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One idea: Our industry is in the new era of greater competition and must become more efficient to continue to prosper.
Only about 15 years ago "peak oil" theories were quite popular and accepted by the general public. Another school of thought, based on the concept of resource triangle, stated that as technology develops and as prices increase, vast amounts of hydrocarbon resources will become commercial. Oil and gas prices did increase and this led to the unconventional oil and gas revolution. Recent analysis of resource potential based on technical data collected for North American basins (S.A.Holditch et al) showed that we may think of hydrocarbon resources as being essentially infinite for practical purposes.
However the cost of the resource development, as expressed by the production activation index (the CapEx required to create production stream of 1 stb/day) increased over the decade from about 1000-10,000 USD/bopd range for conventional oil, up to 15,000 USD /bopd, and more in some cases. Maintaining production levels with unconventional resources requires continous drilling. The rapid rate of decline of unconventional wells translates to roughly a three-fold increase in the cost of generating a unit of energy compared to conventional wells. At this order of magnitude of energy cost, other sources of energy and combinations of technologies become competitive with conventional fossil fuel based energy and transportation.
3/4 of all the oil that we produce is used for 3 purposes: ground transportation, heating and electricity generation, and jet fuel. In this lecture we will discuss competitive technologies, their technical limitations, their progress in application and market penetration trends. These competitive technologies are solar power, electric automobiles, and magnetic levitation trains. The high energy density of gasoline made conventional internal combustion engine cars prevalent at the turn of the 20th century. But today, the higher energy efficiency of electric cars and improvements in battery technology are making electric vehicles competitive. We review how the future may look like and how our industry may adapt and change. As the transition starts there will probably be long term demand destruction trend in OECD countries.
It is likely that the industry will experience significant downward oil price pressure as alternative technologies become more competitive. We need to train young engineers in energy engineering rather than just petroleum engineering.
Iskander Diyashev is an instructor for Petroskills since 2008. The PetroSkills Alliance is a training organization for the 30 member companies representing more than 40% of the world’s oil production.
Iskander Diyashev had taught numerous classes in fundamentals of petroleum, reservoir, and production engineering. The advanced level classes that Dr. Diyashev has instructed include oil and gas reserves evaluation, well test design and analysis and gas reservoir management.
Prior to his current job with Petroskills, Dr. Diyashev worked in various engineering and leadership roles for S.A. Holditch and Associates, Schlumberger, Sibneft, Geo-Alliance and NRK-Technology.
Iskander served on the SPE International board of directors in 2006-2008, and participated in various SPE technical and organizing committees for SPE conferences.
Iskander holds Ph.D degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University (1998) and BS and MS degrees in Physics (Molecular and Chemical Physics) from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.