HOUSTON, U.S.A. (February 28, 2007) - Emerging technologies are playing a key role in the positive outlook for global energy supplies. That's the perspective of two Saudi Aramco presenters during CERAWeek, the annual conference of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, held Feb. 12-16 in Houston.
Dr. Nansen G. Saleri, Saudi Aramco's manager of Reservoir Management, delivered two presentations. The first, titled "The Technology Factor: How It's Changing Upstream Performance," focused on how continued advances in technologies are rapidly changing the upstream business and setting the stage for increasing global supplies of both conventional and unconventional resources.
Saleri said Saudi Aramco is able to maximize the efficiency of its operations through the judicious application of technologies such as real-time diagnostics, geosteering and maximum-reservoir-contact wells.
"The new technologies have revolutionized the way we do business," said Saleri. "I believe the potential is huge to not only increase reserves, but also to improve on the overall reservoir performance of our fields."
In Saleri's second presentation, "Peaks and Valleys: How Assumptions Shape the Future of Peak Oil," he looked at a multi-scenario perspective. "While many uncertainties remain," he concluded, "the likelihood of reaching global peak oil any time soon (in the next several decades) appears remote."
Also representing Saudi Aramco during CERAWeek was Dr. Muhammad M. Saggaf, manager of Saudi Aramco's EXPEC Advanced Research Center, who participated as a panelist in the first CERA/MIT Energy Technology Summit.
Saggaf, an MIT alumnus, summarized Saudi Aramco's involvement in four major technology areas related to fuel options. The first area includes technologies designed to maintain a steady supply of crude oil products. "Saudi Aramco holds the lead in such technologies," said Saggaf, "including the most advanced reservoir simulator, passive seismic, advanced smart completions, extreme reservoir contact wells and the like."
The second area highlighted by Saggaf included technologies designed to alleviate the environmental impact of conventional fuels. Saudi Aramco's involvement in this area is through projects in clean fuels, such as whole-crude desulphurization, and carbon capture and sequestration. For example, the company recently organized the first regional symposium on carbon management.
The third area includes technologies designed to promote future alternative fuels that use conventional sources. Saudi Aramco is also active in this area, said Saggaf, with projects designed to develop products such as fuel cells that draw their primary input from oil. One example is the company's oil-to-hydrogen research endeavor.
Saggaf also discussed technologies for alternate fuels such as the energy derived from waves, wind, solar, nuclear and biomass. He pointed out, however, that Saudi Aramco has limited involvement in those areas.