Despite fluctuations in oil and gas prices over the last five years and alternative sources of energy becoming mainstream, oil demand continues to grow with consumption expected to increase by about 750,000 barrels a day each year to reach 103.2 million a day in 2030. With the question of how to secure the oil and gas sector’s future production on many peoples minds, digitalisation of this industry – or oil and gas 4.0 as it is also known – may provide answers to the sectors’ biggest challenges such as profitability, operational efficiency and safety.
Accelerated by shifting trends in supply and demand, technologies such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data allow oil and gas companies to respond swiftly to changes in the market and offer the greatest potential for impact across the value chain.
In the Middle East and Africa, in particular, digitalisation will continue to play a significant role in transforming the industry, potentially unlocking up to US$2.6 trillion by 2025, according to a white paper by DHL Global Forwarding. The paper highlights that drones and autonomous robots, for example, can potentially reduce drilling and completion costs by 20 per cent in deep-water areas and 25 per cent in inspection and maintenance of assets.
1. Cloud Computing
According to data and analytics company GlobalData, cloud computing allows oil and gas companies to scale their data management and storage, driving greater flexibility in infrastructure costs. The high computing power delivered via cloud platforms is inexpensive and supports adopting other technologies such as AI, big data and IoT technology.
With demand for cloud services in Saudi Arabia forecast to reach up to US$10 billion by 2030, the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco has teamed with Google Cloud to offer cloud services in the Kingdom. Aramco said the agreement with Google would deliver “high performance, low-latency cloud services to enterprise customers in Saudi Arabia”.
IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, machines, and people, where data and equipment communicate. In the oil and gas industry, IoT sensors can gather data from an oil well, such as continuously measuring oil composition and flow rates.
According to Deloitte, today’s oil and gas companies are increasingly focusing their IoT initiatives less on underlying sensors, devices, and “smart” things and more on developing bold approaches for managing data, leveraging “brownfield” IoT infrastructure and developing new business models.
Recently, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) announced that it has teamed up with Halliburton Company to collaborate on their digital transformation journey through the maintenance and expansion of digital solutions for their North Kuwait asset. By using cloud computing, IoT and real-time technologies to drive new ways of working, the collaboration aims to improve production planning, scheduling and enable virtual and autonomous reservoir optimisation.
A study by GSMA has estimated that there will be more than 50 million 5G connections across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2025, covering around 30 per cent of the region’s population. The oil and gas industry can significantly benefit from the 5G network’s high availability, reliability and quality of service and will have the opportunity to transform its communication and application technology fully.
Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco, STC and Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a joint innovation programme to study the application of 5G technology in the oil and gas industry and to eventually develop relevant innovative solutions.
Within the oil and gas industry, AI can be used in two main applications: machine learning to study the potential risks of new projects and data science to get a comprehensive picture of the project. According to EY, the application of AI goes beyond “better” or “faster” processes, and it is inspiring new ways to approaching exploration, development, production, transportation, refining and sales.
Last year, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced the launch of AIQ, its AI joint venture company with Group 42, an Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud computing company that will focus on developing and commercialising AI products and applications for the oil and gas industry. Similarly, Qatar Petroleum (QP) has entered into a partnership with Baker Hughes (BHGE) to introduce the latest AI technologies to support the local market.
5. Big Data
Big data analytics assists in streamlining critical oil and gas operations, such as exploration, drilling, production and delivery, in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, by
providing complex and real-time insights to improve asset management.
At Saudi Aramco, big data is used to improve CO₂ sequestration, carry out data modelling for reservoir management and forecast production performance. Big data also plays a significant role at ADNOC’s Panorama Digital Command Centre where real-time information is aggregated across the energy company’s many business units, including 65 operating sites. It uses analytics, AI, and big data to generate operational insights and recommendations.
