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“Offshore is the future of traditional and new energies” – OTC 2021


Today, at the 2021 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Opening Session, experts discussed the ways in which the oil and gas offshore industry is addressing the energy transition. According to the panelists, besides being the anchor of the world’s future energy needs, this sector can help lead the path to a cleaner energy future.

Read more of our news content, here; OTC kicks off with reduced attendance; energy transition central subject

In this sense, Cindy Yeilding, OTC Board of Directors Spokesperson, started the conference by welcoming all the onsite and online attendants. Similarly, she underscored the long wait for the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

About the Opening Session

As per the event’s opening session, several experts in the offshore industry shared how their respective organizations/companies are navigating the decarbonization agenda. Noteworthy, this approach is quite different from other years’ conferences, highlighting the relevance of the energy transition in current energy topics.

Accordingly, Erik G. Milito, President of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), shared that his organization’s members are looking for the best ways to produce energy to capture the best opportunities.  

“The offshore energy industry, particularly the oil and gas energy industry, is very well positioned. For instance, we have companies that are stepping up into the offshore wind sector because they have great engineering experience.”

NOIA also has a diverse board of members that includes analysts, oil and gas energy leaders, etcetera.

A momentum to lower emissions

Following his participation, Milito commented; “Indeed, what I see is a lot of excitement and a momentum to lower emissions in oil and gas. Besides, no matter the scenario, the global economy will still depend on oil and gas to provide the energy that is essential for society.”

Moreover, this industry is a source of innovation. Therefore, new technologies will drive decarbonization while providing abundant, affordable, and reliable energy. Thus, the global economy will rely on a high quality of life.

Accordingly, Milito noted; “In fact, we can be the anchor of the world’s energy needs!” Multi-billion-dollar projects produce massive amounts of oil and natural gas for the decades to come.

Similarly, Wood Mackenzie’s Carbon Research Practice Lead, Amy Bowe, shared in her participation how decarbonizing this industry’s operations will only but grow in the following years. For instance, she noted that Wood Mackenzie estimated emissions from the industry would increase by about 8% out to 2027.

Particularly, this forecast includes all the technologies and measures already being implemented by companies in the sector. Through these changes, by 2050, the intelligence organization still expects offshore to generate about 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions equivalent.

In particular, deepwater assets currently rank amongst the lowest emissions intensity by 2027, which is led by conventional shale assets.

The offshore industry on reducing emissions

On the primary question from the session, Bowe underscored that for the offshore industry to reduce emissions and help meet the Paris Agreement Goals, Wood Mackenzie recommends focusing on the technologies that have the most significant potential to reduce emissions.

Thus, the firm focuses on five primary categories, including methane leak detection and repair, associated gas monetization, electrification (including integration with renewables); and lastly, subsea technologies. Besides helping address the needs and challenges of the energy transition, these categories offer operational benefits as well.

Finally, Bowe added that current technology applications mitigate between 15% and 90% of emissions.

Similarly, Bill Langin, Senior Vice President with Shell’s Deepwater Exploration, shared how the company is preparing to meet future energy demands. Accordingly, he mentioned the four pillars behind Shell’s energy transition strategy. For instance, those include creating shareholder value, powering lives, achieving net-zero emissions, and respecting nature.

Offshore – An opportunity for the entire energy industry

Worth noting, Shell is currently focusing its strong upstream operation program on deepwater and Atlantic margin.

Finally, and concluding with the panel, Jonathan Landes, President Subsea TechnipFMC; said that this industry is the future of traditional and new energies. Thus, this sector provides an opportunity for the entire energy industry to collaborate and work toward a common goal; specifically, through a fully integrated approach, early collaboration, and innovative technologies.

Accordingly, Landes commented on how oil and gas (O&G) companies can help strengthen new energies. Particularly, these include collaborating to make new energy commercially viable; also, to uniquely integrate proven technologies to deliver at scale solutions for green hydrogen production; and finally, drive change as system architect and integrator.

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