Heavy oil consolidates status in energy mix: BAPCO

The Middle East holds nearly 1tn barrels of heavy crude oil, accounting for nearly 30% of the world's reserves, according to an industry Report

MEHOC 2017 will take place on April 11th and 12th at the Gulf Hotel in Manama.
MEHOC 2017 will take place on April 11th and 12th at the Gulf Hotel in Manama.

Technology and innovation will play an instrumental role in securing heavy oil’s valuable position in the global energy mix, according to the chief executive officer of the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO).

Overcoming the challenges associated with leveraging this complex – but invaluable – energy resource will depend on the industry’s ability to develop commercially viable recovery solutions, BAPCO chief Dr. Peter Bartlett has said ahead of the upcoming Middle East Heavy Oil Congress (MEHOC), the largest gathering of heavy oil professionals in the region.

“Fossil fuels will continue to account for the majority of the world’s primary energy needs for the next few decades, and heavy oil will feature in that mix. In order to compete, though, heavy oil producers will have to overcome cost challenges versus commercially competitive alternatives. They will innovate in order to do so,” Bartlett was quoted as saying in a press release. “At Bapco, we consider heavy oil in the mix of feedstocks we purchase for our refinery.”

MEHOC will take place on April 11th and 12th at the Gulf Hotel in Manama. The event is expected to welcome more than 20 exhibiting companies, 40 speakers, and 200 professionals from over 15 countries.

Key participating companies this year include the host NOC BAPCO, the Kuwait Oil Company, Lukoil Engineering, Occidental Petroleum Oman, Schlumberger, Tatweer Petroleum and French energy major Total.

“Our participation in the Middle East Heavy Oil Congress is part of our strategy in monitoring important developments in the heavy oil marketplace. The event offers key industry stakeholders a platform to network, explore the latest technologies, and share knowledge and best practice across the value chain, enabling us to ensure that heavy oil continues to be a valuable contributor to the evolving global energy mix,” Bartlett said in promotion of the event.

According to a recent study by international management consultancy Arthur D. Little, heavy oil accounts for 21% of the world’s crude oil reserves. Of this, nearly 30% is in the Middle East, at 971bn barrels of heavy crude oil.

Despite the global abundancy of this valuable resource, its commercial viability and sustainable production continues to be a challenge for the world’s producers, especially amid a challenging economic landscape.

Due to its highly viscous composition, heavy oil requires a different – and often more technologically advanced – refining process than that which is used for conventional oil.

“Around the world, trillions of barrels of heavy oil are just waiting to be recovered, potentially extending the hydrocarbon life expectancy by decades,” said Jean-Philippe Cosse, Vice President of the Global Energy division of dmg events, the organizer of MEHOC 2017.

“Developing solutions that will enable the safe, sustainable, and cost efficient recovery of this prominent resource could give the world access to new supplies of energy. MEHOC works as a catalyst for industry progress, allowing experts to exchange knowledge and information that will pave the way to a promising future for heavy oil recovery and production,” Cosse said.

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Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2020

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