Insight: Technology is what matters
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Shell said it spends more money than any other international oil major on research because it believes technology is the way to take the industry forward, says Director of Technology Matthias Bichsel.
By Karl Jeffrey, Digital Energy Journal
“Technology is really what matters,” said Matthias Bichsel, Director Projects and Technology organisation with Shell, and executive committee member.
“It enables us to go after the more difficult fields.”
Shell is spending large amounts of money on developing technology. Over the period 2006 to 2010 it spent $5.5bn in research, which the company believes is $1bn more than ExxonMobil ($4.5bn), and more than Total ($4.3bn), BP ($3bn) and Chevron ($2.8bn).
Mr Bichsel cites statistics from patent data company Patentboard, stating that according to 2010 data, Shell has the strongest patent portfolio in the “energy and environmental” industry, beating Schlumberger (2nd), Halliburton (3rd), Baker Hughes (4th), Exxon Mobil (5th), Weatherford (6th), GE (7th), Chevron (8th), Samsung (9th) and Siemens (10th).
Important areas for current technology development are, amongst others, LNG, gas to liquids, enhanced oil recovery, smart fields, deepwater, unconventional gas and differentiated (special) fuels, he said.
Emerging areas of technology development are floating LNG, carbon capture and storage, Arctic, advanced gas separation, coal bed methane to LNG, and next generation biofuels.
Expected future areas of technology development are next generation seismic, maximised recovery, efficient / clean fuels, and low carbon energy.
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