Throughout its 75-year history, Saudi Aramco has always relied upon the judicious guidance of the rulers of Saudi Arabia. In turn, the Kings have placed their trust in Saudi Aramco to derive the maximum benefit from the country’s rich natural resources for the people of Saudi Arabia. Together, the Kingdom and its national petroleum enterprise, Saudi Aramco, have met the challenges posed by boom times and lean times alike, and their shared history is a success story of progress, development and transformation.
Over the past 15 years, Saudi Arabia Oil & Gas magazine has received official recognition, awards and praise for its technical editorial as well as promoting interaction. Each issue of Saudi Arabia Oil & Gas magazine has brought together engineers, scientists, researchers, academics and managers in the Saudi Arabian oil and gas industry to share the latest technology and know-how.
This award-winning magazine was recognised as Official Technical Publication at Saudi SPE/DGS Annual Technical Symposium 2017-2011, Khobar, and at the December 2010 OGEP II held in Dhahran organised by the KSA Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals (MinPet), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
Over the years, Brazil Oil & Gas magazine has received official recognition, awards and praise for its technical editorial as well as promoting interaction. Each issue of Brazil Oil & Gas magazine has brought together engineers, scientists, researchers, academics and managers in the Brazilian oil and gas industry to share the latest technology and know-how in Brazil’s new frontiers.
Brazil has the potential to export world class technology and services. For this to happen, an export culture needs to be cultivated. Part of this culture is a single source of technical material that focuses on Brazil while including the wider international observers. This supplement ‘The Brazilian Pipeline Community’ is a channel for companies, both oil and service to share expertise with the wider export market.
This Pipeline technology field report highlights a truly fascinating and visionary array of oil and gas pipeline-related technologies. Fascinating not only because of the diversity of the technology, but also due to the complex nature of each technological development program.
Petrobras’ ‘roadmap’ for realising top performance, Propoco emphasizes extensive planning, best practices and information sharing as the way forward. Consequently, it applies ‘thresholds’ or minimal requirements and ‘benchmarks’ or standards for projects, personnel, wells and documents. By propagating best practices it promotes efficiency.
Advocates argue that petroleum promotes progress; put simply it is the ‘Black Blessing’. Cynics argue that it is a sunset industry; ‘Fossil Fuel’ neatly sums it up. Environmentalists state that it is a polluting fuel; ‘Crude Oil’ says it all. Yet, when all is said and done, Oil matters because it touches the life of almost every human on the planet.
Make no mistake, clearly this book is an insider’s perspective but it is not an apology for oil. Having worked for more than a decade in oilfield operations and publishing, it seemed increasingly important to me to dispel myths and present facts regarding oil and energy. Does this imply a bias to oil? Think again. If you were sick, whose opinion would you value: someone without knowledge of medicine or an experienced medical practitioner?
Oil is by far the most convenient and best bang-for-buck fuel that mankind has found. That is why it flows through hundreds of countries and trillions of transactions worldwide, generating mobility, power and countless products along the way. Global economic growth depends on it and questions regarding its supply penetrate deep into the heart of geo-politics and resource nationalism.
Paradoxically, it is not even the oil or gas we want. It’s all about the ‘lifestyle’. We want the freedom of driving our cars or from flying around. We want the climate-comfort that comes from heating or cooling our homes, our workplaces and malls. We want a host of derivatives such as plastics, deodorants and cosmetics. No other commodity touches us so completely.
That’s fine. But what of our legacy to future generations? And of Carbon emissions and Global Warming? What about the Oil Curtain and access to oil? Do we want to leave a tainted world whose energy sources are entangled in environmental damage? Such tiny questions yield vast consequences and render complex answers.
So practically speaking can we change the Oil? Imagine reconfiguring every gas station in your home town or city to supply another fuel, then doing this in every state, in every country and continent in the world. Behind the retail outlets are the network of distribution and storage, those need to be changed also. This involves dealing with thousands of different suppliers. Yet, this completes just half of the equation. The other half – demand – resides in the worldwide fleet of automated machines; cars, trucks and buses. Imagine reconfiguring all those engines. Repeat the exercise for aviation, maritime and trains.
Now that’s demand inelasticity. Considering the scale, vastness and complexity of a single application ie transportation it is clear to see how embedded oil is. To appreciate the magnitude of oil dependence, imagine reconfiguring two-thirds of the world’s power generation plants, industrial and manufacturing processes.
That’s just the theoretical part because we don’t have a replacement for oil, yet.
Any eventual exit to oil and gas dependence must start by refocusing the issues through this lens of practicality. Oil cannot be wished away, it is a building block of modernity that fuels growth, connects cities and lives. As modernity spreads globally, lifestyles that are based on the heavy consumption of oil and energy are increasingly found up and down social classes across the world.
Once it is accepted that Oil plays a profound role in the energy equation and our future, we need to know; can it ultimately be replaced? I believe so. We are not facing a doomsday scenario but complacency is a danger. We need to know how much Oil is left, where it is and how long it will last. We need to know how Carbon emissions and Global Warming can be effectively reduced. This means all eyes to the industry. Oil will increase in importance and relevance –it is certainly not a sunset, just yet.
Given the far-reaching effect this has on us all and the environment, the debate has rightly moved outside the oil company office and the University campus and into the mainstream media. Yet, very few accounts are available that outline the real energy challenges that face us and generations to come.
This book is about those challenges and practical solutions. It is about the ‘ Hydrocarbon Highway ’ – what it is, where it is going. Incredibly, this highway has been built without an exit. The purpose of the book is to tell this story and make it known to the general audience so that society is better informed about Oil and Energy. In doing so, I offer my pragmatic views of oil, gas and what the energy of the future look like considering economics, geopolitics and technology.
No single book can cover a subject in its entirety or address every type of reader.
Consequently, I have aimed the HH at three types of reader and it can be read either selectively or cover-to-cover according to reader type, knowledge level and time available.
Business leaders, investors, analysts, policy-makers, media professionals and opinion formers, are the selective readers and I would recommend they read Chapter 4 – The Oil Curtain, Chapter 5 OPEC & Non-OPEC, Chapter 14 Exits to the Hydrocarbon Highway. Whether you are a cynic or an advocate, I would ask everybody to read this book dispassionately, especially chapters 4 and 14.