Future advances in technology will help offshore oil and gas development compete with US shale plays, said one of two oil-company keynote speakers at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
Roger W. Jenkins, president and chief executive officer of Murphy Oil Corp., said shale plays are the normally favored realms of companies Murphy’s size.
But Murphy has a long history of offshore work and can benefit from currently low costs, a relative lack of competition, “super-major execution ability,” efficiency gains still in “an infant stage,” and “vast new technologies and execution models.”
The other operating-company keynote speaker, Arnaud Breuillac, Total SA president, exploration and production, described his company’s strategy for lowering the carbon intensity of energy sales.
Discussing offshore drilling and completions, Jenkins said, “Well efficiency improvements are not just an onshore thing.”
He said he expects automated rig technology to deliver improvements in safety alert systems, in consistent connections and on-bottom time, and in real-time directional drilling.
He predicted continued advances in offline work, in peak-shaving and lower carbon engines, and in big data to lower maintenance and make operations safer.
For deep water, Jenkins sees “one-stop” project execution, providing enhanced interface management, lower costs and reduced project-execution timing, streamlined teams, and elimination of “preferential engineering.”
Among other technological advances, subsea multiphase pumping will be a “mainstay of the future,” he said.
And technology will progress in electronic blowout preventers and control systems; seismic-to-bit “stay in zone” methods; seismic gathering, processing, interpretation, and reservoir modeling; and enhanced risk-based integrity management enabled by internet of things and digital twinning of assets.
To lower emissions of carbon dioxide per unit of energy sales, Breuillac said, Total is focusing on low-breakeven oil, expanding in natural gas “all along the value chain,” and developing a low-carbon electricity business.
It’s emphasizing efficiency of its operations, increasing production of biofuels, and developing carbon sinks, such as carbon capture and underground storage and forests.
It plans to eliminate flaring by 2020, control methane emissions, and electrify processes, Breuillac said, calling these measures “concrete steps” to address climate change.