Aramco and stc have launched Dammam 7, a supercomputer among the top ten most powerful in the world, marking the next step in Aramco’s digital transformation
The supercomputer presents new opportunities in both exploration and development and enhances Aramco’s decision-making on exploration and investment decisions. The computer will complement a suite of advanced technologies that are reshaping core operations, driving efficiencies and reinforcing Aramco’s industry leadership in geoscience.
Developed at Dhahran Techno Valley in partnership with Solutions, a subsidiary of stc Group, and CRAY, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise subsidiary, Dammam 7 has 55.4 petaflops of peak computing power, allowing it to process and image the world’s largest geophysical datasets.
The Dammam 7 supercomputer, named after the first oil well discovered in Saudi Arabia, will push beyond the traditional boundaries of exploration and production. Sophisticated imaging and deep-learning algorithms will allow it to run very detailed 3D earth models, improving the company’s ability to discover and recover oil and gas while reducing exploration and development risks. It will further enhance decision-making for exploration and development of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources, as well as guide future investments in production and resource allocation.
Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Aramco, commented, “The Dammam 7 supercomputer will help us with breakthroughs as part of our long term “Discovery and Recovery” strategy in our upstream business. This technology that processes complex data faster will enable new discoveries and enhanced recoveries, which are crucial to both ensuring the availability of adequate supply to meet the demand for energy and to cut costs while boosting productivity. Continuous investment in innovative technology is an essential enabler of our company’s long-term growth strategy, and Dammam 7 is another step in our plan to invest in the right technology that drives production efficiency and resilience.”
Nasser S Al-Nasser, Group CEO, of stc, said, “The inauguration of the supercomputer data center in Aramco will open up new horizons in exploration, which will have a significant impact on data digitisation and quality. These are in line with the digital transformation plans of the desired national outlook, and we are proud to have worked with locals to establish the Dammam 7 Centre.”
Global oil demand is recovering and could return to around pre-pandemic levels next year, the chief executives of Saudi Aramco and Chevron Corp told an oil and gas conference on Tuesday.
The coronavirus pandemic last year wiped out a fifth of worldwide demand for fuel as billions of people stopped traveling and sheltered at home.
Global demand for oil has recovered to around 94 million barrels per day (bpd) and could reach 99 million barrels per day (bpd)in 2022, said Aramco CEO Amin Nasser at IHS Markit’s online CERAWeek conference.
Economies are improving in China, India and East Asia, with vaccine deployment as “cause for optimism” in the West, Nasser said. “I see demand and the market continuing to improve from here, especially from the second half of this year,” he said.
Diesel demand is at or above pre-pandemic levels due to door-to-door deliveries, though jet fuel lags as people avoid long flights, said Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, who spoke on a panel with Nasser.
Both executives are bullish on natural gas. Saudi Arabia has targeted generating half of its electricity from natural gas and half from renewables by 2030.
Emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas that is the main component of natural gas – should be reduced and robustly monitored, Wirth said, adding that he expects greater regulation from the Biden administration.
“As we’ve seen recently in Texas and not too long before that in California, when the demands on a grid are at an elevated level we need to make sure we have reliable grid management and reliable power supply,” Wirth said. “And natural gas should play a very, very important role.”
Nanoparticle contained emulsion fluid succeeded field tests in Russia applied for water shut-off and well-kill. The water shut-off fluid showed -6% water cut and +189% oil recovery using acid at an average of 10 carbonate wells. Well-kill fluid could block multi-fractured horizontal well (sand stone) which polymer has failed to do in the past. The advantages of emulsion-nano system are no clogging due to reversibility of blocking effect, high thermal stability over 140 oC, and wettability alteration. The water shut-off fluid also gives a unique property of selectivity which blocks only water zones.
COSL (CHINA OILFIELD SERVICES LIMITED) is a leading integrated oilfield services provider in offshore market. COSL’s four main services divisions – Drilling Services, Well Services, Geophysical Services, and Marine and Transportation Services – cover the exploration, development, and production phases of the oil and gas industry.
