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Can natural gas become the first primary energy source?

Kamel Bennaceur – Chief Economist – Schlumberger

The last decade has witnessed major changes in the world energy scene. Coal increased its share of the primary energy supply to 27%, mainly driven by increased demand from growing Asian economies. The increase in coal use, which, in the absence of significant carbon abatement policies, puts it in track to be the first primary energy source by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency, even passing oil, with unsustainable levels of greenhouse gas emissions. An alternative to coal for power generation is from natural gas, which has seen a major growth driven by the expansion of LNG, and the commercial development of North American unconventional gas. With less than half of the CO2 emissions compared to coal, natural gas could become a “destination fuel”, instead of a transition fuel, this century.

The presentation addresses the conditions of development of natural gas beyond its current production basins, and the scenarios for its growth in the next four decades. Unconventional gas has the potential to expand reserves-to-production ratios from 60 years to more than a century, with a wider distribution of production sources. The development of such resources, as well as conventional but sour gas gas, presents a number of environmental challenges. Technologies and processes that may address such challenges will be discussed.

 


 

Kamel Bennaceur

Kamel Bennaceur is the Schlumberger Chief Economist, based in Paris, responsible for developing the company strategic and macro-economic outlook. He also leads programs in sustainable energy and oil and gas supply and demand.   He has over 30 years worldwide experience in the energy sector starting in 1980 with R&D project and program management in the oil and gas sector in France, USA and United Kingdom. He then managed operations in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He was appointed as Worldwide Marketing Manager for Schlumberger Well Services in Houston in 1999, before managing the technology group with the Schlumberger Integrated Project Management business line in London in 2001. In 2003, he started the Schlumberger CO2 group, which became a new business segment.  In 2006, he was seconded to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris where he was responsible for sector-wide energy perspectives at different time frames. He was one of the lead authors of the World Energy Outlook in 2007 and 2008, and of the 2008 Energy Technology Perspectives.

Dr. Bennaceur serves on the Society of Petroleum Engineers Board of Directors, as well as several other energy-related organizations. In 2006, he received the SPE Distinguished Member Award, and was appointed as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society on energy perspectives and carbon management. He has co-authored seven books and more than 120 technical papers. He is a frequent keynote speaker and panel chair at major energy events, and has served as conference chairperson for industry events around the world.  He is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique in France, and Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris) with an Agregation of Mathematics.

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