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Last Updated: July 24, 2019
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Muscat, July 21 2019Held under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman, the 10th annual World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition (WHOC) will host over 80 international senior heavy oil experts. Industry leaders from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), TDA Research, Unipetrol, Indian Oil, Occidental of Oman (Oxy), Ejaad and Baker Hughes, a GE Company are confirmed to address conference delegates at the Strategic and Technical Conference sessions across 3 days of the congress.

The congress and exhibition will be held from 2 – 4 September 2019 at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre and will feature participation from international exhibiting companies including NOCs, IOCs and technology providers. Leading experts and professionals from the entire heavy oil value chain will convene at WHOC 2019 - an annual platform for the entire industry to collectively exchange knowledge on the latest technologies and solutions for sustainable production and upgrading of heavy oil and crude resources. 
Occidental of Oman (Oxy) return to the event as Gold sponsors and are joined in the same category by JP Global Digital and Maha Energy as Silver Sponsor.

Specialists joining the Congress include Dr SM Farouq Ali, Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston, and a widely respected veteran within the heavy oil and oil sands sector, who will address conference attendees on crucial topics including heavy oil development in the era of increasing shale production.

Sami Al Baqi, Technical Director at Petroleum Development Oman, Said Al Balushi, Senior Vice President – Technical at Occidental of Oman and Ayman Khattab, President & CEO – Gulf & North Africa, Baker Hughes, a GE Company will jointly address the topic of “Producing more with less: Leveraging new technologies & realigning strategies to improve recovery in current economic climate”.

Speaking on the topic of “Upgrading and marketing heavy oil through advanced innovation in refinery operations, infrastructure and technologies”, Jiri Hajek, Director of Development and Innovation, Vice Chairman of the Board, Unipetrol and Girish Srinivas, Vice President, TDA Research and educating the audience on the establishment of efficient R&D partnerships, AlMuatasim Al Bahlani, Business Development Manager at Ejaad address bridging the gap between academia, industry, and government to address the evolving needs of the energy sector. 

The congress will also provide an important platform for earlier confirmed speakers, Junaid Ghulam, Field Development Manager at Petroleum Development Oman, and Dr Saleh bin Ali Al Anboori, Director General of Planning & Studies at Oman’s Ministry of Oil & Gas to share their insights on radical industry shifts and how the industry can cooperatively unlock new value from existing crude resources.

In addition to the top line Strategic Conference, the Congress will host a technical conference presenting 18 categories of discussions across three days. Technical conference speakers have been invited to share their first hand experiences and findings on pilot projects, existing field operations, new research, and existing and potential technologies for the heavy oil sector. Technical sessions will focus on Advances in Chemical Flooding, Technologies for production maximization, Role of R&D in advancement of heavy oil utilisation, Driving efficiency in brownfields, Data Analytics and Integration, and Emerging methods in EOR and heavy oil production amongst others.

Showcasing representation from over 41 countries, the technical conference will feature shortlisted technical speakers from Petroleum Development Oman, Sasol Performance Chemicals, Bechtel, Engineers India Limited, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Saudi Aramco, Ace Energy Group, Basra Oil Company, PDVSA, PEMEX, Petronas, Salamander Solutions Inc. and Occidental of Oman.

While the Technical and Strategic Conferences are accessible to conference delegates only, a new feature introduced this year will allow visitors to take advantage of new content presented at the event. The E-poster Presentations will take place on the Exhibition Floor across three days and feature over 20 presentations covering the entire heavy oil value chain.

Over 10 Omani Local Community Contractors have confirmed their participation at the PDO LCCs and SLCCs Pavilion, including Al Baraka Oilfield Service, Al Shawamikh Oil Services, Dohat Al Khaleej LLC, Berba, Mideast Integrated Drilling & Well Services, Peace Land Energy, and MSTC Oman.

WHOC 2019 will open doors to over 3,000 attendees, 500 conference delegates and 80 participating companies from more than 50 countries. Considered the world’s leading heavy oil congress and exhibition, the conferences focus on upstream, midstream, and downstream heavy oil operations. The Congress and Exhibition will be hosted in Oman for the second year in a row is hosted by Petroleum Development Oman.

“With Oman’s vast unexploited heavy oil resources, investor friendly environment and transparent business practices, Oman is definitely a place where we want to be. We are very pleased to be part of the 2019 World Heavy Oil Congress and Exhibition and look forward to sharing our industry knowledge and gaining some valuable insights from the world’s most influential leaders,” said Jonas Lindvall, CEO and Managing Director of Maha Energy.