COSL owns and operates a large drilling fleet comprised of 44 Jack-up rigs and 15 semi-submersible drilling rigs, with operating water depth from 15ft to 10,000ft and drilling depth up to 30,000ft.
COSL has managed and operated sets of land drilling rigs (2000HP) and workover rigs (750 HP and 1000HP), both of which have the drilling capacity at a depth of 10,000 to 20,000 ft.
Through continuous input in technology research and development, advances technological facilities, R&D Centre and an excellent management team, COSL provides comprehensive onshore and offshore well services, including logging, drilling & completion fluids, directional drilling (LWD&RSS), cementing, well completion, well workover, oilfield production optimization, and drilling waste management.
COSL owns and operates the most capable, the largest and the most diverse marine support vessels fleet in China, with over 140 vessels including AHTS vessels, standby vessels, platform supply vessels, multi-purpose vessels and barges. COSL can provide comprehensive support and services, including anchor handling for different water depths, towing of drilling rigs/engineering barges, offshore transportation, standby, firefighting, rescue, oil spill response, for offshore oil and gas exploration, development, construction and oil/gas field production, which can fulfil different needs of clients. At present, COSL has 4 LNG-fuelled AHTS and 8 LNG-fuelled PSVs under construction and is targeting to put the new build into service in the second half of 2021. LNG-fuelled vessels are the combination of both environmentally friendly operation while having its focus on improving fuel economy.
COSL is also the major supplier for China offshore geophysical and surveying services, meanwhile a solid competitor in the worldwide marine seismic market, who is committed to delivering high-quality, efficient and innovative services both locally and globally. COSL offers its customers integrated geophysical and surveying services, including survey design and evaluation, geophysical data acquisition, seismic data processing and interpretation, reservoir study and engineering surveying.
COSL’s high-quality services cover the entire oilfield life cycle and the full value chain of the oilfield service industry, from exploring for oil and gas deposits to collecting and processing geological data to drilling, well completion and to supporting oil and gas production activities, such as offshore marine support. By offering comprehensive services involving the entire oilfield life cycle and the full value chain of the oilfield service industry, COSL is able to provide clients integrated project management service, or IPM service, that packages and customizes the various services and products to meet customer’s specific requirements.
Based on 40 years offshore experience, COSL have provided offshore drilling services, and drilling rig management services to various international clients in most of the major oilfield areas of the world, including the Far East, the South East Asia, the Middle East, West Africa, Europe and America, covering about 30 countries, such as Saudi, Indonesia, Oman, Nigeria, Norway, Mexico, etc. Our clients extend up to major IOCs and NOCs of the industry, such as Shell, BP, Husky, Chevron, Statoil, Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Oil Company, Petronas Carigali, PEMEX, PTTEP, Daewoo, Rosneft, Gazprom, and Santos, etc.
Geolog offers a comprehensive array of technologies at the rig site, able to analyse a wide molecular spectrum from C1 through to C35, looking at both mud gas and cuttings to enable fuller understanding of the hydrocarbons in place in near real time without requiring formation fluid sampling.
Geolog’s G8 service analyses heavy gasses in the range C6 to C8 directly from the mud system, allowing previously unseen components between conventional mud gas chromatography and formation fluid samples to be incorporated into assessments of the reservoir.
The patented G9+ system extends this compositional analysis to C35, using a unique thermal desorption process to allow the analysis of long chain hydrocarbons, enabling reservoir fluid fingerprinting to be performed at the rigsite utilising available cuttings.
In addition, Geolog has pioneered rigsite technology to go beyond standard molecular compositional analysis, with the patented GeoIsotopes uniquely capable of providing continuous measurements of stable carbon isotope ratios in C1, C2 and C3. This advance has opened a new realm of data, promoting a deeper understanding of oil and gas fields, reservoir compartmentalisation, source rock correlation, reservoir maturity and the differences between reservoir oils and their source rocks.
Thanks to combination of these technologies, Geolog has developed wide experience of data integration and prediction of oil and gas properties, including Oil density, GOR, CGR.
