GEO ExPro

The Search Must Continue

While many efforts are being made throughout the world to make energy use more efficient and sustainable, the increase in demand will have to be matched at least in part by an increase in supply – and the hydrocarbon industry will have to keep searching and developing technologies to help achieve that growth.
This article appeared in Vol. 9, No. 4 - 2012

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The energy-hungry population of India has now topped 1.22 billion. Source: Jane Whaley So the amazing, record-breaking, exhausting sports-fest that is the Olympics is over for another four years, to a loud chorus of cheers, tears, recriminations and yawns, depending on your opinion of the event – and your country’s position on the medal table. And slowly the holiday season draws to a close, vacations turn into memories and working life takes over once more.

But for those of us in the oil industry, should we ever be allowing our concentration to waver? Estimates suggest that by 2030, there will be a 30% increase in global energy demand when compared to 2010 levels (Exxonmobil Energy Outlook 2012). The increase in demand from non-OECD countries will actually move close to 60% as their economic growth and prosperity levels race to catch up with the countries of North America and Europe. While many efforts are being made throughout the world to make energy use more efficient and sustainable, this increase in demand will have to be matched at least in part by an increase in supply – and the hydrocarbon industry will have to keep searching and developing technologies to help achieve that growth.

This is particularly relevant for South East Asia, the geographical focus of this edition of GEO ExPro Magazine. Sandwiched as it is between two of the fastest economically developing countries in the wold, India and China, who between them hold over a third of the world’s total population, the region is ideally positioned to supply these rapidly growing markets. At the moment, however, South East Asia only contributes 3% to oil and 6.5% to gas production globally. Few giants have been found and many of the known fields are nearing depletion. The region has lots of untapped potential however, but to bring it into the supply chain will need technological innovations, not only to squeeze each drop out of the existing fields, but to move into frontier deep water and other challenging areas.

Luckily for all of us, technological innovation is something the oil and gas industry is good at, even if we do occasionally get distracted by worldwide celebrations and personal holidays.

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