The Exploration Director at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Intisaar Al Kindi, says GCC oil companies must have an immediate focus on economic sustainability if they are to maintain the value of the region’s natural resources into the future.
PDO is recognised as a leader in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), finding innovative solutions to industry problems, the latest example being the pioneering USD 600 million Miraah solar thermal power project. Due to come online in 2017, Miraah will use the sun’s energy to produce super-heated steam, which can be injected into oil wells to make the recovery of viscous crude – or ‘heavy oil’ – easier and cheaper. Those savings can help offset instability in global oil prices, with the Sultanate’s 2016 budget outlining a 33 percent fall in oil and gas revenues to 6.15 billion Omani Rials, down from 9.16 billion in 2015.
Others in the industry are taking note, and Ms Al Kindi says oil companies across the region must challenge the way they work if they are to succeed in the current economic climate.
“Ensuring that our business is sustainable is a long-term goal for PDO, but the current global challenges facing our industry also underline the importance of achieving sustainability now,” said Ms Al Kindi. “To be successful in this objective we still need to deliver on our core activities, including safety, asset integrity, production, early monetisation of exploration opportunities, well and reservoir management, and operational excellence, while mitigating our environmental impact.”
“It is possible to do all of this through continued business improvement, rigorous cost control, a more collaborative relationship with contractors, and the utilisation of new technologies.”
Ms Al Kindi will represent PDO at the Middle East’s largest industry gathering, the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in November, and is also a member of ADIPEC’s Executive Committee.
“Against this challenging background, ADIPEC offers an important international platform to present our ideas, to discuss issues of common interest with colleagues from around the world, and learn from industry best practice.”
Resilience has emerged as a critical issue for decision makers, and investors, in the petroleum industry. According to the OPEC World Energy Trends Report 2015, the oil industry has faced a challenging year, with a cooling economic outlook in non-OECD markets, particularly China, where rapid increases in demand appear to be maturing. However, forecasts show continued growth in the global economy, and oil is predicted to remain the most significant energy source. GCC suppliers can expect to benefit from this growth as the balance between supply and demand in the oil market stabilises, while the development of high-cost petroleum resources, such as shale oil, is likely to be more subdued as investors question their long-term viability.
How the GCC industry responds to the shifting market, both in the short and longer term, will be an important point of discussion during the ADIPEC gathering, which brings together leading international experts from all sectors of the industry to share knowledge and experience. The event is expected to attract more than 2,300 exhibiting companies, 8,500 delegates, 700 speakers, and 100,000 trade professionals from 135 countries. Increasingly, ADIPEC considers petroleum’s role as part of a broader energy mix, with the theme ‘Strategies for the New Energy Landscape’ setting the agenda for a distinguished conference programme in 2016.
“We must seize this opportunity afforded by the current economic constraints to challenge the way we work. In doing that, we continue to be optimistic about the outlook, spurred on by the progress that we are making, our robust plans to stay the course, and our ongoing commitment to sustainable development,” concluded Ms Al Kindi.
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