Articles tagged with "shell"
Posted by Heading Out on May 12, 2013 - 1:20pm
Tags: bp energy outlook, citigroup, energy efficiency, exxonmobil, fuel efficiency, natural gas demand, shell, vehicle miles driven [list all tags]
Perceptions based on perhaps too small a collection of information can lead into opinions that, on investigation, turn out to be incorrect. Just recently a couple of friends had mentioned that charities that they are associated with were seeing a decline in donations. I built this into a picture of the general public being less able to afford earlier levels of giving, perhaps because of the continued impact of higher costs of fuel. However, the perception is as a general statement, wrong, and (via the National Park Service from The Giving Institute) I learned that:
Americans gave more than $298.42 billion in 2011 to their favorite causes despite the economic conditions. Total giving was up 4 percent from $286.91 in 2010. This slight increase is reflective of recovering economic confidence.
The greatest portion of charitable giving, $217.79 billion, was given by individuals or household donors. Gifts from individuals represented 73 percent of all contributed dollars, similar to figures for 2010.
In the perception that is becoming increasingly prevalent on the future of energy supplies, and particularly on crude oil, the current adequacy of supply is projected forward to anticipate no problems with supply in the future. Peak oil is now suggested to occur not because the supply is limited, but because with the increasing use of renewable energy, demand will peak, and then decline. Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebreich is quoted as projecting that the growth in fossil fuel use will almost stop by 2030, while Citi Commodity Researchers are suggesting that the increases in prices will drive increases in efficiency that will bring a peak in oil demand “much sooner than the market expects.”
The combined crude oil production of the five main international oil companies (Exxon, BP, Shell, Chevron and Total) hit an historic high in 2004. Since then, it has fallen by 25.8%, despite large increases in investments.
Click to enlarge
Each year the larger oil production companies provide their views of the future, and I recently reviewed that for ExxonMobil. Shell has now produced their projections, though in a somewhat different format as the document “New Lens Scenarios”, which deals with future projections as a set of differing options. That does not make these views less informative.
In reviewing where the world will go, Shell looks more to political impact as the future unrolls. They see the European Union stuck in a Trapped Transition” where:
...the ‘can’ keeps being ‘kicked down the road’ while leaders struggle to create some political and social breathing space. So there is continuing drift, punctuated by a series of mini-crises, which will eventually culminate in either a reset a reset involving the writing off of significant financial and political capital (through pooling sovereignty, for example) or the euro unravelling.
On the other hand, countries such as China and Brazil are resilient:
in their different ways, they had the financial, social, political, or resource ‘capital’ to respond and reform, following a room to Manoeuvre pathway.
Within the next thirty years, as the population grows, so a greater percentage - up to 75% - will live in cities. And these will consume a greater fraction of the global energy supply, perhaps as high as 80%, up from the current 66%.
The document is very much slanted as a socio-political forecast, with considerable polemic in regard to the weaknesses that the company perceives to exist in the West.
Shell postulates two different scenarios for the future. There is the Mountain scenario, where business continues very much as usual, and then there is an Oceans scenario where the ”powers that are” work toward a more accommodative approach to those in the developing world, and to the less fortunate layers of society.
The document begins with the impact if the Mountain scenario is to prevail, driven through a top down control, largely through existing institutions. Shell is not enamoured of this:
In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, whose main beneficiaries are the children of the successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, as commitments to the elderly via entitlement programmes crowd out discretionary expenditures that could rebuild economic and social infrastructure. Similarly, in Europe an ageing population and commitments to high levels of entitlement, which are frequently underfunded, create a mixture of social and political strains that deflect attention from the core structural economic issues facing the region.
Driven by this gloomy picture of the future, Shell anticipates that global GDP growth through the 2030’s will average under 2%. This will, in turn, moderate the growth in energy demand. Through increasing urbanization, the growth of the service sector and the greater use of electricity in developing countries, Shell anticipates that the strong correlation between economic and energy demand growth will be broken.
N.B. All the illustrations come from the Shell New Lens Scenarios document.
Posted by Heading Out on March 7, 2013 - 5:41am
Tags: arctic, exxonmobil, gazprom, israel, kara sea, lukoil, opec oil production, rosneft, shell, shtokman, tamar, yamal [list all tags]
The Arctic is a less forgiving place than many folk care to recognize. Shell has just moved back the date on which they plan to restart drilling in the Chukchi Sea and won’t be going up there this year. At the same time, Gazprom announced last August that the development of the Shtokman gas field off the Russian coast and also in the Arctic had been put on an indefinite delay. Yet the region still shows considerable promise. ExxonMobil and Rosneft have agreed to exploration in the Chukchi, Laptev and Kara Seas, with the latter considered as possibly having the highest potential.
The blocks that will be explored are south of the island of Novaya Zemlya, in relatively shallow water. They lie north of the Yamal Peninsula, and the Shtokman field is on the other side of the island.
Rosneft estimates that the recoverable reserves are 6.2 billion tons of oil, and a total of 20.9 billion tons of oil equivalent when the natural gas content is included. The first wildcat well is scheduled to be drilled in 2015.
Posted by Heading Out on February 19, 2013 - 5:54am
Tags: bp, chevron, coal gasification, gas shale, gazprom, nord stream, poland, russia, shell, turkey, turkmenistan, ukraine [list all tags]
You know it is winter when Russia and Ukraine publically row about supplies of natural gas. On Tuesday Ukraine completed the signing of an agreement with Turkmenistan for the supply of natural gas. In the past the purchases have been for up to 36 billion cu m per year, although this was historically through Russian intermediaries. That deal ended in 2006, and Turkmenistan has been able to find a customer in China that now provides an alternate sale that does not leave it dependent on whatever price Russia was willing to provide.
