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Last Updated: September 7, 2016
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Oil & Gas Giants Call for Industry Collaboration ahead of Flagship 
Abu Dhabi Energy Event

Fossil Fuels to Account for 80% of Total Energy Supplies in 2035: Industry Report

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 07 September 2016 – Oil and gas giants are calling for greater industry collaboration and an increased focus on operational efficiency, as global energy leaders prepare to gather in the UAE capital for the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC 2016) in November.

The future of the industry depends on its ability to embrace the new energy landscape and drive efficiency, say experts. Speaking ahead of his participation in the ADIPEC Global Business Leaders’ panel, where international CEOs will be gathering to address the challenges and opportunities facing the petroleum sector, Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, said industry stakeholders must work in unison towards the common goal of achieving a sustainable energy future.

“The global energy landscape is witnessing a rapid change, influenced by economic challenges and efforts to reduce carbon emissions, which can be addressed by the emerging role of natural gas and renewables. All of this makes it crucial that industry players operate not only more efficiently, but also more closely, in a spirit of cooperation,” Pouyanné said.  

“Technology, innovation, research – they all play an instrumental role not only in managing this transitional period, but also in leveraging the many opportunities that it presents. This is what makes ADIPEC an invaluable event for the oil and gas community, because it offers a global platform for stakeholders to collaborate and collectively address not only the imminent challenges in the energy sector, but the longer term picture that is starting to take shape. As CEO of Total, which aims to become the responsible energy major, ADIPEC is an event I would not want to miss,” Pouyanné added.

Confirmed senior-level speakers at ADIPEC include Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and CEO of the ADNOC Group of Companies, who will be presenting the Opening Ceremony keynote; Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total; Bob Dudley, CEO of BP; Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman, Management Committee, Gazprom; Vicki A. Hollub, President and CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Jeff Miller, President of Halliburton; and Paal Kibsgaard, Chairman and CEO of Schlumberger (complete list of Opening Ceremony and Global Business Leaders speakers below).

Moderating the Global Business Leaders sessions will be celebrated journalist John Simpson, BBC World Affairs editor, broadcaster, author and columnist, as well as oil guru Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of the industry consulting group IHS Markit.

According to BP’s latest Energy Outlook report, fossil fuels will remain the dominant form of energy powering global expansion for the next two decades, supplying around 60% of the growth in energy demand, and accounting for almost 80% of total energy supplies in 2035. The same report indicates that the fuel mix will witness a significant change, with gas emerging as a major energy resource.

Developing resilient strategies has become a top priority for industry leaders, who are increasingly looking at redefining their business approach in an effort to continue meeting the growth in demand while adapting to the evolving supply mix.

Jeff Miller, President of Halliburton, said: “Hydrocarbons are, by far, the most affordable and abundant resource available for advancing the progress of human life and play an integral part in meeting the world’s growing demand for energy.  Our industry is fuelled by continued investment in technology and innovation as we make better tools to increase barrels produced and decrease cost.  At Halliburton, we collaborate and engineer solutions that maximise asset value for our customers.  For us, collaboration is a way of life.”  

“We listen to our customers, understand their drivers, and respond to their needs to deliver solutions that sustainably lower the cost per BOE.  We look forward to discussing the many opportunities ahead for our industry at the ADIPEC 2016 Global Business Leader sessions and learning from other industry participants,” Miller added.

Billed as the premier knowledge-sharing platform for movers and shakers in the oil and gas industry, ADIPEC’s distinguished Conference Programme will bring together Ministers, CEOs, decision makers, world renowned luminaries, and experts to address challenges and opportunities across both technical and non-technical aspects of the industry.

The programme will feature a high-level Opening Ceremony and three Global Business Leaders panel sessions, offering a world outlook for the oil industry, shedding light on the developing role of gas and LNG, and providing insights on implementing effective leadership strategies.

Vicki Hollub, President and CEO of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, said: “ADIPEC is one of the premier oil and gas conferences, bringing energy leaders together from around the world. I am honoured to be participating at this year’s event and look forward to sharing ideas on how to address the most important challenges before our industry.”

ADIPEC’s anticipated Conference Program also features 2 Ministerial Sessions, 8 Executive Panel Sessions, 8 Offshore & Marine Sessions, 8 Women in Energy Sessions, and 106 Technical Sessions.

Established as the world’s most influential exhibition and conference for the oil and gas industry, ADIPEC has a longstanding track record of bringing together globally celebrated luminaries and experts to discuss challenges and opportunities in the energy sector. The annual four-day event will take place from 7-10 November 2016 at ADNEC.

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The New Wave of Renewable Fuels

In 2021, the makeup of renewables has also changed drastically. Technologies such as solar and wind are no longer novel, as is the idea of blending vegetable oils into road fuels or switching to electric-based vehicles. Such ideas are now entrenched and are not considered enough to shift the world into a carbon neutral future. The new wave of renewables focus on converting by-products from other carbon-intensive industries into usable fuels. Research into such technologies has been pioneered in universities and start-ups over the past two decades, but the impetus of global climate goals is now seeing an incredible amount of money being poured into them as oil & gas giants seek to rebalance their portfolios away from pure hydrocarbons with a goal of balancing their total carbon emissions in aggregate to zero.

