Industry's Driving Trends for Upstream Growth

With the oil and gas industry at an all-time high and global demand steadily increasing, there are key elements that the upstream industry should reflect on, commented Peter Jackson, Head of Research, Upstream.

New and vintage methods continue to pave the industry's practices of finding resources that our economy largely depends on.

Seismic imaging "is at the forefront of unlocking hidden gems," said Jay Pryor, Vice President, Business Development, Chevron Corporation.

"Continued technology that changes the way we do business is seismic imaging," he reiterated.

This form of technology isn't new to the industry, it's been used for about 80 years; however, ongoing technological developments have made geologists' efforts to find oil and gas beneath the surface more precise and effective as it treads into deeper waters and remote areas.

"These days, Chevron manages almost as much data as Google," said Pryor.

Another trend discussed in the session, "Upstream: Driving Growth in the Upstream: Technology, Know How and Imagination," was enhanced oil recovery, or EOR, a widely used technique for increasing the amount of crude oil extracted from an oil field.

"Last year, Statoil produced around 1.9 million barrels of oil a day, largely due to EOR," said Bill Maloney, Executive Vice President, Statoil North America.

Maloney used Statfjord field, the oldest producing field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the largest oil discovery in the North Sea, as an example of EOR. Discovered about 40 years ago, Statfjord continues to produce today. 

Lastly, exploration, both in new and existing frontiers, was widely discussed by the panel.

"There have been a ton of discoveries recently, for instance Zafarani, offshore Tanzania," said Maloney. "We are changing the map as we speak due to new seismic technology and innovators."

The other side of this coin is existing areas that were once overlooked when looking to conduct exploratory drilling.

"Exploration on the North Continental Shelf has been ongoing since the 60s," he commented. "So by taking fresh eyes or new people in old places, wonderful things have happened," such as the compnay's recent discovery in the Barents Sea – Skrugard

"By being persistent and using innovative thinking, we were able to find something that was there all along," he said. "Why couldn't we see it before?"

"The world is not running out of resources," said Maloney.


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