A leading energy expert will outline the factors that will drive global oil supply in the future at a lecture in Aberdeen tomorrow evening (Thursday 19 March).
Dr Peter Jackson, Senior Director for Oil Industry Activity at Cambridge Energy Research Associates will argue that the global oil resource base is more than adequate to enable supply to grow for years to come, but will suggest that exactly how this supply is delivered will be the main issue.
In his lecture, The Future of Global Oil Supply - Why So Much Uncertainty?,which takes place at the University of Aberdeen's King's College Conference Centre at 6pm, Dr Jackson will explain that analysis of some 18000 fields and detailed studies of field performance supports a picture of strong potential growth of oil and gas production capacity through 2020.
But he will explain how much of this potential turns into reality, will be driven as much by below ground factors as those above ground, such as the prevailing economic climate, geopolitics and the ability of the industry to execute projects.
Dr Jackson's lecture takes place as part of the University's Energy Controversies series, which brings together leading international industry and academic experts to discuss the current challenges and debates facing the energy sector.
Dr Jackson said: "'Oil is a finite resource, but we still don't know exactly how much we have discovered or what remains to be discovered. New oil plays are regularly emerging and even in mature basins such as the North Sea, there is significant remaining potential. The oil industry is a long lead time business and it has been successfully replacing and growing production for many years'.
"The recently deteriorating economic climate has shifted focus from concerns about supply, to worries about falling global demand. Surplus capacity is now over 6 million barrels per day and with the oil price at $45/bbl, investment patterns are changing rapidly. New investment in developing additional supply is now at risk and this has major medium term implications for oil markets, when the current recession ends and demand for oil picks up'.
Longer term, Dr Jackson anticipates that oil supply will meet demand for at least 2 decades given adequate hardware, capital and skilled human resources, but cautions: "We should all expect a fairly turbulent journey."
Aimed at influencing energy and social policy at a local and national level, the University of Aberdeen's Energy Controversies series features seven public lectures and a discussion panel event.
Highly topical issues to be covered by other speakers over the course of the series include:
- The exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves and their decline as an energy source
- The impact of the changing political climate on the energy industry
- The concern surrounding the environmental impact of our continued use of fossil fuels
The remaining lecturers who will present in the series are: Professor Bahman Tohidi, Director of the Centre for Gas Hydrate Research at Heriot Watt University; Principal Reservoir Engineer for Senergy, David Hughes; and Dr David Galbreath, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen.
Anyone interested in booking a free place for any of the remaining lectures in the series should visit www.abdn.ac.uk/energycontroversies.