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IPTC Will Examine Technological Innovations

The seventh International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) will attract major national and international oil and gas companies, service providers, and technology developers during 19–22 January 2014 to Doha, Qatar.

The largest multisociety, multidisciplinary oil and gas event in the Eastern Hemisphere, IPTC will be hosted by Qatar Petroleum, with ExxonMobil as the cohost organization. The conference is sponsored by SPE, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).

The event will showcase recent technological achievements and solutions that the industry has developed to face critical challenges in deepwater drilling, heavy oil production, and shale development. Highlighting the theme of “Unlocking Energy Through Innovation, Technology, and Capability,” the conference drew the highest number of technical paper abstracts submitted since its inauguration. From among the 1,803 abstracts submitted, 499 were selected for presentation. The accepted papers represent 124 companies from 38 countries. The conference will feature 67 technical sessions, four panel sessions, two industry breakfasts, two topical luncheons, five training courses, and four nontechnical seminars.

Young professional and student activities will take place with the goal of promoting the industry and attracting more graduates to the oil and gas industry. Events include International Education Week, Science Teachers Workshop, Future Engineers’ Parents Dinner, and the International Young Professionals Competition.

Special Sessions

Special sessions will include industry breakfasts covering the new partnership models between NOCs, IOCs, and service providers, and also the oil and gas industry in the eastern Mediterranean region. Industry luncheons will discuss how recent discoveries in east Africa have increased the prosperity of the region and give a country briefing about Libya.

In an awards ceremony, the event will also recognize distinguished achievement by a company for the integration of multiple disciplines and the execution of major industry projects from discovery to delivery. A new addition to the conference is the Technology Theater, which will showcase the latest technologies in the oil and gas industry.

“As our technical focus is deep water and tight oil and gas, IPTC offers an excellent opportunity for us to learn and to acquire new technologies in this domain,” said Hironori Wasada, senior vice president at JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration. “Networking is also a very important aspect for our company, especially as we have just opened a new office in Qatar.”

Other companies plan to use IPTC to learn more about technology development and deployments, and how to maximize the benefits of technologies. “We are in a constant hunt for the best-in-class technology and innovative solutions to use in our LNG trains,” said -Khalid Bin Abdulla Al-Thani, chief operating officer of Engineering & Ventures at Qatargas. “IPTC offers a great opportunity for us to network and to learn more about new technologies that we may use in our LNG trains.”

For this IPTC 2014 preview, JPT spoke to some of the participants about their expectations for the conference and the projects their companies are working on.

For more information about the event, including technical topics and panel discussions, please visit www.iptcnet.org/2014/doha.

Andrew P. Swiger

Senior Vice President and Principal Financial Officer, ExxonMobil, and Executive Committee Cochairperson, IPTC

What are the benefits of conferences such as IPTC?

The International Petroleum Technology Conference has become an important global forum for highlighting the research and innovation that will shape our industry’s future. This year’s conference will provide a platform for showcasing the ingenuity of our industry’s global workforce. ExxonMobil employs more than 18,000 scientists and engineers and technology is the cornerstone of our business.

For 3 days, representatives from all segments of our industry and government officials from around the world will gather in Doha to address the challenge of meeting the increasing global demand for energy while reducing environmental impacts associated with its production. This important dialog will be supported by the conference’s program, which includes nearly 500 technical presentations, high-level plenary sessions, and one of the largest exhibitions IPTC has hosted.

IPTC’s strong young members program is a key component of the conference. It recognizes the duty we have as an industry to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers, who will drive tomorrow’s innovation.

What is ExxonMobil’s role as cohost with Qatar Petroleum?

ExxonMobil is a long-term partner of Qatar Petroleum and we are excited to cohost IPTC 2014 and celebrate the third occasion of this event being held in Doha. Support for this event by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum is part of our mutual efforts to help develop Qatar’s energy industry. Qatar is one of the world’s leading energy-providing nations, and its responsible energy development and social advancement are examples of what can be achieved through cooperation, innovation, and investment.

What role can industry associations, such as the ones that sponsor IPTC, play in the continued development of the oil and gas industry?