As these technologies deliver continues measurements, the oil and gas properties identified can be integrated with reservoir modelling for multiple purposes: geometry of GOC and OWC, oil property mapping, vertical oil density gradients, etc. The data also allows the interpretation of which factors are most impacting the oil and its quality variations: biodegradation, maturity, water washing, evaporative fraction etc. helping to make the best decision for field development in a timely fashion.
The methods are applicable from exploration to development phases, with experienced operators able to adapt acquisition and instrumentation to the individual challenges faced; balancing resolution against more detailed molecular information to obtain the best possible datasets capable of being imported into reservoir modelling software alongside more conventional petrophysical data.
MEOS 2021 will be organised in accordance with Informa’s AllSecure health and safety standard, providing the highest levels of hygiene and safety.
As the world’s leading events’ organiser, Informa has developed a detailed set of enhanced measures to provide the highest levels of hygiene and safety at its events, providing everyone with reassurance and confidence they are participating in a safe and controlled environment.
When you join our event, you can expect to see that health and safety is a priority, and that a range of measures are in place to ensure everyone involved is able to enjoy a safe, hygienic, productive and high-quality organised event experience.
All Informa events will be run according to official government and local authority guidance in the first instance, as well as any venue or location-specific regulations. In addition, all Informa events will follow the ten Informa AllSecure priority commitments wherever applicable and possible.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed of any updates and confirmed plans for MEOS 2021.
What is Informa AllSecure?
Informa AllSecure is the approach we are taking to enhancing the health and safety standards in place at Informa events following COVID-19.
From exhibitors to sponsors, speakers, visitors and journalists, those who come to our events come to connect, learn, know more and do more business, effectively and safely.
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You can expect to see that health and safety is a priority and that a range of measures are in place to ensure everyone involved is able to enjoy a safe, hygienic, productive and high-quality organised event experience.
As a starting point, Informa AllSecure events will be run according to the guidance of government or official authority guidance, and according to any venue-specific regulations. In addition, all Informa AllSecure events follow ten key commitments around hygiene, physical distancing and protection & detection, with additional measures in place where relevant and practical.
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The All Secure industry standards were developed collaboratively by a group including industry associations UFI, AEO and SISO, event organisers Informa, Reed Exhibitions and Clarion, a range of event venues, suppliers and with input from health, government and local authorities.
Informa AllSecure is the way these industry-wide All Secure standards are being applied to Informa events.
How are you going to ensure people stick to the rules?
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We are adjusting our floor plan, including, for example, widening aisles to allow everyone to maintain physical distancing. Where queuing/lining up is anticipated, we will display signage to remind everyone to maintain the minimum physical distance.
Are you expecting fewer attendees as a result of the pandemic – and if so, am I still getting the same return on my investment?
Due to changing travel restrictions across the world, we may anticipate fewer attendees at our event this year. However, we are working on connecting these buyers in other ways, such as through virtual participation, online business matchmaking services and online product directories. We are also working hard to enhance our audience targeting by introducing greater scrutiny, pre-registration qualification and matchmaking tools, to improve the relevance of visitors to the event. Combined with other measures, enhanced targeting will lower the density of attendees but retain the overall quality of the event.
Can you guarantee my safety at an Informa AllSecure event?
No environment or space inside or outside of the home can ever be 100% safe.
At controlled event gatherings like Informa events and through Informa AllSecure, we have put in place a comprehensive range of enhanced standards that make the health and safety of everyone who attends a priority.
There could be queues/lines to enter this event – how are you going to manage that?
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Where governments or local authorities are advising the use of face masks, or the use of additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as eye coverings and gloves, we will advise everyone accordingly so they can come prepared.
Will I be screened as I enter the event?
We are closely monitoring the advice from local health authorities on screening participants and we will follow that guidance. This may mean we use contactless temperature screening to identify anyone who has a high temperature. Anyone who presents a high temperature will be denied entry to the event and appropriate medical attention will be offered. If screening measures are put in place, we will let everyone know what to expect in advance.
