Regional gas supply struggling to meet rapidly increasing GCC demand, says BP

Published April 8th, 2008 - 01:20 GMT

The fast-growing economies of the GCC face a looming energy shortage, that can be addressed through increased cooperation between resource-owning countries and International Oil Companies (IOCs), utilising the majors’ global expertise in developing difficult hydrocarbons.
Speaking at the 16th Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference - held 6-8 April in Doha under the Patronage of H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Deputy Premier, Minister for Energy & Industry and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum – Steve Peacock, President BP Middle East and South Asia said:


“The trends we see in the Middle East are similar to other parts of the world – there are plenty of hydrocarbons, but they are becoming more difficult and more costly to extract, and unprecedented growth in demand means that supply is struggling to keep pace in some areas, especially for gas.  This rate of demand growth and shortage of gas for power generation, dessalination and industrial feedstock is putting some national growth plans at risk.


“International oil companies, like BP, have significant global know-how in achieving ‘extraordinary recovery’ from existing oil and gas fields; in developing “difficult gas”, and in tackling carbon emissions  The challenge of closing the GCC energy gap presents an opportunity for governments and industry to work together in partnership. We can take best practices and processes developed from around the world and bring them to bear on specific national issues, in a way that is beneficial to all”, said Peacock.


BP, for instance, was recently chosen by the Government of Oman to develop the Sultanate’s largest undeveloped tight gas field in Khazzan/Makarem. “BP is the largest tight gas producer in the world,” said Peacock. “Our largest development is in Wyoming, where we currently operate over 1,000 tight gas wells, while new technology implemented in Canada over the past four years has increased production rates 100 fold and reserves per well 8 fold. We are now bringing this global expertise and proven technological capability to develop the Omani fields.”


The company is also pioneering the development of methods for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) in combination with enhanced oil recovery. “Removing carbon dioxide from produced natural gas and reinjecting it into oil reservoirs results in the double benefit of reducing pollution and maximising recovery from producing fields,” Peacock explained.


“We are currently working via our Hydrogen Energy joint venture with Rio Tinto ,with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar alternative energy initiative to explore the potential of a hydrogen-fired power plant in combination with CCS to produce clean electricity while boosting output from Abu Dhabi’s oil fields.”


The world’s first industrial scale carbon capture project is being lead by BP at In Salah in Algeria, where the removal of carbon dioxide from extracted natural gas currently amounts to taking 200,000 cars off the road. The carbon dioxide is reinjected into a sandstone reservoir where it is permanently stored.

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