But this does not mean that Ukraine has been able to escape having to pay whatever price Russia wished to impose, since to get from Turkmenistan to Ukraine the natural gas still requires passage through a pipeline that runs through Kazakhstan and Russia. There is no prize for guessing that Gazprom owns those pipelines.
This continues to give Gazprom leverage over Ukraine, and with the North Stream pipeline now approaching its full potential after the second string was commissioned last October, Europe can receive up to 55 billion cu m per year without the gas having to pass through Ukraine.
It is the beginning of a New Year, and belatedly, I hope that all readers find this new period to be one of prosperity, health and happiness. It would be encouraging if the portents for our energy future would point in that direction, but unfortunately I can’t see nearly as much optimism in that regard as do others who are similarly reviewing where the global energy supply numbers are going. This week the EIA's ”The Week in Petroleum” is illustrative of the optimistic vision.
This plot is from the new Short-Term Energy Outlook from the EIA, which projects the numbers through to 2014, at which time: the Agency anticipates that US domestic production will rise to 7.9 mbd, the highest since 1988. Growth is expected to extend beyond just the Bakken:
In particular, drilling in tight oil plays in the Williston (which includes the Bakken formation), Western Gulf (which includes the Eagle Ford formation), and Permian basins are expected to account for the bulk of growth through 2014. Williston Basin production is expected to rise from an estimated December 2012 level of 0.8 million bbl/d to 1.2 million bbl/d in December 2014. Western Gulf Basin production rises from an estimated December 2012 level of 1.1 million bbl/d to 1.8 million bbl/d in December 2014. Within the Western Gulf Basin, roughly 0.4 million bbl/d of the oil production is outside of the Eagle Ford formation. The Western Gulf Basin accounts for more than half of the onshore domestic liquids production growth due to a comparatively large amount of liquids coming from both oil and gas wells compared with the other key production basins. The Permian Basin in West Texas, which includes plays such as Spraberry, Bonespring, and Wolfcamp, is a third key growth area. EIA estimates that crude oil production from the Permian Basin reached 1.2 million bbl/d in December 2012. Permian Basin production is projected to increase to 1.4 million bbl/d in December 2014.
The overall global concerns for production include a relatively small potential for production growth from the larger oil producers in the world (with the possible exception of Iraq), while there remains an increasing turmoil that began with the “Arab Spring” and continues to spread with ongoing and growing impacts that are likely on Middle Eastern oil production. But it is the story of American production that continues to gnaw at my worry bead string.
I have tried in the last two OGPSS posts to show some of the problems that are developing in the flow of oil from Alaska to the rest of the United States. Based on a falling volume of oil produced from the existing fields in the North Slope, the delivery pipeline from Deadhorse to Valdez is approaching levels of flow which will make it more difficult to deliver that oil. There are fields in the region that are still being developed. Alaska_geo has pointed to several developments that are likely to take place over the next year, mainly in exploration but including the development of the Umiat field. One of the mechanisms that the Alaskan Governor has proposed to help encourage industry was to provide a road up to Umiat. The oil reserve for the Umiat field is estimated at 250 mb, but the road may take another five years to finish.
As with the subjects of the last couple of posts not everyone knows where the different places are in Alaska, so since one of the intents with this post is to look at off-shore deposits, let me put up a new map.
Shell recently announced that their Prelude floating LNG project off northwest Western Australia has passed another milestone, with the $US12.6 billion ($11.8bn) project receiving final investment approval.
Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes (0.175 tcf) per annum of LNG, as well as 1.3 million tonnes of condensate and 400,000 tonnes of LPG.
The facility is scheduled to begin production in 2016. The gas will be cooled by cold water pumped from about 150m below the ocean’s surface - allowing around 50,000 m3 of cold seawater each hour to cool the gas.
Bintulu. For many people involved with gasification, that word often invokes a specific image. In fact, colleagues know when I say “Bintulu” that’s shorthand for Shell’s Bintulu, Malaysia gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility (officially, the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant).
I recently traveled to Malaysia on business, and I learned that I would be in Bintulu (the airport code for Bintulu, by the way, is BTU) for two days. I contacted Shell to see if they could accommodate a visit for the purpose of writing a story about their facility, and they were indeed able to get me into the plant.
Posted by Heading Out on March 28, 2010 - 11:01am
Tags: electric heating, george clark, ground freezing, heating rock, mahogany project, oil shale, shell, tech talk [list all tags]
One of the problems with the oil (kerogen) in oil shale is that it is not mature enough (i.e. close enough to being an oil) that it will easily flow through the rock. In earlier parts of this particular theme, I have written about mining the rock and then heating it in retorts as a way of transforming the kerogen and recovering it for use. I have also, somewhat tongue in cheek, discussed using nuclear weapons to heat the rock so that the transformation can take place without moving the rock, while breaking the rock at the same time, and the unlikely potential for burning some of the oil within the deposit to power the transformation of the rest. While it might work in a heavy oil sand, is not likely to be realistically practical for the finer grained shales. But there are ways of adding somewhat less heat to the rock than using a nuclear bomb, and that will be the topic for today.
This is a continuation of the technical posts that I usually write on Sundays.