The 21st edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS 2019) held in Bahrain attracted a record total of 9,144 attendees, marking a 9.8% increase over the 2017 edition and reaching a new high in the 40 year history of the event.
Attendance growth was matched by a 5.2% increase in exhibitor participation numbers at the 12,000 sqm exhibition of oil and gas products featuring 203 companies from 27 countries.
Shaping the Future
The parallel conference took place under the theme ‘Resilience through Talent and Technology Transformation.’ Over 400 expert speakers reflected on how the industry can meet world energy demand efficiently, responsibly and with maximum value, with a focus on 4th industrial revolution technologies, collaboration, and nurturing the next generation.
MEOS 2019 was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Bahrain H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The event was supported by the Bahrain National Oil and Gas Authority and a committee of IOC and NOC representatives chaired by Saudi Aramco and Petroleum Development Oman.
Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa performed the exhibition opening ceremony on 19 March 2019 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, during which he emphasised the Bahrain government’s commitment to upgrading the oil industry to benefit the national economy.
New Discoveries and Technologies
The conference opened on 18 March 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel and was followed by the inaugural MEOS Energy Awards. Welcome addresses were delivered by Bahrain’s Minister of Oil H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Al Khalifa; MEOS 2019 Co-chairman and Saudi Aramco’s Chief Petroleum Engineer Waleed Al Mulhim, and the 2019 SPE President Sami Alnuaim.
The Minister of Oil shared progress on Bahrain’s biggest oil and gas find since 1932 – estimated to contain more than 80 billion barrels of tight oil and up to 20 trillion cubic feet of deep natural gas – and highlighted opportunities for future co-operation.
Waleed Al Mulhim declared MEOS was a bright spot for the region and the industry alike, saying: “MEOS provides an opportunity looking beyond the industry; focusing on collaboration with business, educational institutions, governments and society. We need joint development of new technologies that will increase discovery and recovery, reduce cost, enhance safety and protect the environment.”
At the opening executive plenary session ‘Resilience of the Future – How Can We Achieve Resilience in the Coming Years?’ presidents and CEOs from Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, BHGE ad Eni reflected on resilience from both operator and service company perspectives.
Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard stressed that the industry should step up its “willingness to openly collaborate beyond company boundaries, to solve problems and to drive continuous improvement in all our activities. In between the operators and all parts of the supplier industry, we sit on an enormous amount of complementary expertise and experience, that if brought together can make amazing things happen in terms of value creation.”
Saudi Aramco’s Upstream Senior Vice President Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani reflected on how the successful oil and gas company of the future should be “smarter” both in terms of technology and emotional intelligence to meet society’s expectations. “The enablers of our profitability, adaptability and sustainability are being redefined. Much like the energy landscape itself. We can be confident that oil and gas will continue to play a vital role for the foreseeable future. But to sustain this industry we must increase our value proposition for society, particularly as alternatives become more affordable,” he said.
Knowledge Sharing Case Studies
More than 360 technical and e-poster presentations designed to share the knowledge and experience of managing, operating and supplying oil and gas companies followed over the subsequent 3 days of the conference.
Other conference highlights included a keynote session exploring how the oil and gas sector is adapting to demands for cleaner technologies and energy sources, 6 high level panel sessions, a workshop sharing best practices to support a diverse workplace, and a 3 day programme of events aimed at nurturing the next generation of oil and gas professionals.
The next edition of MEOS will take place from 15 – 18 March 2021 in Bahrain.
ABOUT THE ORGANISERS
Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. We provide marketplace participants around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, targeted digital services and actionable data solutions. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose more than 140,600 members in 144 countries are engaged in oil and gas exploration and production. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge providing publications, events, training courses, and online resources at www.spe.org.
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) is one of the world’s largest professional geological societies with more than 40,000 members across 129 countries: www.aapg.org.