The keynote speech at the annual Technology Conference & Exposition, given by Matthias Bichsel, the Society of Petroleum Engineers General Chairperson, spoke about the importance of lowering the cost of energy by focusing on innovation and invention. The gist of the speech was to embrace the innovation behind new technologies in order to make the discovery of and collection of gas, oil, and other energy sources more affordable and more efficient.
The demand for more energy is at an all time high, and it continues as more and more developing nations are starting to have a higher need for more gas and oil. This demand for oil is rising even though Europe and the United States have improved on their conservation efforts with oil and gas, and finding those resources is becoming more difficult.
Bichsel believes that the best way to meet all of the world’s gas and oil demands is by investing more in innovation. By focusing on advances in technology when it comes to locating large deposits of gas and oil, as well as the equipment needed to extract the resources, refine it, and ship it, then it will finally be possible to meet the demands.
He cites that in the past half a century, innovations in the field have been quite helpful. Better technology across the board has led to fewer dry holes and better extraction techniques. Advances in equipment, geology and seismology, and more have helped in this effort, and he feels that with a focus on innovation today, we can see these elevated levels of success. His theory is for developers to take what works and reproduce it, and to improve that which does not work, or that could be better.
While this is a simple premise, not all companies will follow it. Bischel and other experts in the field believe that by looking at companies that have had success in this area, such as Shell and their efforts in China, it is possible to replicate their success. However, blindly following what others have done is not the only thing that companies need to do. They need to look at their current offerings and equipment and see where they could make improvements or changes. Being static in the oil and gas industry, as with any industry, means stagnation. In a world where the demand keeps rising, it is essential to keep innovating. It will help the drilling to go faster, improve safety, and even help to drive down the overall cost of the operation.
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