Pipeline speaks exclusively to David Dalton, regional president for BP in the Middle East, about the opportunities and challenges facing the British oil giant in the region.
Pipeline: Can you outline the key opportunities for BP currently in the region?
BP has an exciting set of opportunities across the Middle East region and we have been making progress in a number of areas. For instance, we announced recently a significant gas discovery in the East Nile Delta in Egypt.
We have been jointly developing the world's second-largest oil field, Rumaila, with our partners from China and Iraq. Rumaila is the largest field in Iraq and over the last two years production has increased from one to 1.4 million barrels a day, achieved through our application of advanced reservoir management approaches.
Another key new development for BP in the region is the Khazzan Project in Oman. BP is a pioneer in exploiting tight gas, and is looking to apply its technology and expertise to develop one of the Middle East's largest tight gas accumulations. The Khazzan Project will aim to achieve production of around one billion cubic feet of gas per day which would increase Oman's total domestic supply by around a third. We also have an exploration and appraisal programme ongoing in Jordan in the Risha Concession.
Pipeline: What are the wider energy challenges that you see in the region?
I think the challenges lie with meeting rapidly increasing demands for energy on the one hand and the need to find more efficient ways to consume energy on the other. A related challenge is around how technology and innovation are able to increase oil and gas production, to maximise recovery from the region's known resources, and to develop more technically challenging opportunities. This includes the challenge of managing maturing assets and the need for smart and tailored technology to maintain the plateau production rate in giant fields. This is where BP fits in with our global experience in enhanced oil recovery techniques and technologies. We are committed to building good partnerships, bringing in our expertise and technology to help maximise recovery for our government partners. Another major challenge is the need for human capital and resources, the need to develop local talent development, to build local research and development capacity, to transfer knowledge to our partners.
Pipeline: What is BP doing in the region in relation to gas?
Gas is an important part of the energy mix and an important part of BP's own reserves base. Around half of BP's global reserves base and production is gas. In addition to our established capability in conventional gas development, production and supply to markets, BP is focusing on developing unconventional gas resources where we have industry-leading positions in tight gas, shale gas and the enabling technologies. The best example for BP in the Middle East Region is the Khazzan Project in Oman, where through applying world-class expertise in subsurface analysis and drilling we are able to unlock an important new gas resource.
Pipeline: How active is BP in implementing Enhanced Oil Recovery technologies in Abu Dhabi?
BP is a leader in deploying Enhanced Oil Recovery schemes and has developed several proprietary technologies, such as low salinity water flooding, to help recover more oil from the reservoir. More broadly, BP is a leader on water flooding, a type of Enhanced Oil Recovery, and we are maximising recovery from some of the world's largest reservoirs and from maturing fields. BP has worked with ADNOC to study the use of carbon dioxide in enhanced oil recovery within ADCO's North East Bab fields. BP also played a key role in the success of the first C02 Enhanced Oil Recovery pilot in the region at ADCO's Rumaitha field.
We have been supporting the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Institute in developing its enhanced oil recovery research capability. BP is also helping ADMA-OPCO to implement the 'digital oilfield' at ADMA in brownfields and new developments to increase recovery factors. BP has great expertise in advanced seismic imaging to help optimise reservoir productivity.
In Abu Dhabi' we support the operating companies to increase production and reach 70 per cent recovery target through various BP technologies. To squeeze more oil from existing reservoirs, BP undertakes more secondary recovery (conventional waterflood) than any other international oil company globally so we are well placed to support Abu Dhabi's goals.
Pipeline: How important is technology in the region's fields?
Technology at BP is at the heart of everything we do and a critical enabler in helping us to find and recover hydrocarbons. We apply our technologies at scale across our portfolio.
This interview first appeared in the November 2013 edition of Pipeline Magazine.