Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: The technological frontier in oil and gas industry

Ali Ghalambor is a multi-awarded petroleum engineer. This blog article talks about the special role played by technology in the survival of the oil and gas industry.

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In a speech delivered by OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri to the 15th IIES Conference and Exhibition held in Tehran, Iran last year, he properly recognized that technology has dramatically changed the overall facets of the oil and gas industry. In his words, he considers it a “profound change” that consequently “transformed the supply geography worldwide.” Considering the crippling challenges brought by the geographic, geopolitical, and economic challenges in the oil and gas industry, the assessment could never have been timelier and highly relevant.

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Ali Ghalambor is a retired American Petroleum Institute endowed professor and head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The oil and gas industry is in crisis, yet it survives through the emergence of technology that continues to provide innovative approaches in oil and gas drilling explorations and operation.

“For more than a century, new technologies have changed the way reserves are identified, developed, and produced, leading to a massive growth in reserves and supply,” Abdalla Salem El-Badri said in affirmation and confirmation of the fact that technological changes are pushing the oil and gas industry to a new age. Nevertheless, while technology truly promises a new way forward, the more serious and real challenges have to be identified and contained—something that Abdalla Salem El-Badri hopes the major industry players will take up together to “reach a new frontier.”

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oil industry smarten up

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In the current context of depleting oil reserves that threaten the major engines of growth in a global scale, oil producers turn to one single, most powerful innovation of the modern century—high technology.

Amidst the rising cost of oil and greater issues and challenges in oil production, technology is advertently leveraging innovative solutions in oil and gas exploration and operations. While consumers are slowly adapting to change, major players are starting to focus on the digital age of the oil and gas industry. Using new inventions such as intelligent field technology and nanotechnology, the global oil production found ways to escape the high-stake issues on oil drilling operations. Through geospatial solutions which enable real-time data processing, oil producers can explore previously untapped sources of oil. Fueled by the success of technology-backed operations, oil companies are now starting to funnel their capital and other assets in technology investments. In recent years, the emergence of the digital oil field has caused the major optimization of oil drilling operational processes. Today, it continues to help oil producers cut costs while benefitting from the huge profits of production.

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Despite the growing fear on total oil depletion, the lucrative oil production enterprise is currently on the rise and has no sign of abatement. To say the least, the entry of cutting-edge technology in the oil and gas industry is indeed revolutionary. Moreover, it is a future rushed to act for a world that can’t run without oil.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

‘Peak Oil’ and the oil crunch

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While some “doomers” talk of “peak oil” and “a life after petroleum,” majority in the oil industry still think that everything is just peaking right. The peak oil scenario—the hypothesis that the oil resources are not only on rapid decline but have already reached their peak—is fast gaining traction from sectors left and right.

The notion that humanity has already burned enough oil reserves that usually take millions of years to develop is seemingly plausible in some respect, but people verge away from the real issue—the current challenges to oil production that continues to slide down from easy to difficult.

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In the past decades, oil reserves had become a potent powder keg of wars at various scales. As the world consumes millions of barrels of oil every day, the exponential rate of loss is truly staggering. No one can doubt that fact. Argument-wise, the avid advocates of alternative sources of energy are in fact standing in a solid ground. The global oil production is indeed at an all-time high as the world approaches closer to a more advanced stage of progress. Nonetheless, the real challenge is not the unfounded belief and fear on the “end of oil age” but the increasing difficulty on oil extraction at hostile territories that cost more money and resources to operate.

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Given the politics and economics of the oil industry, the world will never run out of oil; it will just run out of cheaper ways to extract more.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ali Ghalambor: The Natural Gas Engineering Handbook and its contribution to education toward efficient natural gas production

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor believes that with the world’s energy consumption rising exponentially and oil production becoming riskier, the shift to natural gas and other alternative energy sources are all but assured.

Natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel, is plentiful, and is more useful than oil. But naturally, as with all fossil fuels, it still needs to be refined to be useful. The procurement and refining processes of natural gas are complex and are integral parts for the efficient production of natural gas. This is why high-quality natural gas engineering education for students and their continued education as full-fledged natural gas engineers or professionals are very important.

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Dr. Ali Ghalambor is an accomplished petroleum engineer and is a recipient of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Achievement Award.

Dr. Ghalambor’s Natural Gas Engineering Handbook, now on its second edition, covers the full scope of natural gas engineering, from gas reservoir engineering to gas processing. It utilizes a computer-assisted approach, which other books on natural gas engineering do not have, and spreadsheets for every engineering calculation that is on the included CD-ROM. This book aims to provide both students and professionals worldwide up-to-date and relevant information in order to provide better insight into the intricacies of natural gas production.

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For more information on Dr. Ali Ghalambor and his work, follow this Twitter account.