Petroleum Review - December 2011
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AUSTRALIA – E&P
Deeper, further, wider…
On the eve of London’s Olympic year, hydrocarbon exploration in Australia is going for new records with the first petroleum well in more than 2 km of water being drilled. Exploration has pushed to the very margins of the continent and is more widely spread across the onshore basins than at any time since in the early 1980s. Thomas Bernecker and Marita Bradshaw, Geoscience Australia, report.
AUSTRALIA – LNG
Australia’s booming LNG industry
Australia is fast developing into a global force for natural gas, cementing its reputation as a source of valuable materials which already include iron ore, coal, gold, silver, uranium, aluminium, nickel, lead and zinc. According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2011, Australia became the fourth largest exporter of LNG in 2010 – trading 18.38mn tonnes in total, writes Matthew Brace in Brisbane.
AUSTRALIA – SHALE GAS
Industrialists, economists, analysts and politicians worldwide agree that with increasing energy consumption comes the risk of a serious supply shortfall. Business models that served us well in an age of cheap and easy oil and gas may struggle to be viable or competitive as the energy landscape evolves. In parallel, as the supply side tightens, the issue of energy security becomes a political as well as a commercial consideration. Securing access to a commercially viable and environmentally acceptable source of energy is one of the most challenging dilemmas of our time, writes Duncan MacNiven, Director, Warrego Energy.
NEW ZEALAND – E&P
A new day is dawning
New Zealand is confidently taking the next steps towards becoming a small but significant player on the global petroleum E&P stage, writes Neil Ritchie, New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals.
E&P – DIGITAL OIL FIELDS
Digital oil field development gathers pace
Digital oil field developments are moving beyond point solutions towards a more integrated operations (IO) approach. Lessons learned by the oil majors are now being shared by national oil companies and, increasingly, second- and third-tier players. Effective data management is key, but the main challenge is cultural change rather than technology, reports Brian Davis.
E&P – IT MANAGEMENT
Managing returns and improving investment recovery
In a mature oil and gas province such as the North Sea, where operating costs continue to rise, cost control is paramount. The increasingly technological nature of oil and gas extraction in the North Sea area is further complicated by outside influences such as the prevailing barrel price – bringing into sharp focus the industry’s need to mitigate the costs associated with E&P, writes Don Valentine, Operations Director, Absoft.
E&P – ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY
Second chance for Schoonebeek
One of Europe’s most advanced oil production ventures is breathing new life into the Schoonebeek field in the Netherlands, some 16 years after it was abandoned with about 750mn barrels of oil still in place.
SHIPPING – REVIEW
Weathering stormy waters
For those who have studied economics, perfect competition is familiar ground. It describes a crowded market place where no one seller holds sway. The trouble is, beyond the classic street market, perfect competition is scarce – but not in shipping. It supplies 90% of the world’s trade and is populated with many players whose assets are as liquid as they are mobile. The problem for shipping has little to do with its competitive status. What shipping companies are grappling with is that since 2008 those assets have lost their ability to pay their way. Julian Macqueen reports.
SHIPPING – LNG
Norway pioneers LNG as marine fuel
Over the past decade, Norway has pioneered the use of LNG as a clean marine fuel. A fleet of around 20 small LNG-fuelled ferries and platform support vessels have so far entered service around its picturesque coastline. These ships are refuelled at local bunkering terminals, which are an unusual feature of the Norwegian gas distribution system. However, the growing interest in this fuel has been illustrated by an order for a 57,000-tonne car ferry. Jeff Crook reports.
US – SHALE RESERVES
Inflating US shale gas reserves
New rules have accelerated the growth of US proved gas reserves in an unprecedented way. A New York Times article prompted the US Congress to ask for a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. Ruud Weijermars and Crispian McCredie, Alboran Energy Strategy Consultants, outline the basis for reasonable doubts about the reliability and durability of US shale gas reserves under the new SEC rules.
IP WEEK – PREVIEW
Developing professionalism at the EI’s flagship event
Next year’s IP Week – to be held on 20–22 February 2012 – will run an exclusive professional development programme for Graduate Members of the Energy Institute (EI). The programme will help participants plan and take the next steps in their career path against the backdrop of a key industry event.
SUPPLY & DEMAND – PEAK OIL
Global oil demand may peak before 2020
Recent research by Ricardo Strategic Consulting challenges the concept that ‘peak oil’ will be a supply side phenomenon. Instead, the study suggests that demand for oil may well peak before 2020, falling back to levels significantly below 2010 demand by 2035.
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