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Fifth global heavy oil conference comes to T&T
With the current growing global energy demand, and the world’s depleting light crude oil resources, some sectors of the world’s energy industry are focusing on developing and maximising renewable energy. Others are turning to shale and natural gas. Some are tilling the sands to eke out every ounce of black gold deposited therein, and still others are placing their bets on heavy crude oil production.
Praxis Global fits in with the latter group.
The Dubai-registered group of companies will be putting on a four-day interactive technology workshop at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Port-of-Spain, from April 22 to 25, Kelly J Crosbie, chief executive officer and founder of the Praxis Global Group, told the Business Guardian in an e-mail on March 14. The group comprises Caxton Energy, Produced Water Society, and Praxis Global Research.
“The 5th Global Heavy Oil Management Praxis Interactive Technology Workshop, to be held on April 22-25, 2013, in Port of Spain, T&T, will address case studies, new and advanced technologies, methods to overcome challenges and international best practices, taking key knowledge from previous committees and workshops.
“It will focus on technical and operational strategies for effective and efficient methods for heavy oil production without undermining the environmental effects,” she said in a statement.
The group hosted the first four workshops in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; Cancun, Mexico; and Muscat, Oman; in that order.
“The world energy demand is growing exponentially and, in recent years, we have seen a rise in the diversification of energy resources with an emphasis on more sustainable energy resources,” she said.
However, she said, “given the demand of energy that the world calls for, the utilisation of all the available energy sources of which heavy oil forms a very considerable part,” is important.
Heavy oil comes with its own unique set of challenges for the oil companies and with the large quantities of heavy oil available, companies have been increasingly investing and applying new technologies to make heavy oil a commercial alternative, she said.
The Praxis Global Interactive Technology Workshop will focus on providing the operators and service providers worldwide, an opportunity to come to a common platform and discuss their concerns, challenges and experiences to be able to develop sustainable and economical alternatives to exploit their heavy oil resources, Crosbie said.
She is expecting delegates from around the world to attend.
Asked why was T&T chosen as the venue for the workshop, she said: “We always believe that learning should come with fun and this led us to choose T&T, which holds a prime position as a tourist destination in Latin America.
“As well, it is geographically strategically positioned; easy for North America, and Latam (Latin American) participants to travel to. We believe combining the rich culture of the island and the technical agenda of the workshop (will) deliver a mix of fun and learning for the participating engineers, creating the overall memorable Praxis experience.”
Past workshops made “lasting impressions on the participating engineers across all major operating companies who came to all of our workshops which took place across the globe,” she said.
“These engineers have found new colleagues in their struggle for achieving excellence in dealing with heavy oil. Praxis Global Research has been able to be a catalyst in facilitating this value driven knowledge experience which has been well received by the heavy oil experts and related professionals.”
As committee members and members of the speaking panel, she named: Francisco Maldonado and Jose Guitian Lopez of Repsol; Babita Dubay of Petrotrin; William Hatcher of Condor Petroleum Inc; Hieu Tran of Suncor; Jorge Johan Garcia and Martha Ahow of PDVSA; Chris Hocher and Christopher Wong of GE Heavy Oil Solutions; Patricia Pimentel and Rodrigo Mendonca of Clariant; Cesar Romero, an independent consultant; and Ken James of Oak Point Energy Ltd.
Environment of interaction
Asked to explain what exactly will make the workshop interactive, Crosbie said: “It is considered interactive because of the way we structure our discussion sessions. A keynote speaker initiates the discussion groups with topic points on each specific subject. A discussion presenter will then dive deeper into the sub-topics and focus solely on that topic during his presentation time.
“These discussions may include case studies displaying the challenges faced, opportunities, and/or best practices used by each company speaking. After the presentations, a coffee break is provided in which discussions from the presenters continue amongst the engineers themselves and upon their return from the break, the engineers are broken down into three or four breakout discussion groups, also known as Praxis Think Tanks, focusing on specific points from the earlier discussions.
“The keynote speaker will then walk around asking questions interacting with each group and listening to the ideas being shared amongst each group member. This is what we consider to be real time problem solving and how sharing each of their experiences creates that environment of interaction.”
Crosbie said the target audience of the workshop are “professionals in the oil and gas industry who are involved in heavy oil production (or) development, or (who) want to learn more about it.”
For the next two decades world oil demands are expected to continue increasing at a slow rate, whereas production from conventional light crude oil fields seems to have reached a peak, Crosbie said.
“Companies and governments globally have increased the focus on attaining the best technology, knowledge and streamlining methods to be able to tap into this complex resource.
“In short, the decline of production from light crude oil fields will have to be compensated by non-conventional production, mainly from heavy and extra-heavy crude oil fields,” she said. “It has been predicted that heavy oil’s share of total supply will jump to 16 to 20 per cent by 2030 from about six per cent today.”
She said the short- and medium-term outlook is that heavy crude oil production will peak at 12.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2020, remain at this level until 2025, and decline thereafter.
In her e-mail to the Business Guardian, she wrote: “North American heavy oil output will increase by 800,000 b/d, followed closely by South America at 770,000 b/d. The opportunities are huge and this is the time to seriously encourage further development in heavy oil technology and research. And the place to discuss the opportunities and challenges is Trinidad, at the World Heavy Oil Praxis Interactive Technology Workshop – no other event will deliver the results this one will.”
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