Topical luncheons provide a smorgasbord of information

Attendees at OTC’s topical luncheons won’t go away hungry, literally or figuratively, as they will be faced with a bevy of topics to choose while enjoying lunch and conversation with table mates. They may be facing a difficult choice as to which lunch to attend since the luncheons are offered concurrently and it could be difficult to choose the most valuable topics, which range from challenges and rewards in offshore basins to energy myths and realities, from Saudi Aramco’s upstream challenges and plans to why we hate the oil companies, and the future of oil reserves to finding a silver lining in a recession. No topical luncheons are scheduled for Tuesday due to the Awards luncheon that day.

Monday, May 3:

Monday’s topical lunches feature Geoscientists Without Borders: Bringing Geoscience and Engineering Technology from the Energy Industry to Humanitarian Needs. Craig Beasley, Chief Geoscientist at Western Geco, will discuss the depth of knowledge and technology in the energy industry today along with the unfortunate fact that it still lacks a direct impact on improving the lives of the world’s underserved people, particularly in the cases of geosciences and engineering. In 2008, Schlumberger donated $1 million to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation to found Geoscientists Without Borders, which makes $100,000 in grants annually for projects involving humanitarian applications of geophysics. The Foundation seeks to leverage the projects via partnerships with other organizations such as Engineers Without Borders. Mr Beasley will address the issues involved in developing such a program and discuss ways in which it could be strengthened through collaboration.

During the concurrent luncheon, Andy Inglis, Chief Executive, E&P for BP, will discuss The Challenges and Rewards in Operating in the World’s Offshore Basins. This luncheon formerly was titled Thunder Horse and Atlantic Deepwater Frontier Developments in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr Inglis will draw on examples from BP’s Gulf of Mexico operations as well as operations in Angola, Libya, Egypt and the Arctic to demonstrate that technology and capability are the two foundation stones of a successful offshore operating company.

At another lunch Monday, Keith Rattie, Chairman, President and CEO of Questar Corp., will talk about Energy Myths and Realities. There may be no greater challenge facing mankind today than figuring out how to meet the energy needs of a planet that may have 9 billion people living on it by the middle of this century. The magnitude of that challenge becomes even more daunting considering that of the 6.5 billion people today, nearly 2 billion don’t have electricity.

With interest in the Middle East growing, Zuhair Al-Hussain, Vice President, Drilling & Workover for Saudi Aramco, will address the company’s challenges, expectations and plans regarding its upstream business during the next several years during his presentation, Saudi Aramco Upstream Challenges and Plans. His discussion will highlight the heightened E&P effort and fast-track development of the company’s gas resources. During the past few years, the company implemented its largest capital spending program with the aim to raise its sustainable oil capacity from about 10 million b/d to 12 million b/d. In the process, the company also built up spare productive capacity of nearly 4 million b/d that it believes will help ensure a sense of stability in the markets.

Another topic sure to generate interest is John Hofmeister’s discussion of Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Industry Insider. Mr Hofmeister, former president of Shell and more recently founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, recently wrote a book on the topic and is traveling the U.S. in a grassroots campaign to change the way we view energy. Mr Hofmeister will offer an insider’s view of energy companies, special interest posturing and how politicians inflate energy costs in their own electoral interests. He also will detail how misinformation, disinformation and lack of information are exploited to hurt consumers. His new book professes to provide sound solutions for secure, affordable and cleaner energy, sustained economic growth, environmental protection and comfortable lifestyles.

Wednesday, May 5

On Wednesday, Steve Knowles, President of Mustang Engineering, will talk about The Silver lining of a Recession: Managing Through the Tough Times to a Bright Future.

Y. L. Darricarere, CEO of Total E&P, will address a path forward for the industry in general and the longer-term vision of Total’s E&P sector during his discussion of the Future of Oil Reserves. With access to energy a growing concern during the coming years, technical audacity is required when assessing new plays or developing a field. Proven technology must be challenged by operators in order to bring the E&P industry beyond its present frontiers. Additionally, establishing sustainable partnerships with host countries is even more emphasized.

Also on Wednesday, John Hollowell, Executive Vice President, Deep Water, for Shell, will present Opportunities and Challenges for Deep Water. As the industry continues to move into deeper waters, the challenge is to safely and economically drill, develop and produce more difficult reservoirs with more complex development systems, even under uncertain global economic and political conditions. Mr Hollowell will provide a view of the business drivers and risks of future deepwater oil and gas development and what it will take to make it successful.

Turning to the weather, Jill F. Hasling, President, Weather Research Center, asks the question, Are Humans at Fault for More and Stronger Offshore Hurricanes? Ms Hasling’s discussion will review past hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and show how the offshore oil industry has grown in the Gulf since 1947. Past storms will be compared with different cycles in the climate to determine if there has been a significant increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes. And if there have been changes, are they natural cycles or due to human activities?

Another Wednesday luncheon topic is a look at The Global Energy Landscape. Phyllis Yoshida, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, will examine the global energy future, whether countries and companies are investing sufficiently, and the barriers to widespread deployment of existing and new energy technologies.

Thursday, May 6:

Three topical luncheons will be held Thursday. During one, Caspian Sea Energy Developments, Luis Coimbra, General Manager, Marketing and Transportation, Eurasia Business Unit, for Chevron, will discuss oil exports in the Caspian region and the plans to expand the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline from 730,000 b/d to 1.5 million b/d.

The always interesting Matthew Simmons, Chairman Emeritus of Simmons & Company International, will discuss Conventional Offshore Oil and Gas Enters its Twilight Years: Are There Still New Frontiers to Tackle? The question Mr Simmons asks is, is there any last frontier of usable energy to tap? Mr Simmons will note that the answer lies in the oceans, which contain other forms of energy such as offshore wind, gas hydrates, oil seeps and aquatic plant life. Ocean-created energy is in its infancy, and is where the offshore oil and gas industry was 60 years ago. It could be the last and possibly only energy frontier, Mr Simmons will note.

Phil Grossweiler, Principal Consultant, M&H Energy Services will address the relationship between energy security and climate change during his discussion of U.S. Climate Change Policy: Facing Up to Costs and Sacrifices. He will summarize key technology options for future energy supplies and greenhouse gas emission reduction and will offer comparisons of “cap and trade” and a carbon tax. Mr. Grossweiler also will discuss the costs and sacrifices either of the policies would impose on the U.S. public.

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