Technology 'knocks peak oil theory'

Technology gains: Advances to boot peak oil theory

Advances in technology will continue to ensure that there are adequate reserves of oil and gas, as fears over supply recede, according to BP’s head of technology, David Eyton.

Addressing the 21st World Petroleum Congress in Moscow, Eyton said that generally speaking the theory of peak oil has had its time.

There may be other reasons for demand declines, but technology has enabled an increase in reserves.

The industry has an excellent track record to increase production and replace reserves, enabled by a sustained high oil price and technology developments over the last 30 years, he said.

The potential to enhance oil recovery from reservoirs is very significant, he said, adding that the average oil recovery rate from reserves in the world today is estimated about 35%.

“You heard people here talking about 65% or higher, even 70% in the Middle East. These are enormous increases,” he said.

Citing BP’s Energy Outlook 2035, Eyton said oil demand will grow by about 1.5% per year, or 41% in total between 2012 and 2035.

Technology has a significant role to play to ensure the safe production of hydrocarbons, economical access to new resources economically and more efficient use of energy, he added.

Eyton said that 1.6 trillion barrels of oil and gas equivalent has been produced, with a further 2.9 trillion of recognised recoverable resources available today.

The application of best available technologies today can increase the remaining recoverable resource base by almost a factor of two, he contended.

The potential for enhanced oil recovery from known hydrocarbon resources exceeds the potential from new discoveries such as those from Arctic or ultra-deepwater areas, Eyton said.

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