The Congress will include a two-day strategic conference and three-day technical conference alongside a three-day international exhibition. The event will include panels, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities with top oil and gas industry leaders, technology providers and professionals from around the globe.


About The World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition (WHOC)

Held under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil & Gas, Sultanate of Oman, the World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition delivers a global platform for the entire heavy oil value chain to convene, connect, and engage in conversation. The event offers heavy oil professionals unparalleled opportunity for knowledge exchange through a three-day technical conference on topics from upstream, midstream, and downstream heavy oil operations, and heavy oil research and technology.

Join the Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Oil & Gas, Petroleum Development Oman, and the global heavy oil sector in Oman from 2 – 4 September 2019 for the largest congregation of heavy oil professionals globally.

For more information, visit https://worldheavyoilcongress.com/

WHOC 2019 Oil Congress Exhibition Oman
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The United States now exports crude oil to more destinations than it imports from

As U.S. crude oil export volumes have increased to an average of 2.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in the first seven months of 2019, the number of destinations (which includes countries, territories, autonomous regions, and other administrative regions) that receive U.S. exports has also increased. Earlier this year, the number of U.S. crude oil export destinations surpassed the number of sources of U.S. crude oil imports that EIA tracks.

In 2009, the United States imported crude oil from as many as of 37 sources per month. In the first seven months of 2019, the largest number of sources in any month fell to 27. As the number of sources fell, the number of destinations for U.S. crude oil exports rose. In the first seven months of 2019, the United States exported crude oil to as many as 31 destinations per month.

This rise in U.S. export destinations coincides with the late 2015 lifting of restrictions on exporting domestic crude oil. Before the restrictions were lifted, U.S. crude oil exports almost exclusively went to Canada. Between January 2016 (the first full month of unrestricted U.S. crude oil exports) and July 2019, U.S. crude oil production increased by 2.6 million b/d, and export volumes increased by 2.2 million b/d.

monthly U.S. crude oil production and exports

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

The United States has also been importing crude oil from fewer of these sources largely because of the increase in domestic crude oil production. Most of this increase has been relatively light-sweet crude oil, but most U.S. refineries are configured to process medium- to heavy-sour crude oil. U.S. refineries have accommodated this increase in production by displacing imports of light and medium crude oils from countries other than Canada and by increasing refinery utilization rates.

Conversely, the United States has exported crude oil to more destinations because of growing demand for light-sweet crude oil abroad. Several infrastructure changes have allowed the United States to export this crude oil. New, expanded, or reversed pipelines have been delivering crude oil from production centers to export terminals. Export terminals have been expanded to accommodate greater crude oil tanker traffic, larger crude oil tankers, and larger cargo sizes.

More stringent national and international regulations limiting the sulfur content of transportation fuels are also affecting demand for light-sweet crude oil. Many of the less complex refineries outside of the United States cannot process and remove sulfur from heavy-sour crude oils and are better suited to process light-sweet crude oil into transportation fuels with lower sulfur content.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s monthly export data for crude oil and petroleum products come from the U.S. Census Bureau. For export values, Census trade data records the destinations of trade volumes, which may not be the ultimate destinations of the shipments.

October, 23 2019
Recalibrating Singapore’s Offshore Marine Industry

The state investment firm Temasek Holdings has made an offer to purchase control of Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp for S$4.1 billion. News of this has reverberated around the island, sparking speculation about what the new ownership structure could bring – particularly in the Singaporean rig-building sector.

Temasek already owns 20.5% of Keppel Corp. Its offer to increase its stake to 51% for S$4.1 billion would see it gain majority shareholding, allowing a huge amount of strategic flexibility. The deal would be through Temasek’s wholly-owned subsidiary Kyanite Investment Holdings, offering S$7.35 per share of Keppel Corp, a 26% premium of the traded price at that point. The financial analyst community have remarked that the bid is ‘fair’ and ‘reasonable’, and there appears to be no political headwinds against the deal being carried out with the exception of foreign and domestic regulatory approval.

The implications of the deal are far-ranging. Keppel Corp’s business ranges from property to infrastructure to telecommunications, including Keppel Land and a partial stake in major Singapore telco M1. Temasek has already said that it does not intend to delist and privatise Keppel Corp, and has a long-standing history of not interfering or getting involved in the operations or decisions of its portfolio companies.