Professional organizations such as SPE, AAPG, EAGE, and SEG play a vital role in the energy industry. The members of these organizations are geologists, geophysicists, and engineers who lead our industry. They dedicate their efforts to providing opportunities for collaboration, as well as ensuring that the workforce’s technical competencies are at a level that will allow us to safely and efficiently develop challenging resources around the world.

What operations or projects will you be highlighting at IPTC?

IPTC’s theme this year enables us to feature the technological advancements that enable industry to effectively manage the risks associated with energy development. IPTC also provides the opportunity to highlight some of the technologies we have deployed in partnership with Qatar Petroleum that have revolutionized the LNG (liquefied natural gas) business. For example, we have applied large-train LNG technology and our “Design One, Build Multiple” strategy, which involved larger, more economical trains using state-of-the-art turbines, compressors, and heat exchangers combined to result in greater efficiencies.

Larger, more efficient LNG ships have also been important in delivering cost savings and economies of scale. These ships have capacities up to 80% greater than their predecessors and are equipped with an onboard boil-off reliquefaction plant and a modern, efficient propulsion system that reduces shipping costs by about 30%.

Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil also drilled the largest wellbores ever drilled offshore to produce natural gas. The wells are designed to produce at rates more than five times those of gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

IPTC also enables us to feature the research and development work we have undertaken through ExxonMobil Research Qatar, an anchor tenant at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Education City. We are continuing to conduct research in areas of common interest to Qatar and ExxonMobil, including environmental management research and LNG safety research.

In addition, we will showcase unconventional resources development through a digital, interactive display that demonstrates how technology will transform today’s unconventional resources into tomorrow’s conventional resources. The display shows how we combine real-time drilling optimization with advanced stimulation technologies to economically drill and complete wells.

With IPTC being held in Qatar every other year, how would you like to build on ExxonMobil’s role in Qatar in particular and in the Middle East in general?

ExxonMobil has a long history in the Middle East and North Africa dating back more than 100 years, and we have had great success in working with governments and partners around the world to safely and responsibly maximize the value of their resources. By bringing together expert people, proprietary technology, superior operations, and project management capability, we work with our partners to deliver the best possible value over the full life cycle of a project. By integrating the local knowledge and experience of our partners with our global capabilities, we can deliver outstanding results and lasting benefits.

For example, leading-edge technology applied to the Upper Zakum development project in Abu Dhabi is helping recover resources more efficiently from one of the world’s largest oil fields. We are also reducing environmental impact through technological innovations, such as the construction of artificial islands for drilling and production and extended reach drilling techniques.

By complementing the strengths of Qatar Petroleum, we have both created a successful model for partnerships between national and international companies. Today, we are focused on ensuring the operational excellence of the world-class LNG assets we have developed together.

Other areas of cooperation include the Barzan gas project, which is scheduled to start up next year, and is expected to supply 1.4 Bcf/D of sales gas to power stations and industries in Qatar to support the country’s rapid growth. We are also working with Qatar Petroleum International to expand our cooperation and evaluate unconventional resources in North America and certain global LNG opportunities.

We value the relationships we have  built in the region over many years and look forward to continuing the good work with our partners.

How is energy supply and demand evolving and how is ExxonMobil positioning itself?

We expect global energy demand to grow  35% by 2040 when compared to 2010 because of expanding prosperity, growth of the world’s population to nearly 9 billion people, and a doubling of the size of the global economy. This outlook includes significant gains in efficiency across economies worldwide through energy-saving practices and technologies that will also curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Growing electricity demand is projected to remain the biggest driver of energy needs and electricity generation could account for 40% of global energy use by 2040.

Oil is expected to remain the most widely used fuel worldwide but, interestingly, natural gas could overtake coal for the No. 2 spot. Natural gas continues to be the fastest growing major fuel worldwide and demand for natural gas is expected to rise by about 65% through 2040, supported by growing unconventional supplies.

To meet this growing demand, the world will need to invest in and develop all economically competitive sources of energy.  ExxonMobil plans to invest about $190 billion over the next 5 years to meet growing energy demand. We continue to look farther and deeper for new and unconventional supplies of energy. We are drilling into deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, developing oil sands in Canada that are giving us access to one of the world’s largest known reserves of energy, and exploring in the Arctic. We also have a significant presence in all the major US unconventional plays and many emerging international plays.

What is ExxonMobil’s role in the future development of technologies to maximize production?

