HOUSTON -- Khaled Al Buraik, Saudi Aramco’s VP Petroleum Engineering and Development, outlined the company’s upstream technology strategy at a topical lunch during the recent OTC.
“We are pushing forward from a traditional role as principally buyers and consumers of technology to a new global research and development strategy that envisions our company as an enabler and creator of new technologies,” he said.
One focus is a reservoir engineering research program that examines various methods to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons.
Another is on modeling technology, including the company’s in-house developed reservoir simulator tool GigaPowers.
“We would like to simulate our reservoirs in the highest resolution possible,” Al Buraik said.
One idea is to use GigaPowers for basin simulation to model a 10-billion cell representation of the Arabian Peninsula. This picture, combined with 500 million years of geological history, should lead to more targeted exploration.
Al Buraik said that although the company’s offshore activities typically are directed atshallow water, recent expansion into the deepwater of the Red Sea is uncovering prospects below thick salt sections, similar to discoveries offshore Brazil.
Aramco isopening two centers in the US for upstream research.
“As we grow, by 2020, we expect to increase our research funding by five times and are committed to tripling our manpower in science and technology,” Al Buraik added.