ExxonMobil executive delivers DOT keynote

The challenges in meeting energy demand lie in access and development, said Ben Haynes, deepwater project executive of ExxonMobil.

David Paganie
Managing Editor

HOUSTON -- The challenges in meeting energy demand lie in access and development, said Ben Haynes, deepwater project executive of ExxonMobil. Haynes discussed those challenges during the opening day keynote address at DOT in Houston.

"The resources are there," he said. More than 3 trillion barrels of conventional resources exist, he said, according to the US Geological Survey. By 2030, demand for oil will be 40% greater than it was in 2007, and 80% of the energy will be fueled by fossil fuels, Haynes said. Wind and solar will only account for 1% of supply.

The challenges in developing the undiscovered reserves include dealing with icebergs in arctic environments, longer step-outs in subsea developments, and projects in deeper waters, Haynes explained. ExxonMobil will be operating in 2,400 – 2,900 m (7,874 – 9,514 ft) water depth by 2012, he said. By 2010, more than 20% of the company's production will come from deepwater.

In addressing subsea challenges, the company is standardizing subsea instruments, valves, and connectors, for projects where intervention is difficult, Haynes said. Also known as "design one, build many." This improves the subsea technology, reduces costs, and increases installation efficiency, he said. "Many subsea components have virtually become commodities."

In deepwater, ExxonMobil is using hydrate management to improve flow assurance and optimize Capex and Opex, Haynes said. The company also plans to use the technology applied in the Qatar LNG project to develop deepwater gas reserves.

"But technology is only effective as it is applied and executed," he said. "There is too little emphasis on project execution, and the industry needs to be more proactive in equipment qualification."

02/12/2008

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