Over the years, advanced technologies have helped meet a growing global energy demand by making more energy supplies available and allowing us to produce those supplies with a smaller environmental footprint. Today, a substantial percentage of the world’s oil and gas resources are located in hard-to-reach environments including deep water and Arctic regions, or in shale and tight rock formations. This makes technology more important than ever as our industry requires new and advanced approaches to energy production.

ExxonMobil is a leader in technology research and development. We know innovations in science and engineering will be vital to providing the world with the increasing amount of energy it needs. Among other benefits, technology can increase efficiency, reduce environmental impact, improve safety, and enable access to new sources of energy supply.

At the core of our business are several key research organizations that work collaboratively on new technologies. Our emerging energy sources and technologies team is tasked with evaluating technologies either over long time horizons or in fields outside the company’s near-term business focus. Once this team determines that a technology is scalable from an energy supply/demand perspective, fits with ExxonMobil competencies, and could provide the company a competitive advantage or support its license to operate, the team can elect to evaluate or progress the technology in a functional research and development program.

In addition to global-level research, functional technology groups support each of the business lines in guiding their technology investment. For example, ExxonMobil Research Qatar is developing a remote gas detection system that pairs infrared camera technology with an advanced sophisticated algorithm that detects hydrocarbons. When deployed, this system will improve process safety and reduce hydrocarbon emissions by identifying leaks quickly and automatically.

We apply the same rigor and discipline to our research initiatives as we do any of our operations and projects. As technology moves from concept to research and application, ExxonMobil applies a consistent management approach.

Matthias Bichsel

Projects and Technology Director, Shell

What are the major operations/fields/projects that Shell is currently involved in?

Over the past few years, Shell’s production has been increasing due to a number of large projects we have brought on-stream. In addition, we have put a lot of emphasis on getting the most from our assets in dedicated programs and interventions that we call integrated “well, reservoir, and facilities management.”

We are continually delivering large new capital projects, some of which will be coming on-stream over the next 18 months or so. An example would be the Mars Olympus tension leg platform in the Gulf of Mexico. With proprietary seismic imaging, we have been able to prove up a significant resource volume in this basin, much larger than we believed at the time we started development there. We are also working on a new deepwater development in Malaysia. In both cases, the offshore platforms are already on location. Shell also has large projects in Brazil, Nigeria, and Europe, and a few other locations. One I particularly want to mention is floating LNG. The Prelude FLNG facility offshore Australia is the first FLNG project in the world.

In the Middle East, we have ongoing operations with our joint venture partners. With Petroleum Development Oman, for example, we have a number of new fields that have come on-stream recently. These include a very sour oil field in Harweel and several enhanced oil recovery projects. In Oman, we are also part of a pilot plant, where sunlight is being used instead of natural gas to heat water into steam for a thermal EOR field. Petroleum Development Oman contracted GlassPoint to build that plant, which is currently being tested.

In Iraq, we are busy with the Majnoon field, the first new material greenfield development in the country for decades, which has recently produced first oil and is expected to ramp up over the next weeks. We are also involved in the Basra Gas Company, a joint venture with the Iraqi South Gas Company and Mitsubishi, to gather and process the associated gas that is currently flared at a number of oil fields, to help support power generation that is much needed in Iraq.

In the UAE, we recently won the Bab gas field tender, and are now putting the final touches on forming a joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for the development of this field.

What unconventional projects have you tackled?

In the Middle East, we have a number of exploration projects to prove up the presence of producible hydrocarbons. This includes the Jordan Oil Shale project, which is still in the exploratory phase. We have significant interests in tight and shale gas and shale oil, particularly in the Americas. In the Eastern Hemisphere, we are very active in China with our partner CNPC to explore for basin center and shale gas. And we are looking for opportunities in the Mediterranean rim countries. These are also still in the early stages and under discussion with the respective governments about what can be done.

How has your company evolved over the past several years?

On the upstream side, Shell has very strong cash engines in our heartlands such as the North Sea and Far East. There is continued investment in keeping these assets producing and offsetting decline. We have three distinct growth themes: deep water, integrated gas (such as LNG and gas-to-liquids), and resources plays (tight and shale gas and shale oil).

In deep water, we have several large projects under construction in the Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, and Nigeria and are in the design phase of several large discoveries in these countries. Particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, we have numerous projects that lend themselves to fast replication.