This might be different. Speculation is that this move, if successful could lead to a restructuring of the Singapore offshore and marine industry. Since 2015, Singapore’s rig-building industry has been in the doldrums as global oil prices tumbled. Although prices have recovered, cost-cutting and investment reticence have provided a slower recovery for the industry. In Singapore, this has affected the two major rigbuilders – Keppel O&M and its rival Sembcorp Marine. In 2018, Keppel O&M reported a loss of over SS$100 million (although much improved from its previous loss of over SS$800 million); Sembcorp Marine, too, faces a challenging market, with a net loss of nearly 50 million. Temasek itself is already a majority shareholder in Sembcorp Marine.

Once Keppel Corp is under Temasek’s control, this could lead to consolidation in the industry. There are many pros to this, mainly the merging of rig-building operations and shipyards will put Singapore is a stronger position against giant shipyards of China and South Korea, which have been on an asset buying spree. With the overhang of the Sete Brasil scandal over as both Keppel O&M and Sembcorp Marine have settled corruption allegations over drillship and rig contracts, a merger is now increasingly likely. It would sort of backtrack from Temasek’s recent direction in steering away from fossil fuel investments (it had decided to not participate in the upcoming Saudi Aramco IPO for environmental concerns) but strengthening the Singaporeans O&M industry has national interest implications. As a representative of Temasek said of its portfolio – ‘(we are trying to) re-purpose some businesses to try and grasp the demands of tomorrow.’ So, if there is to be a tomorrow, then Singapore’s two largest offshore players need to start preparing for that now in the face of tremendous competition. And once again it will fall on the Singaporean government, through Temasek, to facilitate an arranged marriage for the greater good.

Keppel and Sembcorp O&M at a glance:

Keppel Offshore & Marine, 2018

  • Revenue: S$1.88 billion (up from S$1.80 billion)
  • Net Profit: -S$109 million (up from -S$826 million)
  • Contracts secured: S$1.7 billion

Sembcorp Marine, 2018

  • Turnover: S$4.88 billion (up from S$3.03 billion)
  • Net Profit: -S$48 million (down from S$157 million)
  • Contracts secured: S$1.2 billion
October, 22 2019
Global energy consumption driven by more electricity in residential, commercial buildings

Energy used in the buildings sector—which includes residential and commercial structures—accounted for 20% of global delivered energy consumption in 2018. In its International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019) Reference case, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that global energy consumption in buildings will grow by 1.3% per year on average from 2018 to 2050. In countries that are not part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (non-OECD countries), EIA projects that energy consumed in buildings will grow by more than 2% per year, or about five times the rate of OECD countries.

building sector energy consumption

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019 Reference case

Electricity—the main energy source for lighting, space cooling, appliances, and equipment—is the fastest-growing energy source in residential and commercial buildings. EIA expects that rising population and standards of living in non-OECD countries will lead to an increase in the demand for electricity-consuming appliances and personal equipment.

EIA expects that in the early 2020s, total electricity use in buildings in non-OECD countries will surpass electricity use in OECD countries. By 2050, buildings in non-OECD countries will collectively use about twice as much electricity as buildings in OECD countries.

average annual change in buildings sector electricity consumption

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019 Reference case
Note: OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In the IEO2019 Reference case, electricity use by buildings in China is projected to increase more than any other country in absolute terms, but India will experience the fastest growth rate in buildings electricity use from 2018 to 2050. EIA expects that use of electricity by buildings in China will surpass that of the United States by 2030. By 2050, EIA expects China’s buildings will account for more than one-fifth of the electricity consumption in buildings worldwide.

As the quality of life in emerging economies improves with urbanization, rising income, and access to electricity, EIA projects that electricity’s share of the total use of energy in buildings will nearly double in non-OECD countries, from 21% in 2018 to 38% in 2050. By contrast, electricity’s share of delivered energy consumption in OECD countries’ buildings will decrease from 24% to 21%.

building sector electricity consumption per capita by region

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019 Reference case
Note: OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The per capita use of electricity in buildings in OECD countries will increase 0.6% per year between 2018 and 2050. The relatively slow growth is affected by improvements in building codes and improvements in the efficiency of appliances and equipment. Despite a slower rate of growth than non-OECD countries, OECD per capita electricity use in buildings will remain higher than in non-OECD countries because of more demand for energy-intensive services such as space cooling.

In non-OECD countries, the IEO2019 Reference case projects that per capita electricity use in buildings will grow by 2.5% per year, as access to energy expands and living standards rise, leading to increased use of electric-intensive appliances and equipment. This trend is particularly evident in India and China, where EIA projects that per capita electricity use in buildings will increase by 5.3% per year in India and 3.6% per year in China from 2018 to 2050.

October, 22 2019