Liquid hydrocarbons will continue to be a major contributor to the world’s energy for decades to come. The exploration for, and production of, oil is an undertaking which requires the talents of thousands of scientists and engineers.
However, the “easy” oil has been produced. Tomorrow’s newly discovered oil will come from difficult environments: deepwater, the Arctic, high pressure, high temperature, unconventional reservoirs, reservoirs under salt, etc. Tomorrow’s oil will also come from improved recovery in already discovered reservoirs. All these present as yet unsolved technical challenges.
A brief overview of the outlook will be given, followed by an introduction to the exploration and production process. Finally, the potential contribution of research to the solution of these challenges will be discussed.
Paul Bondor received his B.S. in Eng. Sci. (1963), M.S. in M.E. (1966) and PhD. in Fluid and Thermal Sciences (1969) from Case Institute of Technology. He began working for Shell Oil Company”s Exploration and Production Research Laboratory in Bellaire, Texas in 1969, and over the next 35 years worked in both production (in the U.S. and worldwide) and research (as an individual researcher a supervisor, and head of Royal Dutch Shell’s enhanced oil recovery research). After retirement in 2003, he has worked as a consultant to oil companies worldwide.