Integrated gas is another growth area. Shell is a leader in LNG but we have several other important strands, such as gas-to-liquids, gas-to-chemicals, in combination with our downstream units, and, of late, LNG-to-transport. This is all about focusing on the monetization of gas molecules in an integrated fashion, from the reservoir to the customer.

Resources plays like shale gas and shale oil, which I mentioned earlier, constitute another growth theme.

What is the E&P strategy of your company?

We have to generate sufficient money in order to pay and grow our dividend and to invest in future growth; hence, one of our key metrics is cash flow. As I have explained, we have the cash engines and growth themes. Over time, the growth areas such as deep water will replace some of the maturing cash generation theaters. In addition, we have assets with very large resource bases in a number of countries, such as Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Iraq. The pace of the development of these resources is not entirely in our hands; we need to work with the respective governments to agree how best to unlock them. And of course, we are interested in frontier areas, such as the Arctic that contains large, undiscovered resources.

Are you using IPTC to acquire or promote any particular technology?

For us, IPTC is a very important conference as it links the resource-holding countries with the oil companies that traditionally have worked in Europe and America. Bringing a lot of knowledge and a lot of technical expertise together, that is what makes it such an important event. Shell has supported IPTC from the beginning, and we have seen the value of that. Overall, IPTC offers an excellent opportunity for networking and for showcasing capabilities. It also provides a place where discussions can take place about a technology that could be used in new joint venture partnerships, for example.

What are the technology trends in E&P that you are looking forward to?

There are a few trends one can see. In the exploration sector, there is a further thrust toward frontier basins that are unexplored. Advanced technology, to image complex geology and to derisk basins, as well as good science, are necessary to figure out what the possibilities are. On the drilling side, there are a number of changes coming, mainly on the safety side, in particular, regarding process safety during the drilling process, but also during the production phase. As an industry, we must ensure that the oil and gas stays “in pipe” all the time. We are also doing a lot of work on automated drilling. We expect to see a revolution in the way we drill, thanks to new computer algorithms and downhole sensors. That combination will not only allow us to drill more accurately horizontally, but it will allow us to do it faster and safer. Automated drilling will also enable the industry to address changing demographics as staff retire and a new generation takes over.

I also really believe that the industry needs to become more sophisticated in the way it uses reservoir surveillance technology for improved and enhanced oil recovery. Those recovery techniques depend not only on injecting some sort of energy or chemical into the reservoir, but also on knowing exactly what is going on in the reservoir. That knowledge must then be integrated into the operations to truly optimize the recovery of hydrocarbon. Enhanced oil and gas recovery has a lot to offer to solve the energy challenge the world faces.

Guido Michelotti

Executive Vice President, Research and Technological Innovation, Eni Exploration & Production

What are the major operations you are currently involved in?

Today, we are focusing on projects that fall into two broad categories. On the one hand, we have development projects that are planned to come on-stream this year. We have eight major startups. Seven of these have already started production, including the Kashagan in Kazakhstan, which started production in early September. We are proud of this because it is the most challenging project ever undertaken in our industry.

The second group of projects revolves around bringing to production the exploration successes that we have made in the last few years. We want them contributing as fast as possible to our organic growth. Among these major discoveries, the discovery we made in Mozambique is the most important, where we discovered a huge offshore deepwater gas field, which holds around 80 Tcf of gas in place. This is the largest discovery in our history.

Currently, we are working with Anadarko on a development plan for the gas that is straddled between two blocks and, after that, we will continue with what is not straddled. The size and the volume of the project may change the landscape of the global gas industry. We have another major discovery this year that includes 600 million bbl of oil and 700 Tcf of gas in place in offshore Congo, a region that everybody considers a mature province.

How has your company changed over the past several years?

It depends on the time horizon, but certainly I would say that our company has changed from being a medium-sized national oil company entirely controlled by the government and producing fewer than 1 million BOEPD, to one of the largest integrated oil companies aiming to produce about 2 million BOEPD within the next 3 years.

This is a major change. I believe through this process of change, we have been able to retain some of the distinctive elements that have been present since the inception of our company 60 years ago. In a nutshell, we have a passion for everything that is difficult, a passion that is deeply rooted in every person in the company as we had to compete with the supermajors when we started and struggled to get a foothold in the global oil and gas industry.

