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Documentaries are used both to educate and tell stories that their makers believe should be heard. That applies to documentaries about the inner workings of various industries such as oil and gas. To many outside the petroleum industry, those inner workings are a black box: Money and engineering goes in, gasoline and petrochemical products come out. It is also full of stories, making it an industry ripe for documentarians. The following reviews consider a small handful of the documentaries covering the petroleum industry and what might be learned from them beyond their immediate message.
BP has acquired UK-based digital energy business Open Energi. The company's digital platform uses real-time data to optimize the performance of energy assets. It connects customers to power markets with the goal of providing flexibility at times of low renewable-energy generation and during price peaks. The share of primary energy from renewables is projected to increase from around 5% in 2018 to 60% by 2050 in the net-zero scenario set out in BP's Energy Outlook. However, because generation from these sources depends on weather conditions, the growth will also bring increased market and price volatility.
Petroleum engineering is and will be needed for decades to come to provide the required energy for the world and help alleviate the challenges of climate change. Of course, petroleum engineering will evolve into energy transition as it has been changing since its inception in modern history with the Drake well in 1895, located in Pennsylvania. At the same time, we will continue to use the current practices in our daily operations. Petroleum engineering practices can and will also be used in solving some of the climate change issues. This information is described in detail in SPE 200771 (Kamal 2020).
China began trading carbon emissions for the first time on 16 July in what will become the world's largest emissions trading market by volume. As the world's largest greenhouse-gas emitter, China's climate actions are critical to the planet's net-zero future. President Xi Jinping pledged to the UN General Assembly in September 2020 to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. The carbon trading market is a move to turn the country's Five-Year Plan into reality through domestic policies. The official Xinhua News Agency said the experimental first phase of carbon trading includes more than 2,000 companies in the power industry that produce about 40% of China's--and 14% of the world's--energy-related emissions.
Leaders in the UK from both government and industry have banded together to form a taskforce aimed at mitigating challenges faced by the nation's energy supply chain. The UK Energy Supply Chain taskforce, with the Energy Industries Council (EIC) as secretariat, will provide an amplified voice for the entire UK energy supply chain and a means for government to work directly with industry in a coordinated way that will help to deliver pace and scale of change, developing a coherent plan for a UK clean growth over short-, medium- and long-term timescales, meeting the UK's decarbonization commitments and ambitions. "There are now permanent and real threats to the UK's energy supply chain unless long-term capability and competitiveness strategies are implemented to protect them," a statement from the EIC read. "The UK's energy supply chain needs a clear'seed and root' plan to be developed and implemented, in order to ensure healthy and viable capability to meet UK and export demands across all technologies, and this plan needs to engage with all key stakeholders across the increasingly integrated energy supply chain." Last year saw unprecedented times for the UK energy industry.
Subsea 7 is expanding its offshore wind construction business with a deal that puts it in control of a company that effectively doubles its fleets of vessels to transport and install offshore turbines. It will combine its current offshore wind business with another Norwegian company, OHT, known for transporting massive components. Combining these companies with roots in the oil business is expected to create a stronger, more diversified provider of installation services called Seaway 7. Both companies are drawing on their experience in deepwater oil developments to rapidly expand into renewable power. In its first quarter report, the UK-headquarted Subsea 7 reported that 30% of $1.8-billion worth of its order backlog is now from its renewables business and nearly one-quarter of its revenues.
Everyone in the oil and gas industry knows 2020 was a historic year for the business. Just how historic was the focus of a new report from BP that offers a context for last year's market turmoil and thoughts on what it means going forward. "For energy, 2020 was a year like no other," Spencer Dale, BP's chief economist, said in the company's annual energy review released on 8 July. All told, BP estimates that global energy demand fell by 4.5% in 2020, marking the largest drop since the end of World War II nearly 75 years ago. Regarding crude, global production fell by 6.6 million B/D over the course of the year while demand fell by 9.1 million B/D, or an unprecedented 9.3%.
In a new survey from DNV, energy professionals identified a lack of investment in infrastructure as one of the greatest risks their organizations face in relation to hydrogen and a significant majority (78%) say repurposing existing infrastructure will be crucial to developing a large-scale hydrogen economy. DNV's report Rising to the Challenge of a Hydrogen Economy draws on a survey of more than 1,100 senior energy professionals and interviews with industry executives on emerging hydrogen value chains, from production to consumption. It suggests that, more than just ambitions, the hydrogen pledges, plans, and pilots of recent years have now evolved into concrete commitments, investments, and full-scale projects. Some 84% of senior energy professionals say they believe that hydrogen has the potential to be a major component of a global, low-carbon, energy system, while nearly three quarters (73%) say Paris Agreement targets will not be possible without a large-scale hydrogen economy. "To meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, the world needs to transition faster to a deeply decarbonized energy system," said said Ditlev Engel, the chief executive officer of energy systems at DNV. "In addition to energy-efficiency gains, this will require greater renewable-power generation and electrification and the scaling of technologies to remove the carbon from fossil fuels. Hydrogen will be needed to connect and enable these paths."
SPE TWA received numerous high-quality nominations from different parts of the world. An exhaustive, three-step evaluation framework developed by the TWA committee was used. The nominees were evaluated on various scales such as academic and technical credentials; quality of work experience; awards; positions of responsibility; volunteering; and academic, industrial, and social impact. The result was the selection of 17 TWA Energy Influencers whose candidature had the intrinsic qualities of going above and beyond.
Alumina Energy, Ionada, Parasanti, and SurgePower Materials will join Halliburton Labs as the clean energy accelerator's second cohort in the labs' collaborative environment to advance and scale cleaner, affordable energy. Launched a year ago, the program now has eight participants. Alumina Energy is designing and developing zero-carbon heat and power solutions to address greenhouse-gas emissions. The company's patented packed-bed thermal energy storage technology is designed to turn intermittent renewable energy resources into a reliable and cost-competitive source of heat and power with a process that does not add carbon emissions from its operation. "We are very excited to join Halliburton Labs' cleantech accelerator program and collaborate with their experienced team to advance cleaner, affordable energy," said Sasha Braun Diamont, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Alumina Energy.