Traditionally, the European players have led this drive. Which is unsurprising, since the EU has been the most driven in this acceleration. But even the US giants are following suit. In the past year, Chevron has poured an incredible amount of cash and effort in pioneering renewables. Its motives might be less than altruistic, shareholders across America have been particularly vocal about driving this transformation but the net results will be positive for all.

Chevron’s recent efforts have focused on biomethane, through a partnership with global waste solutions company Brightmark. The joint venture Brightmark RNG Holdings operations focused on convert cow manure to renewable natural gas, which are then converted into fuel for long-haul trucks, the very kind that criss-cross the vast highways of the US delivering goods from coast to coast. Launched in October 2020, the joint venture was extended and expanded in August, now encompassing 38 biomethane plants in seven US states, with first production set to begin later in 2021. The targeting of livestock waste is particularly crucial: methane emissions from farms is the second-largest contributor to climate change emissions globally. The technology to capture methane from manure (as well as landfills and other waste sites) has existed for years, but has only recently been commercialised to convert methane emissions from decomposition to useful products.

This is an arena that another supermajor – BP – has also made a recent significant investment in. BP signed a 15-year agreement with CleanBay Renewables to purchase the latter’s renewable natural gas (RNG) to be mixed and sold into select US state markets. Beginning with California, which has one of the strictest fuel standards in the US and provides incentives under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce carbon intensity – CleanBay’s RNG is derived not from cows, but from poultry. Chicken manure, feathers and bedding are all converted into RNG using anaerobic digesters, providing a carbon intensity that is said to be 95% less than the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of pure fossil fuels and non-conversion of poultry waste matter. BP also has an agreement with Gevo Inc in Iowa to purchase RNG produced from cow manure, also for sale in California.

But road fuels aren’t the only avenue for large-scale embracing of renewables. It could take to the air, literally. After all, the global commercial airline fleet currently stands at over 25,000 aircraft and is expected to grow to over 35,000 by 2030. All those planes will burn a lot of fuel. With the airline industry embracing the idea of AAF (or Alternative Aviation Fuels), developments into renewable jet fuels have been striking, from traditional bio-sources such as palm or soybean oil to advanced organic matter conversion from agricultural waste and manure. Chevron, again, has signed a landmark deal to advance the commercialisation. Together with Delta Airlines and Google, Chevron will be producing a batch of sustainable aviation fuel at its El Segundo refinery in California. Delta will then use the fuel, with Google providing a cloud-based framework to analyse the data. That data will then allow for a transparent analysis into carbon emissions from the use of sustainable aviation fuel, as benchmark for others to follow. The analysis should be able to confirm whether or not the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s estimates that renewable jet fuel can reduce lifecycle carbon intensity by up to 80%. And to strengthen the measure, Delta has pledged to replace 10% of its jet fuel with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.

In a parallel, but no less pioneering lane, France’s TotalEnergies has announced that it is developing a 100% renewable fuel for use in motorsports, using bioethanol sourced from residues produced by the French wine industry (among others) at its Feyzin refinery in Lyon. This, it believes, will reduce the racing sports’ carbon emissions by an immediate 65%. The fuel, named Excellium Racing 100, is set to debut at the next season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022 race.

But Chevron isn’t done yet. It is also falling back on the long-standing use of vegetable oils blended into US transport fuels by signing a wide-ranging agreement with commodity giant Bunge. Called a ‘farmer-to-fuelling station’ solution, Bunge’s soybean processing facilities in Louisiana and Illinois will be the source of meal and oil that will be converted by Chevron into diesel and jet fuel. With an investment of US$600 million, Chevron will assist Bunge in doubling the combined capacity of both plants by 2024, in line with anticipated increases in the US biofuels blending mandates.

Even ExxonMobil, one of the most reticent of the supermajors to embrace renewables wholesale, is getting in on the action. Its Imperial Oil subsidiary in Canada has announced plans to commercialise renewable diesel at a new facility near Edmonton using plant-based feedstock and hydrogen. The venture does only target the Canadian market – where political will to drive renewable adoption is far higher than in the US – but similar moves have already been adopted by other refiners for the US market, including major investments by Phillips 66 and Valero.

Ultimately, these recent moves are driven out of necessity. This is the way the industry is moving and anyone stubborn enough to ignore it will be left behind. Combined with other major investments driven by European supermajors over the past five years, this wider and wider adoption of renewable can only be better for the planet and, eventually, individual bottom lines. The renewables ball is rolling fast and is only gaining momentum.

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Market Outlook:

  • Crude price trading range: Brent – US$71-73/b, WTI – US$68-70/b
  • Global crude benchmarks have stayed steady, even as OPEC+ sticks to its plans to ease supply quotas against the uncertainty of rising Covid-19 cases worldwide
  • However, the success of vaccination drives has kindled hope that the effect of lockdowns – if any – will be mild, with pockets of demand resurgence in Europe; in China, where there has been a zero-tolerance drive to stamp out Covid outbreaks, fuel consumption is strengthening again, possibly tightening fuel balances in Q4
  • Meanwhile, much of the US Gulf of Mexico crude production remains hampered by the effects of Hurricane Ida, providing a counter-balance on the supply side

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