The other distinctive element is our understanding of the drivers of national oil companies, particularly the commitment to create sustainability through bringing jobs and contributing to the development of local industry. These two elements are behind our success in Africa, where today we are the largest international oil company operating and investing in the continent, producing more than 1 million BOEPD, a result that is a testament to our capability for listening and understanding and for giving answers to local communities.

What are the unconventional projects Eni is involved in?

We have several plans and activities. Earlier this year, we signed an agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation for a 6000-km2 gas block in the Sichuan province. We are also working in other areas such as Poland, where we are assessing the results of the exploration phase, and Ukraine, where we have recently signed an agreement to conduct exploration and we plan to start operation in 2014. In Algeria, we signed a memorandum with Sonatrach, where we are assessing the potential of the Timimoun basin.

When it comes to unconventionals, our growth strategy is, unlike many other companies in the last decade, not to take major exposure to shale gas acreage in the US. This is because we thought there were much cheaper conventional resources still to be discovered and developed in basins we know very well. Our recent history of exploration has proved our thinking to be right.

What is the basic E&P strategy of your company?

Our strategy is very simple. To continue growing organically by turning our resource base of more than 34 billion bbl into production. The development of these resources is expected to add about 1.3 million BOEPD in the next 10 years to our total production. We are doing all we can in order to develop these resources and bring them on-stream in an efficient and timely manner to maximize the value of our assets.

What do you hope to accomplish at IPTC?

We support the four societies that sponsor IPTC; hence, we support IPTC. What we see of particular interest is the fact that IPTC brings together different professional societies in a way that fosters and delivers a message of integration and multidisciplinary thinking, which is critical to our business. We also see IPTC as a way of keeping ourselves abreast of technological development and of making the industry aware of our own innovations. For the next edition of the event, we are participating heavily and delivering keynote speeches and technical papers.

Conferences like IPTC can help the oil and gas industry overcome the challenges that are growing day by day. The oil and gas we want to discover and produce is located in more difficult, harsher environments, and we need technology to do so. IPTC can help the industry and companies in different ways, such as training and dissemination of knowledge. They can be a stimulus to reducing the time the industry takes between the first concept of an idea and its full deployment, as we are a bit slow as an industry.

Also, events like IPTC can help the industry in communicating better, more efficiently, and more effectively with stakeholders at large, a domain where we are not doing so well. As an industry, we need to be more proactive rather than reactive in our communication. IPTC and associations such as SPE can help by becoming credible technical sources of oil and gas expertise and information for the general public.

How do you see the E&P sector evolving?

In terms of technology, the trend will be to find ways to operate in frontier environments, which means moving to ultradeepwater, and developing the technology not only to drill, but also to develop the fields in an economically effective manner. Making a discovery that you cannot develop for 10 years does not make sense. There is also the entire spectrum of technologies required to operate in the Arctic.

As E&P companies, we also have another issue, which is to take back some of the expertise we outsourced in the past. We rely too much on contractors and thereby weakened our competencies and ability to do the work. We need to get this back.

Steven Graham Peacock

Chief Operating Officer, Mubadala Petroleum

What are the major operations/fields/projects you are currently involved in?

We are in 12 different countries and cover the full spectrum from exploration all the way to production. In terms of production, we have our flagship shareholding in Dolphin Energy in Qatar and the UAE. Dolphin currently produces 2 Bcf/D of gas and 100 million B/D of condensate, and we are making an investment in upgrading the compression facilities at the Ras Laffan processing facility, which will allow us to use the full 3-Bcf/D capacity of the export pipeline to the UAE. This has already being sanctioned, and it is progressing very well; it should be on-stream early 2015.

Secondly, we are in heavy oil in the Mukhaizna field in Oman, where we hold 15% ownership. Mukhaizna is a real success story, where we have taken production from 10,000 B/D to 120,000 B/D. Oxy is the operator.

