OEEC 2018: Gas overtakes oil, but Paris still out of reach

OEEC 2018: Gas overtakes oil, but Paris still out of reachDNV GL's Sverre Alvik speaking at the Global Gas Event

The 2018 Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference opened its doors on Tuesday, October 23.

The day saw the close of the Offshore Wind Event that kicked off a day earlier and continued with the launch of a Global Gas Event.

This year’s Global Gas Event, a new feature at Offshore Energy, building on the Offshore Energy Industry Panel presented the current supply and demand forecasts, hot regions for the business as well as the place of gas in the overall energy mix.

Hosted by Navingo B.V.’s own Femke Perlot-Hoogeven, the conference manager, Global Gas Event speaker line-up included DNV GL’s Sverre Alvik, Clingendael International Energy Programme’s researcher Luca Franza, Neptune Energy’s Lex de Groot, SBM Offshore’s Ellen Kroijmans, and Lux Research’s Harshit Sharma.

Keynote speakers addressed the most important strategic and commercial challenges associated with the current and future gas industry.


Gas has a key role in the transition


Starting the discussion was, Svere Alvik, project director at DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook who took the stage to discuss DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook 2018.

“We are approaching peak energy, and the ongoing energy transition will see large shifts in how we consume and produce energy. Gas has a key role and is likely already in 2026 to take over as the largest energy source. Improved energy efficiency, decarbonization and electrification of the energy system will make the energy system of 2050 very different from today,” he said.

DNV GL, a global quality assurance and risk management company, through its Energy Transition Outlook forecasts the energy future through to 2050.


Demand remains uncertain


Clingendael International Energy Programme’s Franza who took the stage to discuss Gas and Geopolitics, noted that there are various drivers molding different gas markets and Europe’s efforts to phase out coal for electrification, while the gas demand remains uncertain.

He added that the politization of gas springs out as an issue, but that the politization issue is also slightly overinflated.

Clingendael International Energy Programme was launched in 2001 with support from public and private institutions. It contributes to the public debate on international political and economic developments in the energy sector (oil, gas and electricity). CIEP contributions include research, events, publications, comments, lectures and training.

The programme’s current research and activities revolve around the issues of the geo-political and geo-economic consequences of changing supply and demand patterns in energy, in particular, oil and natural gas, and the development of European energy markets and energy policy-making against the background of international energy market developments and climate change policies.


Mid-scale FLNG opportunities


Ellen Kroijmans, who is currently the global project office director as well as the general manager of SBM Offshore’s Schiedam office unveiled the company’s plans to put more focus on capturing opportunities in the mid-scale FLNG market.

SBM is historically known as a trailblazer in the supply and operation of large Oil FPSOs. It is less known that SBM is already for 20 years engaged in gas and LNG projects. With gas becoming increasingly important in the current Energy Transformation, SBM’s ambition is to further expand in the gas business. This objective is achieved through embarking on innovative products and teaming up with strategic partners.

Kroijmans said the associated gas from the oil fields where SBM’s FPSO’s are operating could be liquefied by mid-scale floating LNG units. However, responding to audience questions later she noted that it is the matter of scale as deploying one FLNG unit to operate in tandem with a single FPSO would not be viable.

In terms of technology, she added that the step from FPSO to FLNG would not be such a huge step up for the company.


Gas is not the solution for the long-term?


The stage was then left for Harshit Sharma, practice lead oil & gas, at LUX Research, to discuss Innovations Reducing the Oil and Gas Industry’s Environmental Footprint.

With the Paris Agreement finalized, momentum around carbon and methane emissions reduction have spurred the oil and gas industry to strategically position itself for the energy future.

With both commercially viable solutions today and disruptive technologies in the future, Lux Research’s, Sharma highlighted the potential impact carbon emission policies, such as carbon pricing, will have on the oil and gas industry.

He also analyzed the oil and gas industry’s collaborative initiatives with external innovation sources creating genuine value in the near- and long-term vision of the industry.

He further elaborated on carbon pricing and shared views on oil & gas climate initiative, saying that the investment in carbon capture solutions is a positive step, however it is only a small portion of what could and should be done, noting that low carbon taxes, and no incentives to big market players to invest in new technology make the progress a slow one.

Closing the session, and what could be the seen as the main takeaway, was Sverre Alvik’s remark that gas is clean and a positive in the near-term, however, in the long-term it is not clean enough.

“It is a solution to bring down pollution and global CO2 emissions, but it could never reach zero,” he said, adding that, without CCS it will only be a medium-term solution, and the Paris objective can never be reached with gas alone.


By Adnan Bajic

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