The changes have been rapid and profound.
With the global population expected to grow from 7 billion today to 8.5 billion in 2025 and a car fleet that is expected to quadruple as people around the world demand higher living standards, meeting the increasing demand for energy will be a colossal challenge.
Fortunately, Christophe De Margerie, chief executive officer of Total, believes that “the notion of peak oil is not the subject anymore.” And many within the industry agree.
A handful of discoveries throughout the world this year, including within the Middle East, have settled concerns that most of the world’s oil had been discovered. But now, the problem is not the availability of resources, but access to them.
For Dudley, meeting demand will require four main steps: extending the life of today’s brown fields, finding new green fields by entering more remote geographies, unlocking more unconventional gas while increasing conventional gas investments and using energy as efficiently as possible while creating an increasingly diverse
There are both political and technological barriers to accessing more reserves. The entire plenary agreed that future production levels hung on the commitment which national oil companies, international oil companies and governments made to ensure the oil keeps flowing.
For Dudley, the global oil and gas industry is now entering a new chapter. In the early to mid-20th century, IOCs had very strong control over the production processes throughout the world, but particularly in the Middle East.
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