Our third major project in the Middle East is the Bahrain field, which we are redeveloping in partnership with Oxy and NOGA Holding via the Tatweer Petroleum joint operating company. It is a large scale and very complex project, with many subsurface challenges presented by the multiple reservoir horizons. We are piloting a variety of IOR and EOR techniques, including waterflooding, which is fairly conventional, but also two thermal projects, one heavy oil steamflood, and one light oil steamflood, which is fairly unusual. And, of course, we are investing in a range of new surface infrastructure, such as new tank batteries and wellhead manifolds, as well as debottlenecking the existing facilities. To date, we have taken production from 25 million B/D when we took over to about 45 million B/D.

Our fourth major production operation is in southeast Asia, where we acquired a company called Pearl in 2008. We operate and hold 100% interest in the Jasmine field in the Gulf of Thailand, which is a great story and one of which we are particularly proud. Jasmine started production in 2005, and at that stage, recoverable reserves were estimated to be less than 10 million bbl. By the end of this year, we will have produced our 50 millionth bbl, and there is more to come.

We have also a number of development projects under way; the closest to coming on-stream is the Ruby gas field in Indonesia, where we are the operator with 70% share, in partnership with Total and INPEX. The field is due on-stream in the next few weeks. Also in southeast Asia, we have two other projects that have been sanctioned and are currently in execution mode, both in the Gulf of Thailand: the Manora and Nong Yao fields.

In addition, we have several other projects under appraisal or in predevelopment. These include oil discoveries in Vietnam, Thailand, and Kazakhstan, plus gas discoveries in Malaysia and Oman.

What is the recent history of your company?

We have evolved significantly over the last 8 years. Until last year, we were a business unit of Mubadala Development Company. We are now a company in our own right—Mubadala Petroleum—but we remain a 100% Mubadala subsidiary, and in turn, fully owned by the Abu Dhabi government. This is a significant benefit. It gives us tremendous support and a long-term financial outlook, and the opportunity to bring parallel investments. We have evolved from the early days from being a relatively small interest holder, with a completely nonoperated portfolio, relatively passive in terms of the technical input, and with a focused geographical base across Qatar and the UAE, Libya, and Oman; it was a relatively limited exposure. Now we have a presence in 12 countries, produce nearly 400,000 B/D working interest production, and have about 800 million bbl in resources, so we have a significant resource base sitting behind us.

In the last year or so, we have expanded into new areas. For example, we picked up a block offshore Tanzania in the active east African margin, where major gas discoveries have been made recently. We will be drilling in this block before the end of the year.

Do you have any unconventional projects?

I think that everybody is trying to reproduce elsewhere the success that the US has had in this domain. The Middle East is not a bad place to look, because you are essentially exploring for the source rock, and we all know that there are plenty of source rocks in the Middle East. However, the unconventional business needs more than the just the rocks; it needs a lot of water, a lot of infrastructure, and a well-established service sector. Our strategy here is watching closely, and we are in discussion with other IOCs about opportunities, but we have not yet committed to anything significant. We recognize the potential and we know the challenges related to it.

What is the E&P strategy of your company?

We have a four-part strategy. The first is delivering gas imports to the UAE. Dolphin Energy was a very strategic project and is now bringing about 2.5 Bcf/D of gas to support economic growth in the emirates. We are also a partner in a new venture called Emirates LNG, which will import LNG to the UAE. When completed, this will have an import capacity of 1.2 Bcf/D of gas.

The second part of our strategy is safely generating the maximum value from the resources already in our portfolio. The Jasmine investment is a good example of that. We started with less than 10 million bbl, and we built that to 50 million bbl, and we have done this with an exemplary safety and environmental record.

Our third strategic pillar is exploration. We spend between USD 200 million and USD 300 million a year on exploration and appraisal activities, and we are looking for material ventures underpinning significant reserves replacement and future growth.

The fourth leg of our strategy is what we call post-discovery acquisition—buying into opportunities that have been discovered and need to be developed, or more mature fields that are ripe for redevelopment. Mukhaizna and Bahrain are good examples.

All these activities take place in the Eastern Hemisphere, where the UAE has excellent relations and interests.

Khalid Bin Abdulla Al-Thani

Chief Operating Officer, Engineering and Ventures, Qatargas

What are the major operations/fields/projects that Qatargas is  currently involved in?

