ExxonMobil: Technology key to meeting future energy demand

Source: ExxonMobil

The continued development of advanced technologies for hydrocarbons and renewable fuels and cooperation among national oil companies and international oil companies are essential to meet the expected growth in global energy demand, according to Sara Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, speaking at the 2011 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today. 

“Currently the world uses 15 billion BTUs of energy every second,” said Ortwein. “That’s the equivalent of 40 light bulbs running continuously for every person on earth – including the 1.2 billion people who do not have access to electricity.” 

Ortwein said balancing energy and economic growth while addressing environmental risk and safety is a key challenge for the energy industry -- and for society in general. This challenge can be met with integrated technology solutions that expand supply, increase efficiency and mitigate emissions. 

“Energy producers such as Abu Dhabi face a parallel challenge -- with added complexity,” Ortwein explained. “The challenge here is to develop resources in a way that maximizes value -- and also satisfies the national vision for economic, social and environmental progress for the benefit of future generations of Emiratis.”
Ortwein said national oil companies (NOC) and international oil companies (IOC) partnerships are best positioned to meet the energy challenges of the future – while also helping develop world-class energy-producing nations. 

“The unique structure of NOC-IOC partnerships also contributes to their success. They are typically characterized by mutual investment and strong integration,” said Ortwein. “Both partners normally share the risk and the reward, and this mutual commitment fosters the trust vital to any partnership.” 

Several advanced technologies developed by ExxonMobil are enabling the development of previously untapped oil and gas deposits. Ortwein pointed out that record well distances had been drilled using extended reach drilling technology, and that ExxonMobil’s Multi-Zone Stimulation Technology (MZST) allows the company to rapidly and reliably stimulate multiple reservoir zones in a single operation to improve well economics. 

Speaking of the MZST process, Ortwein said, “This award-winning breakthrough process was developed through a decade of steady investment in research and development. It reflects ExxonMobil’s practice of making long-term commitments to pursue game-changing technologies.” 

She also said that ExxonMobil has built a commercial demonstration plant to test a new gas treating technology called Controlled Freeze Zone that utilizes a single-step, high-pressure cryogenic process to remove high carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide concentrations from natural gas streams without the use of solvents. 

Faced with the challenge of meeting the growing demand for energy around the world, Ortwein said, “It’s going to require strong NOC-IOC partnerships, trillions of dollars of new investment in people and in technology, and a long-range focus on continuous innovation and safety. I am confident that working together we will be able to meet this huge challenge - to supply energy safely, reliably, affordably and in an environmentally responsible way.”

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