Qatargas is the largest LNG producer in the world operating seven LNG trains on behalf of four ventures made up of different shareholder interests, with Qatar Petroleum the major shareholder. We also operate all the offshore assets and wells delivering gas from Qatar’s North field to each venture; we operate the Laffan Refinery 1 with LR2 under construction as well as a diesel hydrotreater and a gasoline unit. We also operate a number of common facilities such as the sulfur handling plant and the common condensate, the common LPG, and common LNG facilities, including all berth operations; and we operate the Ras Laffan terminal operations.

We have a couple of major projects coming to completion in the next year. The Jetty Boil-off Gas Project is targeted for late this year and the Plateau Maintenance Project is targeted for the middle of 2014. We have a number of projects in the early phases around flare reduction and wastewater injection reduction in an effort to shrink our environmental footprint.

From which fields does Qatargas source gas feedstock?

All of our feedstock comes from the North field. The different ventures have assigned areas within the North field to sustain their production.

Is the technology in the different liquefied natural gas trains the same or does it differ from train to train?

The technology differs to some extent between our smaller trains in the QG1 Venture and the mega-trains in the QG2, QG3, and QG4 Ventures, but the basic gas processing principles are the same. Our mega-trains are the largest in the world, so there are some unique technologies that were qualified and deployed to deliver the scale. These technologies have proved successful.

What is the future strategy of your company?

Qatargas focuses on operational excellence, which is our key strategy. We make our efforts to operate our facility at the right levels in term of reliability, cost, and in accordance with the highest health, safety, and environmental standards. As stated in our direction statement, our vision is to be the world’s premier LNG company by 2015. We are truly proud of our achievement in becoming the largest LNG player in the world within a very short period.

Are you using IPTC to acquire or promote any particular technology?

IPTC is a very prestigious event, as we are in a constant hunt for best-in-class technology and innovative solutions to use in our LNG trains. Also, IPTC offers a great opportunity for us to network and to learn more about new technologies that we may use in our trains.

There are excellent opportunities for oil and gas companies to learn more about new technology, technology and knowledge transfer, and training. As part of our commitment to our people and our shareholders, we look for opportunities to stay versed in the various technological developments and to share our successes or lessons learned for the benefit of our industry. As highlighted in our vision, LNG is a key focus area so we look for technologies and innovations that support the full LNG value chain.

Hironori Wasada

Senior Vice President, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration 

Who are the major shareholders of JX Nippon and what are the major projects you are currently involved in?

JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation (NOEX) is a business unit of JX Group, and it is engaged in the oil and gas development business all over the world.

We are very active in Japan where development of local energy resources in the country is the mission of local companies. We are committed to continuing exploration activities in Japan, with the aim of contributing to a stable supply of energy. Currently, we are engaged in exploration activities offshore Japan; this includes Sanriku and the offshore Erimo blocks. Also, we hold 100% interest in several offshore blocks, including Shikoku, Nishi-kyushu, Sado, and Toyama Bay.

The onshore Nakajo oil and gas field located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, is the domestic E&P base of JX Group. NOEX’s mission in the Nakajo field is to steadily supply hydrocarbons to customers, including industries and local communities.

What international projects are you involved in?

NOEX currently operates in 14 countries. We are involved in crude oil production in Vietnam, natural gas production in Malaysia, and exploration in the UK North Sea. We have also been promoting an oil production project in the United Arab Emirates for more than 30 years.

On top of that, we are very active in several Asian countries, including Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, and East Timor. In Thailand, we will apply our own technologies acquired through our operations in Vietnam to improve the efficiency of crude oil production at the Nang Nuan oil field in Block B6/27, where we hold a 40% interest in the field. PTTEP Siam in the operator and holds a 60% interest in the field. In Vietnam, we are involved in Block 15-2 (46.5% interest in the block), Block 05-1 b/c, and Block 16-2; while in Myanmar, we hold interests in Blocks M12, 13, and 14 and Block M11.

We are also involved in LNG projects, including the Tangguh LNG project in Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea’s first LNG project, which is set to deliver its first LNG cargo in 2014.

What will be your focus at IPTC?

Our new strategy aims to encourage our staff to participate in these types of events, and as our technical focus is deep water, EOR, and tight oil and gas, and we are looking to acquire new technologies in these domains. Networking is also a very important aspect for our company, especially since we have just opened a new office in Qatar.

IPTC Will Examine Technological Innovations

Abdelghani Henni, JPT Middle East Editor

01 November 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 11

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